Samsung’s next big service initiative could be a significant push into cloud gaming. Similar to how users discover content on YouTube, Samsung's cloud gaming platform might look to make game discovery less cumbersome for users and publishers alike.
Speaking to Tom’s Guide in roundtable fashion adjacent to Samsung Unpacked 2023, Wonjin Lee, president and global head of the service business team at Samsung, identified cloud gaming as one of the company’s current priorities and opportunities for growth.
“There’s a huge opportunity in the gaming industry where, if you can move the services to the cloud, you can remove device dependencies and elevate the user experience to another level,” Lee said. “If anything, it’s going to bring a whole lot of productivity gain to all constituents in the ecosystem, whether you’re a publisher, distributor or user.”
Samsung Galaxy Cloud?
Samsung already offers cloud gaming services on Samsung smart TVs as part of the Gaming Hub. The Gaming Hub officially launched in June 2022 with support for Stadia, GeForce Now, and, most notably, Xbox Cloud Gaming. But Lee suggests that Samsung is looking into how these experiences might translate beyond TVs.
“The way that the gaming industry is assembled — there’s a console piece, there’s a mobile piece, there’s a PC piece — but guess what? We make all of those products,” Lee said.
During our roundtable, the question came up about whether the apparent lack of enthusiasm for Google Stadia and Amazon Luna is a cause for concern. Lee didn’t speak to either of the cloud gaming platforms, but instead hinted at mobile devices bridging the gap in a way that empowers more device agnostic gaming experiences.
“We’re not trying to reestablish technology standards when it comes to gaming,” Lee said. “We want to provide a platform that meets the needs of our publishers and users. It’s going to be similar for mobile devices. Rather than creating a new standard, we can create a virtual Android environment up in the cloud, and the transition would be much easier for all the publishers.”
Taking inspiration from YouTube
Though Lee couldn’t elaborate on what Samsung’s broader cloud gaming service will deliver, he did offer an example based on the YouTube system for discovering and watching video.
“When you’re watching YouTube, do you think about what you want to watch?,” Lee said. “Or do you just play it and then decide whether to continue watching or not? You’re going in and out of different content, you don’t ponder about what you’re going to watch.”
“Compare that to your gaming experience, you really have to think about if you want to spend the time downloading a game and waiting for it and then to find out it’s a game you don’t want to play. It’s a very shattered experience in my opinion. What if you could do the same thing with gaming, where you can try before you decide if you want to play?”
Either way, Lee emphasized cloud gaming as a growth opportunity several times during the roundtable discussion, so we wouldn’t be surprised if we see relevant announcements in the near future. Lee even pointed out that the Gaming Hub might not make headlines, but the adoption continues to trend upwards.
“We launched Gaming Hub not long ago, and now the service is available on over 20 million devices,” said Lee. “The consumption pattern is increasing almost every month. The adoption might not be as big news, but we’re seeing steady adoption.”