Microsoft rumoured to be preparing streaming-only version of next console


Rumours have surfaced that Microsoft will release a cheaper, game-streaming-only version of its next console, codenamed Scarlett.

According to Microsoft “insider” Brad Sams, Microsoft is readying a game-streaming service codenamed Scarlett Cloud, which will enable the company to sell a considerably cheaper version of the Scarlett console which omits most of the costly console hardware beyond what is required to handle local input via controllers, WiFi and the like.

If the rumours prove correct, the streaming version of the console will require a heavy-duty subscription, along the lines of an extended version of Game Pass. It will also surely require pretty quick and completely stable broadband access, which could prove to be a major stumbling block in the UK.

Sams reckons that development of the Scarlett Cloud device is more advanced than that of the full version of the console – which makes sense, since Microsoft will want to wait until the last moment before finalising the full console’s hardware, in order to take advantage of the latest and most future-proof components. Microsoft has been throwing resources at its Microsoft Cloud platform, but Crackdown 3’s heavy integration with Microsoft Cloud has led to it being postponed until 2019. 

Sams also reckons that the Scarlett consoles will arrive in 2020. As soon as any more news emerges, we’ll bring it to you.

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Steve Boxer
Steve Boxer has been writing about videogames since the early 1990s. His first console was an Atari VCS, and he misspent most of his youth in the 1980s in the arcades. As well as for Green Man Gaming, he can be found writing for The Guardian, Empire, TechRadar and Pocket-Lint. He’s currently having trouble deciding whether his favourite console is his Xbox One X or his Switch, and plays a wide range of games, but especially RPGs (he loves a good JRPG) action-adventure titles, shooters of all descriptions and driving games. Follow him here.