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Two New Versions of Next-Generation Xbox Revealed

Masiv / Jul 23, 2018

One of the most surprising moments of E3 2018 was when Phil Spencer mentioned that the next-generation of Xbox consoles were already in development and codenamed Scarlet. No further details were shared beyond that, but a new report may give fans a better idea of what to expect from Scarlet and the future of Xbox.

Thurrott reports that Microsoft plans on launching two distinct versions of the next-generation Xbox. One version will be a traditional home console that will play games locally, but the other will be a cloud-based streaming box that has been referred to as Scarlet Cloud. The cloud-based Xbox console will be made to stream games from Microsoft’s upcoming game streaming service, and will reduce latency by running games both locally and through the cloud.

Whether players choose to purchase the traditional version of Scarlet or Scarlet Cloud shouldn’t make a difference in terms of what content they can access. Both Scarlet and Scarlet Cloud (and apparently other devices as well, such as PCs) will have access to Microsoft’s game streaming service, which will presumably be an evolution of the Xbox Game Pass that currently requires players to download each title individually.

In its report, Thurrott also reiterated that Microsoft is looking to release the next-generation Xbox consoles in 2020. Since Microsoft has already started teasing the next-generation of Xbox hardware, 2020 does seem like a reasonable release year. Depending on when in 2020 Microsoft plans on launching the Scarlet family of consoles, we may even get some concrete details at E3 2019 next summer.


Can the locally console do both?
It's unclear at this early stage. My guess would be that the local console would have to download the entire game from the streaming service to play, whereas the cloud box already has some or most of the game stored and has to download much less to play. The article did say that both versions could access the same content.

It's very early still. I'm sure we will learn more in the coming months.
Biker Bear
Anxious to see what reality brings. I will be buying "a" version. My issue with cloud is that it is only as good as your internet IMO.
As seen in past Xbox consoles, I expect an AMD graphics processing unit (GPU) to be used. The Xbox team is also sourcing an electrical engineer specialized in GDDR6 according to a career listing, indicating it plans to use this faster, more efficient graphics memory going forward. This signals a substantial GPU upgrade is on the way, with an accompanying central processing unit (CPU) boost assumed too.

Microsoft is yet to confirm a launch window for the next Xbox consoles, though multiple reports indicate the team is targeting 2020. This would position the revisions three years after the launch of Xbox One X, and shortly ahead of Sony's PlayStation 5 scheduled for 2021. If true, there may be talk of Xbox Scarlett at E3 2019.
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