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March 2, 2024

Samsung unveils “Designed for Samsung Gaming Hub” controller program at CES 2023

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Jan 5, 2024

Samsung made waves at CES 2023 by announcing its new “Designed for Samsung Gaming Hub” partner accessory program. This certification program aims to create a new ecosystem of third-party controllers and accessories that are optimized to provide the best possible gaming experience on Samsung smart TVs.

PDP first to launch controller under new program

The first controller being launched under this new initiative comes from Performance Designed Products (PDP). The PDP Replay Wireless Controller has been fully certified and tailored for use with Samsung Gaming Hub and its growing catalog of cloud gaming services.

Some key features of the PDP Replay controller highlighted by Samsung include:

  • Optimized for Samsung Gaming Hub and Xbox Cloud Gaming
  • Includes passthrough buttons for quick access to Samsung TV functions
  • Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity and USB-C charging
  • Customizable button mapping
  • Anti-friction rings on joysticks for enhanced precision

Samsung’s press release states that the PDP controller will provide:

“…an optimal gaming experience by reducing latency while playing games from services like Xbox and NVIDIA GeForce NOW on 2023 Samsung Smart TVs.”

The PDP Replay is available for pre-order now for $59.99 USD on Samsung’s website and is slated to begin shipping on February 15th.

Why a “Designed for Samsung Gaming Hub” program?

Samsung’s Gaming Hub platform was first introduced in 2022 as a way to aggregate various cloud gaming services in a single place on 2022 and newer Samsung smart TVs. By certifying controllers like the PDP Replay, Samsung aims to address one of the remaining pain points around the cloud gaming experience on TVs – less than ideal controller options.

While users can pair third-party Bluetooth controllers to play cloud games, many existing controllers either lack some essential buttons for TV navigation or have latency issues that degrade gaming performance.

By working closely with partners like PDP, Samsung can now assure customers that certified accessories deliver low latency and include all necessary media controls. Essentially, they guarantee a smoother overall user experience.

Samsung Electronics SVP Mike Lucero emphasized the importance of the controller certification program, stating:

“Controllers are one of the most important accessories when it comes to cloud gaming…That’s why we’re working closely with leading gaming peripheral companies to certify controllers optimized for Samsung Gaming Hub.”

What games and services are supported?

At launch, the PDP Replay controller will work seamlessly with the following major gaming services currently available on Samsung’s 2023 smart TV models:

  • Xbox Cloud Gaming – Microsoft’s Netflix-style cloud gaming catalog with hundreds of titles included with Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions
  • NVIDIA GeForce NOW – Cloud gaming with support for some owned PC game libraries
  • Google Stadia – Google’s dedicated cloud gaming platform (service ending soon)
  • Amazon Luna – Amazon’s cloud gaming service with multiple channel subscriptions

Samsung has also previously announced upcoming support for Utomik’s cloud gaming service, so the PDP Replay controller should cover this additional option when available.

More partners joining the certified ecosystem

While PDP is first out the gate with a Designed for Samsung Gaming Hub controller, Samsung has confirmed more partners will be joining the program.

Naughty America, maker of the Arcwave and We-Vibe lines of intimate accessories, has been announced as another early partner. They will be developing new gaming controllers “designed specifically for use in the bedroom while using Samsung Gaming Hub.”

While likely intended more as a publicity stunt, this does reinforce Samsung’s commitment to building out an entire ecosystem of certified accessories.

At a minimum, expect more traditional gaming hardware partners like Razer, SteelSeries, and PowerA to announce certified controllers for Samsung TVs in the near future.

What the certification process entails

For a gaming controller to earn Samsung’s “Designed for Samsung Gaming Hub” certification, it must pass various testing criteria:

Certification Criteria Description
Hardware Quality Verification Ensures build quality, durability, and accuracy of controls like joystick and button precision
Compatibility Verification Confirms controller works properly with various Samsung TV models and provides necessary navigation functions
Performance Verification Tests for latency during simulated gameplay using cloud gaming services, aiming for lag below 60ms
Samsung Gaming Hub Integration Validates specialized integrations like passthrough media keys function properly

Controllers must satisfy all requirements to receive certification. This gives consumers assurance of a quality, compatible product no matter which certified third-party brand they choose.

The future of cloud gaming on TVs

This new certification program from Samsung is perfectly timed to catch the accelerating wave of cloud gaming adoption. With Amazon acquiring EVE, Google pouring more resources into Stadia, and Microsoft committing to bring Call of Duty to competitors like NVIDIA GeForce Now, the cloud gaming wars are heating up.

And TVs are now firmly in the center as a go-to platform for accessing cloud gaming content conveniently in the living room. Samsung is moving quickly to enhance that big-screen gaming experience in the cloud era.

While dedicated console and PC gaming may still reign supreme on the performance end, cloud gaming services continue improving and now offer viable options for more casual gamers. Combined with certified controllers purpose-built for TV usage, Samsung is making the case for exciting mainstream gaming growth on smart TVs.

And this is likely just the beginning. Expect Samsung’s TV software and hardware to rapidly evolve to provide gamers the best possible cloud gaming showcase. And with a thriving new ecosystem of tailored accessories, the pieces are falling into place for their Gaming Hub ambitions.

So for those eager to game on the biggest screen in their home powered by the cloud, a Samsung TV is looking highly appealing. And you’ll soon enjoy prime-time gaming with premium certified controllers across a range of styles and price points to further uplevel the living room gaming experience.

The Designed for Samsung Gaming Hub initiative is undoubtedly just the first of many gaming focused announcements destined for 2023 and beyond. Stay tuned for the latest as Samsung charges forward to conquer cloud gaming on televisions over the coming years.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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