You may recall that Xbox chief Phil Spencer casually mentioned that Microsoft was currently developing new consoles – emphasis on the plural. Quite a bit of speculation soon followed; was Microsoft working on multiple SKUs of the same system or perhaps planning for a mid-gen refresh like we saw with the Xbox One X? Writer Brad Sams over at insider website Thurrott.com may have shed some light on the mystery. He claims that Microsoft is working on two different models of the next Xbox console. Both of these systems will belong to the hardware family that is code-named “Scarlett”.
Those of you who prefer the traditional console approach – playing your games locally on your system – will be glad to know that is still supporting that model. You will still be able to buy your games, install them on your new system and play them just like you do now. Specifications for this console have not yet been finalized but Microsoft is said to be aiming for a launch in 2020.
However, Microsoft is also said to be working on another Xbox console that will just be for streaming games. Microsoft apparently believes they have solved many of the issues that currently hamper streaming games such as latency. Part of the solution involves the player downloading a portion of the game that will run locally which means the streaming console will sport some kind of hard drive and a relatively low-powered chipset. Put simply, this console will run the game while Microsoft’s cloud network runs the same game simultaneously. Both versions of the game will be blended together as you play it. The streaming console will cost much less than a typical game system.
The streaming Xbox Scarlett console is thought to be further along in development than its more powerful counterpart though they should both be available by 2020. Both consoles will run all Scarlett games; the only difference is how the games are delivered to each system.