It’s here. The ‘Gaming Hub’ video game repository announced by Samsung during the last edition of CES has just arrived on its 2022 televisions. And it has done so with a promise under its arm: enhance the experience of the users of these televisions that we enjoy playing video games.
However, this is not all. Along with this software, various gaming services have also arrived via streamingso we have not missed the opportunity to put one of them to the test: Xbox CloudGaming. The TV we used is Samsung’s current flagship model, the Neo QLED QN900B 8K with mini LED backlighting.
An important note before moving on: if you have one of the televisions that Samsung has launched this year and the new ‘Gaming Hub’ repository does not appear in the Tizen OS interface, you will have to update your firmware. Fortunately, doing so is very simple. You just have to go to Settings/All Settings/Support/Software Update. And ready.
Once the installation of the new version of this software (1302) has been completed, an icon of a pad of control that allows us launch the new ‘Gaming Hub’. Inside, in addition to the apps that allow us to start the Xbox Cloud Gaming, Stadia, GeForce Now and Utomik services, there are direct accesses to the HDMI inputs to which we have our video game consoles connected.
Getting started with the ‘Gaming Hub’ repository is a piece of cake
This Samsung software allows us to pair a fairly wide range of controls with Bluetooth connectivity with our television. In fact, we can use the pads of Xbox, PlayStation or Stadiaamong other options.
The pairing procedure is very similar to the one used to connect these controls to a video game console, and, in addition, ‘Gaming Hub’ guides us in a very clear way through this process, so there is no problem.
Another option that also puts this software in our hands is to connect any of these controls directly to one of the USB ports of the One Connect module, or of the television if it does not have this component.
Thus the connection will be immediate and the battery of the controller will be charged while we use it. One more note: we can not only link control controls with the television; we can also wirelessly pair keyboards and mice with Bluetooth connectivity. The connection procedure is the same as that used to pair a pad console.
The next step we can take is none other than to point to the ‘Gaming Hub’ repository how should it reproduce the sound of our games. We can use, of course, the speakers built into the TV, but we can also send it to an external sound system through the optical digital output, or to Bluetooth speakers that we have previously paired with our TV.
To reproduce the sound we can use the TV speakers, an external audio equipment connected to the optical digital output or Bluetooth speakers.
These options are also available when we play other types of content on the television, such as movies or DTT. Of course, it is important that we do not overlook that via optical digital output we are unable to transport the audio data stream associated with soundtracks encoded in Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Atmos, or DTS:X formats. To extract the sound encoded in these formats from the TV, we need to use the HDMI output that implements eARC technology.
Xbox Cloud Gaming, Microsoft’s cloud gaming service, is still in beta, so it is possible that both its latency and graphic quality will improve in the coming months. Its interface on this Samsung television is essentially traced to the one it offers us on other devices, and, as we can see in the following image, it gives all the prominence to games. Each title takes time to start between 10 and 15 seconds.
Enjoying games with this quality without dedicated hardware is a joy
Responsibility for the TV hardware in running Xbox Cloud Gaming games is moderate. In fact, it is similar to the one it has when we play any other content via streaming. It is the Xbox Series X consoles in Microsoft data centers that bear the effort of render and deliver the images to us, although the performance of our internet connection also conditions our experience. We have used a 600 Mbps symmetric fiber optic line with a ping of 4 ms and a jitter of 3 ms.
One of the games that we have tried with some calm has been ‘Forza Horizon 4’, and it offers us a very enjoyable experience, although it does not match what we get by using local play with an Xbox console either in terms of latency or graphic quality. Both parameters are significantly more attractive if we connect our console directly to the television, although, yes, we must not overlook the fact that, as we have seen a few lines above, this Microsoft service is still in beta.
In ‘Gears 5’ exactly the same thing happens. It is perfectly playable through Xbox Cloud Gaming, but the experience that this service offers us is not the same as what we get by running this game in local mode. Of course, the graphics of this title they degrade less than those of ‘Forza Horizon 4’, and its latency is slightly lower, so it has left us with a more pleasant taste than the driving game.
Lastly, ‘Ori and the Will of the Wisps’ plays in the ‘Gears 5’ league. Its graphic quality does not suffer excessively when we play it through Xbox Cloud Gaming, and its latency is not a problem at all. In fact, in my opinion, the experience offered by this service with this title is the most similar to that of the game in local mode.
Xbox Cloud Gaming clearly has room for improvement, but it’s definitely aiming high
However, it is reasonable that this is so because this game is a little less demanding with latency than ‘Gears 5’. It is clear that this Microsoft service has room for improvement, but there is no doubt that it aims high. We’ll keep track of him.
#Xbox #Cloud #Gaming #Samsung #TVs #impressions