During E3 2018, Phil Spencer stated that Microsoft is dedicated to bringing Cloud Gaming to many devices. It turns out that one of these devices is an Xbox. And this Xbox will be completely Cloud-powered.
According to thurrott.com, Microsoft’s next generation of consoles is code-named Scarlett. The name represents both new hardware, and a new way of enjoying Games. One Xbox device will be very traditional. It will feature heavy-duty hardware that is capable of rendering next-generation experiences. The second Xbox device will be a low-powered unit that is capable of streaming content to the user.
Sources claim that the Cloud Xbox will be capable of playing all of the same games that become available on the traditional Xbox. The difference is that the Cloud Xbox will be streaming these experiences to Gamers.
“The cloud console will have a limited amount of compute locally for specific tasks like controller input, image processing, and importantly, collision detection. The downside of this is that since more hardware is needed locally, it will raise the price of the streaming box but it will still cost significantly less than what we are accustomed to paying for a new-generation console which should help expand the platform’s reach.” -BGR.com
This news may sound like Microsoft basically saying “Me too”. Cloud Gaming is widely anticipated to replace traditional Gaming at some point. It makes sense that the big names in the industry would want to transition sooner than later. Nobody wants to be the last to join the party.
However, this shift has the potential to be a bigger deal that it might seem at first glance. Cloud Gaming needs validation. Right now the majority of Cloud Gaming companies are startups. They are the little man that is trying to make it big out in the real world. These stories are about underdogs that are trying to claw their way to the top.
While these stories are endearing, they can also create hesitation among investors. Cloud Gaming technology is intriguing, but the cost is extreme and these unknown companies are a risk. It doesn’t take much to bring a small Cloud Gaming company to it’s knees. Everyone is waiting for the giants of the Gaming industry to join the party.
When a company like Microsoft decides to invest in Cloud Gaming, they are making a statement. They are telling the world that they’ve gone through their risk analysis, and they’ve crunched all of the numbers. This Cloud Gaming thing makes sense, and there is money to be made here. This is the sort of endorsement that will help everyone in the Cloud Gaming industry. It shifts the investor perspective from Cloud Gaming being a risk to an opportunity.
More Information to come
Everyone is jumping all over this story in the media. Anytime that Microsoft makes a move, it’s big news. The reality is that we don’t have much to go off of. Very little is known about Microsoft’s new lineup of consoles. You could essentially summarize everything by saying “Microsoft is releasing a new generation of consoles. One is hardware powered, and one is Cloud powered.”
There will inevitably be more details to come, but it may be some time before we know more. Right now the next generation of consoles isn’t expected until sometime in 2020. It is likely that Microsoft will tease more during E3 in 2019.
Also published on Medium.