Phil Spencer has said Microsoft has no plans to release more than one next gen console and that a streaming-only future is a long way off.
Streaming is clearly the future of gaming, but the question is exactly how far off that future is – even with Google Stadia and Microsoft’s Project xCloud due to launch this year.
Despite what you might imagine, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has recently been downplaying the inevitable takeover of streaming, including in a recent interview with GameSpot.
‘I think this is years away from being a mainstream way people play’, he said. ‘And I mean years, like years and years.’
Spencer is no doubt trying to lessen expectations for Project xCloud when it launches, whose performance will be very much limited by your local broadband infrastructure.
In the short term that means it’s not going to be a replacement for playing on a console, at least not for everyone, so unlike Google he can simply suggest people buy a normal Xbox instead.
Microsoft’s next gen console is codenamed Project Scarlett and is expected out sometime late next year, but there were rumours that they’d also release a streaming-only version – which presumably would’ve been little more than a controller and a TV adapter, since the whole point of streaming is that you don’t need any other hardware.
Google do offer such a package for Stadia – the expensive Founder’s Pack – but according to Spencer, ‘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’, he added.
The rumours grew in part because Spencer had previous implied, at E3 2018, that the company had multiple next gen consoles in development, although more recently that plan seems to have been abandoned in favour of just one launch model.
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