Having come a long way since 2013, the revamped Samsung Gaming Hub brings the best games to the company's lineup of smart TVs and monitors for 2022.
People see Samsung Gaming Hub (opens in a new tab) as the beginning of a new era in cloud gaming and it's easy to see why. The platform allows gamers to access all major cloud gaming services without the need for an expensive PC or console. And there has been a lot of buzz around it due to the new Xbox integration.
Xbox Cloud Gaming is now available on Samsung Gaming Hub alongside services like NVIDIA GeForce NOW and Google Stadia. You'll need an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership ($15 per month) to access the 100+ games available on the Gaming Hub. Don't be surprised if that number increases soon, as there are over 350 titles in Game Pass Ultimate in total.
Samsung also released a Twitch app as part of the launch, but it looks like you'll only be able to watch streams. We asked the company if people could stream through the app, but haven't heard from them yet. And surprisingly, Amazon Luna support is on the way. Luna launched in the US in early March; before that it was by invitation only. It is a streaming service with several thematic channels to which you can subscribe. For example, there is a Jackbox Games channel, a Ubisoft Plus channel, a retro gaming channel, etc.
As for supported hardware, Samsung specifically mentions the 2022 Neo QLED 8K TVs (Opens in a new tab) and the Smart Monitor series (Opens in a new tab) as prime examples. The company claims that these displays will have 30% reduced input lag compared to older models. You can find a full list of compatible TVs on the Gaming Hub page (opens in a new tab). Please note that smart TVs prior to 2022 do not support the platform and are unlikely to ever do so.
Most controllers and headsets can be connected to the Gaming Hub via Bluetooth. We've also asked Samsung which devices aren't supported, and again haven't heard from them yet.
the future of gaming
What makes cloud gaming so disruptive to the industry (opens in a new tab) is the fact that it "opens the door to games you can't play on low-power devices." Players will no longer be limited by weak computers. Imagine a world where consoles are phased out in favor of an official app. Of course, we'll have to see how well these smart TVs perform before one of us destroys our consoles.
Microsoft clearly sees the potential of cloud gaming, but what about Sony? The closest thing is the new PlayStation Plus and its multiple levels. As far as we know, Sony does not plan to release a version of its service on PC or third-party platforms. But the company has had great success releasing its exclusive titles on PC. Perhaps Sony is trying to balance having games on PC but focusing on PS5 first; a case of having your cake and eating it too.
Be sure to check out our list of the best cloud gaming services, if you're looking for recommendations.