Microsoft is readying its next generation of console, called the Xbox Scarlett. We know the console will arrive in 2020 but details remain few. However, this week Microsoft’s gaming chief has been discussing Scarlett and providing more information about the console. Phil Spencer says the device will not be available in a cloud gaming version.
Project Scarlett has been known about for around a year before Microsoft officially announced the console at E3 2019. Rumors were conflicting on the availability of the device. Many predicted Microsoft would launch two Xbox Scarlett variants.
The first would be a traditional console with disc drive and the second would be a disc-less version solely designed for cloud gaming. It’s worth noting this would be different to the Xbox One S All-Digital. That new console only allows users to download digital game. A cloud Scarlett would have allowed game streaming such as from Microsoft’s Project xCloud.
We reported back in June how Spencer hinted there would be no streaming version of Xbox Scarlett. This week, the head of Microsoft’s gaming operations confirmed there will only be one Scarlett variant:
“We are not working on a streaming-only console right now,” says Spencer, in an interview with Gamespot. “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.”
As we touched on earlier this week, Spencer used the same interview to say Microsoft’s focus for Scarlett is on high FPS and performance efficiency.
“I think the area that we really want to focus on next generation is frame rate and playability of the games. Ensuring that the games load incredibly fast, ensuring that the game is running at the highest frame rate possible.
“The thing that’s interesting is, this generation, we’ve really focused on 4K visuals and how we bring both movies through 4K Blu-ray and video streaming, and with Xbox One X allowing games to run at 4K visuals will make really strong visual enhancements next generation. But playability is probably the bigger focus for us this generation. How fast do [games] load? Do I feel like I can get into the game as fast as possible and while it’s playing? How does it feel? Does this game both look and feel like no other game that I’ve seen? That’s our target.”