Microsoft Readying Two Next-Gen Consoles, XCloud Streaming

Credit Onlive

Credit Onlive

Microsoft will obviously be charging some sort of fee for the service, letting the company tap into yet another rich service-based revenue stream. At that time, I noted that this new console is a family of devices and was going by the name of Scarlett.

Several titles are arriving on the scene as part of this month's Deals With Gold offerings.

From what Thurrott has heard, all next-gen games will work across both devices, so you don't have to worry about missing out on higher spec games if you choose the lower spec console. Also included is the Spotlight sale, which includes games like Screencheat (67% off) and Western Press (75% off).

Microsoft is reportedly preparing a brace of hardware options for 2020, including a new standalone Xbox console - call it Xbox Next, since the company's numbering scheme is tied to phases of the moon, astrological signs, and where LeBron James is playing (as near as we can tell). For the next generation of hardware, Microsoft is going to act more like Nintendo and try something a bit different. But this time, Microsoft has a path to bring it to market. The idea is to have it stream games from Microsoft's cloud service, while handling certain tasks locally so as to better tackle latency issues - controller input, image processing, and collision detection.

Its internal hardware will make the Cloud box more expensive than a standard streaming device, but it will still be cheaper than a regular Xbox. Microsoft has been throwing resources at its Microsoft Cloud platform, but Crackdown 3's heavy integration with Microsoft Cloud has led to it being postponed until 2019.

Scarlett Cloud, as one of Thurrott's sources referred to it, is a lower-powered, game-streaming device reported to be shipping alongside the traditional console. Work has also been done on the network side of things over at Microsoft with the Scarlett Cloud servers being positioned next to Microsoft's Asure network to reduce latency in multiplayer. In fact, Sams reports that every Scarlett game will run on every Scarlett device, so streaming gamers won't be left out.

Most famously, the independent Onlive console began pre-orders in 2010 and had a semi-successful run before running out of steam; it played games available on PC including Mafia 2 with relatively minimal problems in the way of lag.

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