Microsoft’s ambitions for the next generation of Xbox lies in not one, but two consoles, Thurrott reports, and one of them is all about game streaming.
The outlet reports to have new information from anonymous sources regarding Microsoft’s rumored cloud game streaming service, supposedly codenamed Xbox ‘Scarlett Cloud’ – specifically that Microsoft will release a second console dedicated solely to accessing this service.
Like many other streaming boxes on the market for cloud gaming or otherwise, this console would likely have very basic hardware inside, just enough to stream games from Microsoft’s cloud servers and handle other basic tasks. The Nvidia Shield, for instance, operates in this very same way.
Of course, Microsoft will reportedly still release a traditional, dedicated Xbox console alongside it with all of the graphics and processing hardware inside the box. Naturally, nothing is known regarding exact specifications of either console in development. The only other known factor regarding either console is that they’re both still slated for a 2020 release.
Looking forward to the fee-filled horizon
Microsoft has tried its hand at cloud-connected gaming in the past with mixed results – largely on account of botched messaging. Now, the firm reportedly seems to have devised a way of bringing this to market that’s both a good experience for players and worthwhile for Microsoft to operate.
It’s reported that the console will maintain parity with its more hardcore sibling in that games won’t be specifically made for either console. The idea is that you shouldn’t know the difference between playing a game using an Xbox streaming console versus using a full-fat device.
In order to do this, however, Thurrott reports that this streaming box will be a little more expensive than those in stores today, but far cheaper than buying a dedicated console. This is because of a bit of extra hardware inside said box for smoother latencies while streaming.
Microsoft’s grand strategy here is to use a low-cost alternative Xbox console as a lower barrier to entry toward the firm’s Xbox Live and Xbox Game Pass services, which drum up the lion’s share of Microsoft’s gaming revenue. It’s more than likely that using this streaming box will require a subscription to either or both services, or a pay-as-you-go scheme will be cooked up.
With that, 2020 is looking to be a massive year for Xbox with an entirely new direction for the company’s gaming portfolio. Now, the only question is whether Microsoft can deliver a truly latency-free game streaming experience, the muse of many that have come before it.