Microsoft’s already announced its next-gen Xbox console. The company’s Project Scarlett console has been hyped for months, and it’s set for a Holiday 2020 launch.
Before Microsoft made Scarlett official, though, there were a number of different rumors about Microsoft’s next-gen console plans. One of the main ones was the fact that Microsoft is working on two different consoles, suggesting one of which will be focused more on the streaming side of things via xCloud. We later reported that Microsoft had cancelled plans to work on two different consoles, and instead focused on Scarlett.
In a recent interview with Gamespot (via The Verge), Xbox chief Phil Spencer said the company is only focused on Scarlett for the time being. He then confirmed that the company is not planning to build a streaming-only console for now and that they never said a second console was in the works.
“We didn’t say that [a streaming console was in the works]. I think maybe some people thought that that was the disc-less one that we just shipped. We are not working on a streaming-only console right now. We are looking at the phone in your pocket as the destination for you to stream, and the console that we have allows you to play the games locally.” said Spencer.
So what exactly is Microsoft building for xCloud? Quite literally, nothing. For now, anyway.
Instead, the focus seems to be on making xCloud work well on phones, so Xbox users can take their games with them on the go. “In xCloud, we are building a convenience capability to allow you to take your Xbox experience with you. Meaning, that’s why we focus on the phone, and the experience is not the same as running the games on an Xbox One X. I’m not going to say that it’s an 8k 120 hertz thing. That’s not what we’re doing. We’re going to bring convenience and choice to you on your phone.” Spencer said.
Microsoft is planning an October launch for the first public trials of xCloud, and the company has demoed the service recently, allowing users to play Xbox games on their phone. And it makes sense to not build a console almost entirely focused on streaming games. After all, that can be done on devices you already have.