Microsoft’s head of Xbox and gaming, Phil Spencer, has shut down rumors that a streaming-only console is in the works while saying that he believes traditional consoles are not going to be replaced by cloud-based systems, yet.
Spencer officially announced Project Scarlett at E3 2018, confirming that Microsoft is already working on the next-generation system. He later confirmed that there was only one version in development, dispelling reports that a second, less-powerful console will be released.
However, rumours since surfaced that Microsoft is also working on a streaming-only Xbox, which would take advantage of its Project xCloud game streaming technology. According to Thurrott’s Brad Sams, the console may be priced lower and sold as a cheaper option for mainstream gamers who do not want to purchase the premium-priced Project Scarlett.
In an interview with GameSpot, Spencer laid the rumours to rest.
“We are not working on a streaming-only console right now,” said Spencer, adding that Microsoft’s plan is to use smartphones as a streaming destination, while the upcoming Project Scarlett console will be for playing games locally.
“The world where compute devices are gone and it’s all coming from the cloud just isn’t the world that we live in today,” according to Spencer. Using the cloud will still require devices, but for now, Microsoft is apparently not working on an Xbox console that will focus solely on taking advantage of the technology.
Project xCloud will use the hardware of Microsoft’s Azure datacenters to render gaming experiences remotely, then stream them to devices. No price has been revealed for the service, but public trials are set to start in October.