Microsoft’s Amazon Fire TV Ad Declares: ‘You Don’t Need an Xbox to Play Xbox’

Microsoft is rolling out Xbox Gaming on Amazon Fire TV, and has released an advert that reinforces the message that you do not need an Xbox console to play Xbox games.

Xbox Gaming’s availability on Amazon Fire TV sticks means people can play games directly from the app via cloud gaming. It expands the potential audience for Xbox games and, crucially, the Xbox Game Pass subscription. All you need to play is a compatible Fire TV stick, a Bluetooth-enabled wireless controller, and an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription to stream Xbox games.

But it’s the accompanying advert that has raised the eyebrows of some hardcore Xbox fans. The clip, which seems to riff on the Scream movies, sees a woman answer the phone to an unnamed man who is disguising his voice.

“What’s your favorite video game?” he asks.

“Very funny. Who is this?” the woman replies.

“Somebody who wants to play Xbox.”

“Don’t you need an Xbox for that?

“You don’t need an Xbox to play Xbox.”

“What kind of game is this?”

“It’s not a game. It’s hundreds of Xbox games, now playable on Amazon Fire TV stick. [Laughter.]”

No console? Don’t be scared.

Xbox Gaming is rolling out today with Amazon Fire TV, where you’ll be able to play games directly from the Xbox app: https://t.co/42ztprdgGw pic.twitter.com/dwuJwWZYs0

— Xbox (@Xbox) July 8, 2024

Microsoft is clearly trying to alleviate fears from some that they have to fork out hundreds of dollars on a console in order to play Xbox games. “No console? Don’t be scared,” reads the Xbox tweet. It taps into a feeling from some hardcore Xbox fans that Microsoft has deprioritized the Xbox console itself as it works to broaden the appeal of gaming across PC, mobile, and now devices like smart TVs and streaming sticks.

While Xbox executives insist consoles remain an important part of Microsoft’s video game business, the current models, the Xbox Series X and S, are struggling in sales terms and lag behind rival consoles the PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch. Indeed, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has admitted on multiple occasions that Microsoft has lost the console war, even as it readies the release of new models, a promised next-gen console, and a heavily rumored Xbox handheld.

This latest advert, then, will do nothing to calm concern from the vociferous parts of the Xbox community that Microsoft is leaving consoles behind. Indeed some have already said it’s little wonder why Xbox Series X and S have sold so poorly when Microsoft itself sends the message that they’re not needed to play Xbox games. This, coupled with Microsoft’s controversial decision to go multiplatform with some of its first-party Xbox games, has caused quite the stir within the Xbox community in the last year.

Microsoft, for its part, has made no secret of its big picture ambition to reach a billion gamers across the globe with Xbox. The recent $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, for example, was as much about picking up Candy Crush maker King ahead of a planned mobile gaming store launch as it was snapping up Call of Duty. In truth adverts like the one above aren’t about the future of Xbox, they’re about the present. Perhaps with the launch of the next generation and similar moves from Sony, we’ll finally see the end of the video game console war and the start of the video game streaming war.

Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at wesley_yinpoole@ign.com or confidentially at wyp100@proton.me.

 

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