Samsung Launches Cloud Gaming Offering for Smart TVs

27 October, 2021 

Electronics manufacturer Samsung has announced it plans to launch a new cloud gaming service for its Tizen smart TV range. The move will see the company compete with the likes of Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Nvidia and Facebook in efforts to take cloud gaming mainstream.

There isn’t much solid information yet available about Samsung’s new service, which was revealed during its Developer Conference keynote. The Korean tech giant hasn’t said how soon it expects the service to launch, or mentioned any partnerships with gaming publishers. But Ju-hyun Choi, part of Samsung’s R&D group from its Visual Display Business, said the goal is that users will be able to play “the latest games on their Samsung Smart TV equipped with the Tizen platform”, adding that the service is being developed with existing service partners.

A natural step…

Samsung has previously spoken about its interest in the gaming space. In many ways, its a natural area for the company to expand into. Samsung’s TV businesses is bolstered by the growth of gaming – as games consoles become more powerful and games themselves become more graphically complex, higher definition TV screens are needed in order for that quality to show.

Cloud gaming sees games processed on remote servers, rather than on a console that sits in the user’s house. This means devices don’t need lots of processing power themselves to play high quality games – all the device itself has to do it pass on the user’s input, and feedback the video and audio.

So by embedding a cloud gaming platform directly into its smart TVs, Samsung can offer both the high quality screen and the processing power necessary to play graphically complex gaming titles.

Samsung’s cloud gaming service could also potentially stretch across its smartphones and Oculus-powered virtual reality headsets – though the company itself hasn’t said whether this is part of its plans.

…into a crowded space

But it’s by no means the only well resourced tech giant trying to bring cloud gaming to the mainstream. Google’s Stadia, one of the earliest big entrants to the cloud gaming market, has reportedly failed to meet sales expectations. But Google is plugging on with its efforts, as are Microsoft through Xbox Cloud Gaming, Amazon with Project Tempo, and Nvidia with GeForce Now.

Crucially both Google and Amazon have a hand in TV manufacturing. Both integrate their own smart TV operating systems directly into third-party smart TVs, while Amazon will soon begin selling its own branded TV sets. Both therefore have the ability to offer the same combination of screen and platform in one combined offering.

And many of the other competitors have some wider synergy with gaming. Google and Amazon both own gaming livestreaming platforms in YouTube and Twitch respectively, which offer interesting tie ups with cloud gaming. Microsoft and Nvidia both have decades of experience in gaming hardware. And Microsoft and Amazon both own games studios – giving them guaranteed access to a catalogue of games for their platforms.

Still, Samsung’s advantage will be the penetration of its smart TVs in Europe, where it holds the top spot among smart TV platforms. And alongside pay TV operators also moving into cloud gaming, Netflix creating games, and ITV entering the metaverse, Samsung’s move demonstrates the continued convergence of the TV and gaming worlds.


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