Microsoft’s next-gen console plans just got a little more complicated again. Recently, we reported that Xbox Scarlett is now rumored to be a single console. Previously, the word was Microsoft was working on two Scarlett models – the more powerful one (codenamed Anaconda) is still in development, but the more mainstream option (codenamed Lockhart) has been cancelled.
Well, even though Lockhart is dead, Microsoft is reportedly working on another option for folks who don’t want to shell out for the beefy Anaconda version of Xbox Scarlett. According a new video from reliable Microsoft insider Brad Sams, Microsoft is still working on the Project xCloud streaming box we first heard about last year. In fact, the cancellation of Lockhart has made the streaming box a higher priority for Microsoft. Here’s Sams’ rundown of what’s going on…
They have an [xCloud] console box, which is a really low-power, low-latency device that is designed to connect directly to xCloud and give you a better gaming experience. Think about how [Google] Stadia works -- they have that controller, that connects directly to the router, giving better performance and making the experience more seamless. Microsoft has a similar thing, a cloud console box with very little power, but provides a better experience than just playing from a [smart] TV or something like that. It's not quite a set-top box or an Apple TV competitor, but a box that would let you connect an Xbox controller directly to xCloud. The details on this are still murky, but I'm hearing this project has not been killed.
Sams further speculates the cloud streaming box may actually handle some computing, which would take a bit of the strain off xCloud and reduce latency. He also guesses the box would come with a sub-100-dollar price tag – perhaps as low a $60.
What do you think? Would you be at all interested in going the Project xCloud streaming box route? Or is the more traditional Xbox Scarlett console your ticket?