Rumors about Microsoft’s next-generation console have been flowing over past few months. Trusted sources are saying to expect a 2020 release, but new information suggests fans will be spoilt for choice.

According to Thurrott’s Brad Sams, Xbox Scarlett will actually consist of two consoles. One will be a low-spec device focused on game streaming and the other powerful hardware.

With the dual release, Microsoft is planning to give users a clear choice. Those with limited internet will be able to grab the traditional console, and others can utilize its game streaming service. According to Sams, both devices will be able to run the same titles and won’t have exclusives.

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Crucially, sources also say Xbox Scarlett will fix the inherent latency issues with streaming. It will have some local power for controller input, image processing, and collision detection, with the rest online.

XCloud and Azure Stitching

According to The Verge, this online service is codenamed XCloud internally. Allegedly, Microsoft is toying with the idea of four sets of custom Xbox consoles on a single server blade in its data centers.

Apparently, the servers will initially launch for developers to let them develop games in the cloud before streaming them to consumers. Microsoft will run portions of the title locally and the majority in the cloud, stitching it all together with the company’s worldwide data center reach.

One advantage of this is less overall latency on online games due to the proximity of the Scarlett Cloud to Azure’s multiplayer servers. In fact, Sams says the streaming console is further along than the traditional one, likely due to the need for the most current hardware.

The bottom line is that Scarlett cloud is sounding extremely promising. We don’t expect it to stop producing traditional consoles any time soon, but Microsoft is firmly a cloud company, and its gaming arm is starting to reflect that.

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