Microsoft is reportedly working on another next-gen Xbox console, if reports from two major outlets are to believed.
Two different pieces of hardware are said to be in development, with one of those being the next-gen console that Xbox head Phil Spencer mentioned during this year’s E3 Xbox press conference. Technology website Thurrott and The Verge now both report that the Redmond-based company is working on a ‘streaming-only’ console designed for Microsoft’s upcoming game streaming platform.
“The second ‘console’ that the company is working on is a lower-powered device that is currently planned to ship with the next generation device that is designed for game-streaming”, Thurrott writes. “But the catch here is that Microsoft thinks it has figured out how to handle the latency sensitive aspects of gaming.”
The article continues, “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 it 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.”
In addition to the information above, The Verge claims that sources close to Microsoft have informed them about Microsoft’s upcoming streaming service, codenamed ‘XCloud’, that will power this ‘second console’. Apparently, Microsoft is “currently “all hands” on creating datacenters capable of powering the company’s game streaming service.”
“Referred to as codename “XCloud” internally, Microsoft has been experimenting with combining four lots of custom Xbox consoles into a single server blade for its datacenters”, the report from The Verge reads. “These servers will launch initially with developers in mind to build and develop games in the cloud instead of local debug machines, and then to stream games to consumers.”
The information above hasn’t been officially confirmed by Microsoft, but we’ll update as soon as we learn more about this ‘second’ next-gen Xbox console.
Microsoft launched its 'Netflix' for games, the Xbox Game Pass, last year, and if these reports about a cloud-based console are true, the company appears to be heavily focusing on game streaming as part of the future of Xbox.