Microsoft's Xbox One was originally launched nearly 5 years ago, which means that many are already talking about what its successor will look like. We're now learning again that the new gaming console family will launch in 2020, likely sometime in the fall as with previous Xbox releases.
The console is reportedly being developed under the codename Scarlett, and will be available in two primary configurations. The first console will function pretty much like what we expect from a modern console. It will likely still accept games that can be installed via Blu-ray disc, and will support games that you download from the Microsoft Store. We can expect for this console to pack in a processor and GPU capable of delivering 4K gaming goodness that gamers will no doubt expect in the next decade.
However, there will also be a second Xbox console that will be streaming-only. We've heard rumors of such a console for quite some time, but Thurrott.com says that this console will be ready in time for a 2020 launch. It will spearhead the launch of Microsoft's dedicated game streaming service, codenamed Scarlett Cloud, that will be the gaming equivalent of Netflix.
The streaming SKU won't have nearly the amount of horsepower as the standard console, as the processing duties will be handled off-site. However, Microsoft is reportedly working on ways to decrease latency to ensure that gamers have an enjoyable experience.
"The cloud console will have a limited amount of compute locally for specific tasks like controller input, image processing, and importantly, collision detection," writes Thurrott.com. "The downside of this is that it since more hardware is needed locally, it will raise the price of the streaming box but it will still cost significantly less than what we are accustomed to paying for a new-generation console which should help expand the platform’s reach."
The publication goes on to add, "The portion of the game that runs locally, some have referred to it as a slice or splice, means that the game is ‘running’ in two locations at the same time and utilizes Microsoft’s cloud to stitch it all together."
The streaming version of Scarlett, while lower-priced than its full-featured sibling, won't miss out on anything with regards to the full next-generation gaming library. According to internal sources at Microsoft, both consoles will be capable of running the same games without issue.