Samsung's 2022 Smart TVs are the first to support Xbox Cloud Gaming, allowing you to play games without needing a console. Samsung will add support for game streaming to select 2021 models as well by the end of the year. I took advantage of an early Cyber Monday Xbox deal to purchase a Samsung Smart TV with Xbox Cloud Gaming. After just a few days of use, I was convinced that I could take my Xbox One out of my living room.
When I first saw that Xbox Cloud Gaming was available on certain TVs, I was a bit confused. Streaming games on a phone or other device that usually isn't capable of console gaming made sense, but I wondered why anyone would want to stream Xbox games to a TV when they could just hook up a console. After using a Samsung Smart TV with Xbox Cloud Gaming for a bit, I was swayed. In fact, I have since taken my Xbox One out of my living room and we now use the TV exclusively.
This has become an unlikely candidate for the best Xbox TVs on the market, despite the fact I'm not actually connecting an Xbox to it.
This TV has a Quantum Processor Lite to upscale content to 4K. It has Dual LED backlighting to deliver a broad range of colors and high contrast. Thanks to Xbox Cloud Gaming support, you can stream games right to the Samsung Q60B without needing a console.
I live in the UK, so Samsung's selection of TVs is different from what shoppers in the US will see. While I'm happy with my specific model in terms of picture quality and price, the core experience that made it stand out to me is built-in Xbox Cloud Gaming support through the Samsung Gaming Hub. The Samsung Q60B that I've listed above is a comparable price but is available in the US.
We also have a collection of the best TVs for Xbox Cloud Gaming if you'd like to shop around.
How Xbox Cloud Gaming Works on a TV
To use Xbox Cloud Gaming on a TV, you need an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. If you're new to the service, you can get your first month for roughly $1 depending on your region. After that, you can expect to pay about $15/month. That subscription gets you access to games on Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold, which you need for online play. Xbox Cloud Gaming also works on phones, tablets, and PCs.
Racing games are my favorite genre, so I booted up Forza Horizon 4 as my first title on my TV. I had previously purchased the game and played it on my Xbox One, so all of my save data transferred over. When I booted up the game, I picked up right where I left off on my console. That functionality needs to be implemented by developers, so you won't be able to use it in every game.
I was surprised to see that I could actually race when playing a game through the cloud. I assumed that Xbox Cloud Gaming would be okay for turn-based and slower games but struggle to keep up with my racing. While there is a slight lag, it didn't hinder my performance. Xbox Cloud Gaming seems to prioritize performance over looks, so when there were hiccups, the picture quality dropped by my input seemed unaffected.
I'm awful at shooting games, but I did try out Halo just to see how the service would manage. I was equally bad at Halo Infinite while playing through the cloud as I am when playing on a device natively. I'd suggest reading through our Xbox Cloud Gaming review to get a better gauge of how the service handles different types of games.
You should buy a Samsung Smart TV if...
I admit that I'm not a hardcore gamer. If you want the pinnacle of performance on your TV, then you should stick with an Xbox Series X and look at the best Cyber Monday TV deals for gaming. But if you're a light gamer, like me, having Xbox Cloud Gaming built into your TV can deliver a gaming experience without the need to have a dedicated console.
Samsung Smart TVs have a large library of streaming apps for watching content. All of my favorite apps are supported, including Disney+, YouTube, Netflix, and NFL Game Pass International. Those apps allowed me to move away from using my Xbox One as a media device, which I did daily.
Adding the ability to stream a selection of games through the cloud made it easy to disconnect my Xbox One and move it up to my office storage. I'm not going to get rid of it in case I want to play a game that's not on Xbox Game Pass, but as I said, I'm a casual gamer.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.