Something to look forward to: Back at last month’s E3, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said that Microsoft’s engineers were "deep into architecturing the next Xbox consoles." He also confirmed the development of a game streaming service. Now, a new report offers extra details on the company’s plans. There will be two different next-gen Xbox machines: one will be a traditional console; the other a low-power device made for streaming games.
Thurrott.com reports that the new Xbox will be part of a family codenamed Scarlet—a name Spencer revealed in June. The first console will be a natural successor to the current Xbox One lineup. There’s no word on the kind of specs we might see, but it’s expected to launch in 2020, beating rival Sony’s next-gen console to market.
The second machine will be a lot cheaper, less powerful, and stream games from the cloud. The main issue people have with game streaming is the latency, which can be a problem when you’re playing a first-person shooter, but Microsoft thinks it has a solution.
The Scarlett Cloud box will feature some local processing power, allowing it to perform specific game tasks such as controller input, image processing, and collision detection. This is achieved by splitting the game into two portions, which some have referred to as a slice or splice, with one running on the cloud while the other runs on the console.
Its internal hardware will make the Cloud box more expensive than a standard streaming device, but it will still be cheaper than a regular Xbox. It will also require a subscription, which is how Microsoft is expected to generate revenue, and it's been noted that no games will be exclusive to the standard console. The streaming box is also set to launch in 2020.
It’ll be interesting to see how consumers react to a dedicated streaming box. Game streaming has yet to become the revolution we were once promised, but more companies are turning to the technology, and some industry insiders believe it to be the future of the gaming industry.