Xbox Chief Says a Streaming-Only Console Isn’t in the Works

Posted on August 16, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Games, Xbox One with 7 Comments

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.

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Comments (7)

7 responses to “Xbox Chief Says a Streaming-Only Console Isn’t in the Works”

  1. rm

    You would still have to pay a lot of money for a steam only console when you can just use the xCloud app on a phone, PC, Mac. I don't think a lot of parts of the US will be able to enjoy games the stream due to bandwidth, throttling because of usage, and latency. Internet only companies such as Google like to say that millions have great internet, but what they are not saying is that geographically most areas do not. So, how can you put a streaming only device in a retail store or online store and expect to not have a lot of mad customers? I steaming only console would fail because of bad publicity along. It wouldn't matter that 60% are having a great experience. Streaming on an existing device, means you just have to cancel xCloud if you don't have good enough internet. Better than paying hundreds for a device that doesn't work.

  2. MikeCerm

    Game streaming on a local-area network barely works if you're not hardwired (good Wi-Fi still isn't reliable enough), so I can't imagine it's ever going to work well over the internet for anything but casual or turn-based games... the kind of games you don't need a dedicated console (or GPU) to play. So it's good that Microsoft isn't working on this.

  3. Rob_Wade

    How is gaming on a phone any fun? I've tried it before. Horrible experience in every way.

  4. dontbeevil

    gladly MS in not apple or google

  5. maethorechannen

    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.


    Seeing as they're getting chummy with Samsung, I wonder if eventually we'll see an xCloud app for Samsung TVs.

  6. ecumenical

    This write-up: "[Spencer] 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."


    From the linked interview with Spencer, literally the sentence before the one you quoted: "Last year we talked about xCloud and then we said we were working on new game consoles, but that's all I said."

  7. MikeGalos

    And this is why it's important that sites are VERY clear about when they're reporting gossip and when they're reporting announcements.


    Anyone care to bet how many sites report this as Microsoft cancelling their streaming-only console versus how many accurately report that the gossip the site pushed for clicks was wrong?

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