Samsung is building a cloud game streaming service for Tizen TVs

Mike Wheatley

Samsung Electronics is getting into cloud game streaming, promising to launch a new service on its Tizen OS Smart TVs that will rival the likes of Google Stadia and Xbox Game Pass.


The announcement came brifly during Samsung’s annual developer conference, where the company also revealed new innovations for its smart assistant Bixby, SmartThings and its Internet of Things developer devices.

Details of the game streaming service are pretty slim. The company revealed during its keynote presentation (around the 27:15 minute mark) that it aims to “diversify the gaming experience on Samsung TVs” and so it is developing a “new cloud game platform” that will make it possible to enjoy games on Tizen OS “without needing to purchase high-end hardware”

"We are currently working on web-based cloud games, with the goal of allowing users to play the latest games on their Samsung Smart TV equipped with the Tizen platform – all without the latest consoles or expensive graphic cards. In order to achieve this, we are working closely with our current service partners," the company explained further.

Game streaming services have in the last couple of years become all the rage, with Sony’s PlayStation Now, Nvidia’s GeForce Now and Amazon’s Luna service all competing in the space. Other companies, notably Netflix, are also belived to be planning game streaming services. So it makes sense that Samsung sees an opportunity too.

In fact, some might argue that Samsung is better positioned than most to deliver a compelling gaming experience. The existing HDR10+ gaming features on the Tizen platform make for a largely hassle-free experience. Samsung’s feature switches off some non-essential video processing and automatically calibrates the TV to low latency in a HDR calibrated mode to ensure a crystal clear picture just as the developer intended. And some of its more advanced TVs also enable super-smooth 4K@120Hz gaming.

Samsung’s Tizen platform also benefit from massive adoption. It’s currently running on over 200 million devices worldwide, which means it has an enormous user base to target with any new services. Because it’s also the world’s number one TV manufacturer, it is in a fairly unique position, being able to provide a high-end gaming service to customers without them needing to spend their hard-earned cash on additional hardware.

That said, Samsung will be challenged to make a success of game streaming in a market that has yet to produce any real winners. Samsung’s competitors Amazon, Google and Microsoft have all spent millions of dollars on building up their game streaming services, yet none of those investments have really paid off, so far at least. Given the competition in the space and the investment required, Samsung will not only need a great catalogue of titles to choose from, but also superb stability and an enticing price point.

Samsung does at least have the benefit of some experience, having previouly tested the waters of game streaming as far back as 2012 when it partnered with the Japanese firm Gaikai to bring cloud gaming to its smart TVs. However, that partnership ended when Sony acquired Gaikai shortly afterwards, and later used its technology as the foundation of its PlayStation Now service.