Microsoft has already revealed that they’re working on the next generation Xbox, and according to reports, it could be focused on cloud gaming.
So here’s what we currently, officially know about the next generation Xbox; Phil Spencer announced at the tail end of Microsoft’s E3 2018 conference that Microsoft is actively working on “architecting” the next Xbox consoles.
“The same team that delivered unprecedented performance with Xbox One X is deep into architecting the next Xbox consoles, where we will once again deliver on our commitment to set the benchmark for console gaming.”
One thing of note is Spencer’s use of the word “consoles”, plural.
This is pretty much all we know about Microsoft’s next Xbox consoles. While Eurogamer does dive a little deeper into the announcement with Spencer himself, there’s little learned about the actual consoles themselves, which is to be expected.
Now onto the rumors. According to Thurrott.com, Microsoft is working on two consoles – which we can already guess by Spencer’s use of the word “consoles”, however, one of the consoles will be focusing solely on cloud gaming. Simply put, it’ll be a streaming console. What this basically means is that Microsoft will be handling all of the processing power and delivering the experience via the Internet.
Think PlayStation Now, but for Xbox.
Now, this isn’t too surprising considering Spencer also announced that Microsoft was working on its own game streaming service that would work on any device. So something similar to the Steam Link, but specifically for Xbox games, makes sense.
Now, one issue which might make this cloud-powered games console a bit of a failure is latency, because let’s face it, our Internet doesn’t perform optimally all of the time. However, according to the report, Microsoft have it figured out. The console itself will have a limited amount of computing, locally, for tasks such as controller input, image processing, and collision detection.
“The portion of the game that runs locally, some have referred to it as a slice or splice, means that the game is ‘running’ in two locations at the same time and utilizes Microsoft’s cloud to stitch it all together,” explains the report.
This push for cloud gaming, or game streaming, is once again echoed by a report from The Verge which states that sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans have revealed that the company is working tenfold on creating data centers capable of powering this service which internally is called XCloud. Microsoft is reportedly working on combining the equivalent of four custom Xbox consoles into a single server blade.
Initially, according to the report, Microsoft is building these with developers in mind to build and develop games in the cloud rather than on local machines, which will be capable of being streamed to players. Of course, with all of this information being unconfirmed, it’s worth taking it with a pinch of salt until we know more about what Microsoft has planned for the future of the Xbox.
What are your thoughts on a cloud-focused Xbox console? Are you into the idea, or would you rather pay more to play the games on a local machine? Leave a comment below.