Television manufactures haven't always done the best when it comes to gaming. With the rise of smart TVs, that began to change. Samsung has partnered with companies like Microsoft and Sony in the past to integrate gaming features and apps, but its latest push is its biggest yet. At CES 2022, Samsung announced the Samsung Gaming Hub, an all-in-one discovery platform that provides quick and easy access to your favorite game streaming apps and consoles.
Set to launch later in 2022, the Samsung Gaming Hub will support Stadia, GeForce Now, and Utomik upon release. Players can use their existing controllers to stream games through these apps, and quickly launch any connected consoles directly through the hub.
Here's everything we know about the Samsung Gaming Hub.
What is the Samsung Gaming Hub?
The Samsung Gaming Hub is being dubbed a new game streaming discovery platform. On Samsung's stage at CES 2022, Andrew Geogiou said, "the Gaming Hub bridges the gap between hardware and software to create a simpler, easier way to discover and play tons of games from great partners like NVIDIA GeForce Now, Stadia, and Utomik."
This is meant to serve as a one-stop destination on Samsung TVs for everything gaming, from the most popular streaming apps to quick launchers for connected consoles. By just connecting a controller, players will be able to immediately stream the full libraries of apps like Stadia and GeForce Now (provided they have accounts, of course).
Samsung also wants to make it a place where people can view their favorite gaming content creators as well, like those on YouTube Gaming. With gaming becoming a more and more social experience, it makes sense that Samsung highlight content creators as well.
Using "AI Gaming technology," it will create curated recommendations on the home screen based on a person's gaming habits as well. It's unclear exactly how this will work.
Samsung Gaming Hub: Streaming apps
Only a handful of apps have been confirmed for the Samsung Gaming Hub so far, though the company is working to bring more to the service after it launches. It notably doesn't have Xbox Game Pass, a glaring omission considering that Microsoft and Samsung have worked together closely in the past. It remains to be seen if the two companies will partner once again to bring Game Pass to the Gaming Hub.
At one point in the past, Samsung also offered PlayStation Now through its smart TVs. This support ended in 2017, and PlayStation Now was nowhere to be seen in the Samsung Gaming Hub announcement.
Every app confirmed for Samsung Gaming Hub:
- NVIDIA GeForce Now
Samsung Gaming Hub: Supported TVs
Samsung hasn't detailed the exact TV models that will support the Gaming Hub, only stating that it will be available on 2022 smart TVs and monitors. The company did reveal a lineup of Micro LED, Neo QLED and Lifestyle TVs at CES 2022 as well, so we can assume that at least some of these will support the Samsung Gaming Hub.
These select TVs will be powered by Tizen, a Linux-based operating system, like much of Samsung's electronics.
Samsung Gaming Hub: Supported controllers
Though not specifically stated, it seems as if a wide variety of the best controllers will be supported. Samsung made it a point to say that people can pair their favorite controllers, seemingly indicating that Xbox, PlayStation, and Stadia controllers will work. Samsung televisions already let people connect these controllers via Bluetooth.
What's more interesting is that The Verge reports it will support passthrough controller inputs, meaning, in theory, that players can use a single controller to play cloud games and console games across all supported services, without needing to switch back and forth.
Samsung Gaming Hub: PlayStation and Xbox support
While a large focus of the Samsung Gaming Hub appears to be on streaming, it will cater to console gamers as well. Through the hub's homepage you can easily access any console (like the PS5 or Xbox Series X) connected to the TV, putting everything on one screen for a more streamlined experience. It may seem like a minor quality-of-life improvement, but it can go miles in making everything more user-friendly.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Xbox Game Pass will be supported as a separate app, at least at launch. Samsung notes that Stadia, GeForce Now, and Utomik are just the beginning, with more to come down the line.
Samsung Gaming Hub: Release date
The Samsung Gaming Hub will launch on select TVs sometime later in 2022. The company did not provide an exact date or timeframe for later in the year. People will be able to access it through the new 2022 Smart Hub on Samsung televisions, within the main navigation menu across Gaming, Media, and Lifestyle categories.