Cloud gaming is the future, as you can play AAA titles without trying to hassle with the frustrations of getting a new GPU, or one of the next-gen consoles. Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass has exploded in popularity in recent months, as it’s available on just about all of your devices. One device that it’s not available on, however, are Android TV and Google TV devices. But that’s all about to change.
With the latest release of the Xbox Game Pass app for Android, it appears that Microsoft is preparing to bring its game streaming service to the big screen. Courtesy of /el_gonz87 on Reddit (via XDA), a decompiled PK revealed a banner image that is designed for Android TV. This is one of those graphics that’s a requirement for any app before it can be made available for download.
Since Xbox Game Pass is not yet officially available, the only way to access your cloud gaming service is by side loading the APK to the Chromecast with Google TV or NVIDIA Shield TV. When doing so with the latest version, a new app icon will appear which was not the case before now.
According to 9to5Google, while the Xbox Game Pass app actually has an icon and is listed under Your apps, the experience is not great.
With a quick test on my Chromecast with Google TV, navigating the app with an Xbox Controller is dreadfully slow and the interface hasn’t been changed at all to better support non-touch controls. The game stream, too, froze instantly upon being started.
Despite the shoddy performance so far, that’s not really much of an indication of the service itself. Instead, this just goes to show that the app has not yet been optimized for Android TV and Google TV devices. But considering that there’s actually an icon, I would venture to guess that we’re not too far off from an official launch.