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Samsung just announced a cloud gaming service — what we know so far

Samsung cloud gaming service announcement SDC 2021
(Image credit: Samsung)

Cloud streaming seems to be the next big thing in video games, and it seems just about everyone is going to try and get in on that action. Microsoft, Google, Netflix and Nvidia are all on board, and now you can add Samsung to that list, which just announced development of a new Smart TV-based cloud gaming platform.

This news came from Yongjae Kim, Samsung’s Senior Vice President of Visual Display Software R&D during Samsung’s SDC21 keynote presentation (via IGN) and will reportedly be available on Samsung’s Tizen-powered smart TVs. 

"To diversify your game selection on Samsung Smart TVs, we are developing a new Cloud Game Platform,” Kim said. “This means that soon you will be able to enjoy games without purchasing high-end hardware, and developers can easily apply Samsung Smart TV’s seamless, immersive experience to new games.”

We don't expect this new cloud gaming service to make you forget about trying for PS5 restocks or Xbox Series X restocks, but it could be an alternative for less demanding players. 

Samsung didn’t provide any further details or context about what the service would involve — including what sort of games or developers we can expect to see. However, the comparison to “high-end hardware” suggests Samsung plans for the service to include AAA games rather than mobile-tier titles.

Of course ,the game streaming business is already pretty crowded, and that isn’t likely to let up anytime soon. While Sony has kept PS Now restricted to its own consoles, the likes of Xbox Game Pass, Nividia GeForce Now, and Google Stadia have spread themselves out to a lot more different kinds of devices — including dedicated streaming boxes.

In other words, Samsung is going to have its work cut out for it, if it wants to finally make game streaming a success. After all, this isn't the first time the company has tried to launch its own video game streaming service. 

The company did previously partner with Gaikai to bring cloud gaming to its TVs back in 2012. However Gaika was acquired by Sony not long afterwards, and its service was repurposed into PS Now.

But by presumably developing the new cloud gaming service in house, Samsung should avoid history repeating itself.

The only question is when we can expect Samsung to produce a tangible product people can use, and what the new service can offer that its rivals can’t. Even Google Stadia is struggling to make waves, so Samsung is going to have to offer something pretty special. Beyond just pre-installing it on every TV it sells, that is.

Tom Pritchard

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.