During the Microsoft conference in E3 2018, Xbox boss Phil Spencer revealed that they have been working on new next-gen consoles, with not just one but two consoles in the works. When asked the meaning of the plural consoles, Spencer mentioned these consoles are clustered under the family codename as Scarlett. According to Thurrott, yes, the codename has two T’s at the end.
As the rumor goes, Microsoft is building two different consoles. One is a traditional console like they have been doing before with the Xbox series. I imagine it would be a step forward than the Xbox One X. This means that you can have an up-to-date hardware where you can play games locally. The other console is where it gets interesting.
The tech site Thurrott reported there will be a streaming box to work alongside Microsoft’s new console. The second console will be fairly hardware-light, mainly because the box only works to accept controller input, display an image on screen and collision detection to shift some computational ability to the local hardware.
Unfortunately, one of the issues prompted in the report is that most hardware functions happened locally so the expected price of the streaming device will be slightly expensive but it will still be more cheaper than a traditional console. This makes sense to Microsoft where they actually acquire more revenue from their subscription services like Xbox Live, Xbox Game Pass and also game sales compared to the hardware sales.
The streaming box idea is for Microsoft to make use of its cloud platform, Azure servers in order to reach for data centres from around the world. In this way, the company is aiming to emphasise further into a subscription-based game distribution version. By pushing the Game Pass, which is described as a Netflix-like platform for gamers into a cloud-based service, users can access their Xbox from any device they like.
This also means that the Microsoft folks have figured out the latency problem with the cloud-based gaming. According to an insider from Microsoft, if you play a multiplayer game in Azure as its central server, you will have less latency issue because the multiplayer server exists closer to the Scarlett cloud service.
Based on the same report, Thurrott stated that the Scarlett game streaming service is moving further along in development than the traditional console. However, both are set to release in 2020. Game streaming service has become the buzzword since this year’s E3 in a notion about the future of gaming. Even, Google is also interested to churn out their own game streaming service codenamed Yeti.
Do you think streaming games through a cloud service like what PlayStation Now or Nvidia’s GeForce Now have been doing for the past years could be the future of video games? Let us know in the comments on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more gaming content.