Microsoft’s Amazon Fire TV ad says: “You don’t need an Xbox to play Xbox”


Microsoft is rolling out its Xbox Gaming service on Amazon Fire TV and has released an ad that reinforces the message that you don’t need an Xbox console to play Xbox games.

The availability of Xbox Gaming on Amazon Fire TV Sticks means people can play games directly from the app via cloud gaming. This expands the potential audience for Xbox Gaming and, most importantly, Xbox Game Pass subscriptions. All you need to play is a compatible Fire TV Stick, a Bluetooth-enabled wireless controller, and an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription to stream Xbox games.

But it was the accompanying ad that raised eyebrows among some die-hard Xbox fans. The clip, which appears to be a riff on the Scream movies, shows a woman receiving a phone call from an unknown man who is disguising his voice.

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“What’s your favorite video game?” he asks.

“Very funny. Who is that?” the woman replies.

“Someone who wants to play Xbox.”

“Don’t you need an Xbox for that?”

“You don’t need an Xbox to play Xbox.”

“What game is this?”

Microsoft is clearly trying to allay the fears of some that they’ll have to spend hundreds of dollars on a console to play Xbox games. “Don’t have a console? Fear not,” the Xbox tweet reads. It taps into the feeling among some die-hard Xbox fans that Microsoft has sidelined the Xbox console itself as it works to broaden gaming’s appeal across PC, mobile devices, and now devices like astute TVs and streamers.

While Xbox executives say consoles remain an essential part of Microsoft’s video game business, the current models, the Xbox Series X and S, have struggled to sell and have fallen behind rival consoles the PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch. Indeed, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has admitted on multiple occasions that Microsoft has lost the console war, even as it prepares to release fresh models, a promised next-gen console, and a much-rumored Xbox portable.

This latest advert will do little to placid fears from a loud section of the Xbox community that Microsoft is leaving consoles behind. Some have already said it’s no wonder why the Xbox Series X and S have sold so poorly, given that Microsoft itself is sending the message that they’re not needed to play Xbox games. That, combined with Microsoft’s controversial decision to go multiplatform for some first-party Xbox games, has caused quite a stir in the Xbox community over the past year.

Microsoft, for its part, has made no secret of its ambitious plans to reach a billion gamers worldwide with its Xbox console. Its recent $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, for example, was as much about acquiring Candy Crush maker King ahead of its planned mobile game store launch as it was about acquiring Call of Duty. In reality, ads like the one above aren’t about the future of the Xbox console; they’re about the present. Perhaps with the launch of the next-gen console and similar moves by Sony, we’ll finally see the end of the video game console wars and the beginning of the video game streaming wars.

Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter @wyp100. You can contact Wesley at or confidentially at

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