The next generation Microsoft console is a family of devices code-named Scarlett that consists of a traditional local console and a streaming box due out in 2020, according to Thurrott, which has published accurate information about Microsoft’s inner workings in the past.
While the traditional console is said to be in the early days of development, Thurrott had a lot more to report on the streaming box, which is said to work with Microsoft’s upcoming game streaming platform.
Scarlett Cloud, as one of Thurrott’s sources referred to it, is a lower-powered, game-streaming device reported to be shipping alongside the traditional console. It is said to have a limited amount of local compute for tasks such as controller input, image processing, and collision detection. A “splice” or “slice” of the game will run locally, and Microsoft’s cloud will “stitch” it together with the game running on the server side. While this means more hardware is needed locally, which will raise the price of the device, it will still cost “significantly less” than what a new console would traditionally cost.
Thurrott reported that Microsoft’s end goal is to enable access to “Xbox” from any device at any time, as the company’s cloud platform has data centers in every major market of the world.
One source of the website noted that Microsoft’s plans may even reduce latency in all aspects of a game, as if a multiplayer game using Microsoft Azure as its central server, Scarlett Cloud will be closer physically to the multiplayer server, which results in less latency.
The website noted that all Scarlett games will run on all Scarlett devices, meaning there will not be any game that runs on the traditional Scarlett console that does not run on the streaming box, and vice-versa.