Microsoft could be planning to launch a new cloud gaming system along with a new streaming-only Xbox. Per Thurrott, the cloud gaming system is currently known as the Scarlett Cloud internally, which is in line with the codename that popped up at E3 2018. The report also goes on to state that the company is working on two Xbox consoles. The first one is the traditional next-generation console that most gamers are hoping for, and the second one is likely to be a ‘Stream-only’ device.
The difference between both these consoles will be more of a preference on whether gamers would want their gaming hardware locally available or not. The first device will be similar to most traditional gaming consoles in the market where all the hardware is present locally. The second device will be the streaming box that will provide some baseline hardware to users with most of the hardware available through cloud computing technology. This device will obviously be a low powered one, but the interesting part here is that according to the report “Microsoft thinks it has figured out how to handle the latency” when it comes to streaming games.
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The streaming console will have limited computing power to handle tasks such as image processing, controller input, and more significantly collision detection. All these tasks do need somewhat more hardware locally while pushing the price up, but it will be considerably less than the full-fledged console. The report points out that the company should ensure that the pricing of the console is not significant as it is a good way of pulling in more customers while ensuring that the subscriptions of its online services including Scarlett Cloud, Xbox Live, and Xbox Gamepass go up.
The increased subscriptions will be important for the company as these online services are its primary source of revenue and profit. Talking about how the company plans to take on the latency issue by “running” the game at two locations at the same time, and then using the cloud to “stitch it all together”. If the company manages to crack the latency problem then it will propel Microsoft way ahead of its competition like Sony and Nvidia.
Microsoft is likely to leverage its Microsoft Azure platform to improve the experience especially when it comes to overall latency during multiplayer games. Additional details include the fact that “all Scarlett games will run on all Scarlett devices. Microsoft is expected to launch both the consoles in 2020.