Speculation pertaining to a Microsoft streaming-only Xbox is still persisting and refuse to fall into the ether. According to Brad Sams of Thurrot.com, the project is still very much in development and would be presented to consumers as an affordable, limited-functionality console.
Information about the project is sketchy at best at the moment largely down to the fact that there haven’t been any major leaks but also the fact that Microsoft has thus far refused to talk about this side of its streaming efforts.
Instead, the company used the recent E3 conference to talk about the high-end Project Scarlett project as well as the xCloud streaming gaming service. Both of those things would be huge for the company but it also seems that the affordable streaming-only Xbox would be designed to function directly with the xCloud service to bring those streamed games to the living room.
If Project Scarlett is designed to be the future of Xbox and offer a high-powered, next-generation console experience to gamers, the streaming-only version is designed to essentially be a relatively dumb smaller brother playing an accompanying role rather than taking center stage.
Sams has a fairly decent track record when it comes to predicting Microsoft behavior and suggests that the low-cost hardware is “still being actively developed,” which means that the Redmond-based business hasn’t given up on the product just yet. If accurate, the hardware would be the middle layer which brings the xCloud games to the television set, presumably with all rendering and major processing being handled server-side.
Sams has suggested that he is “hearing this project has not been killed and is being actively worked on” but hasn’t given up the names or positions of any of his sources who have relayed this information to him. We’re sure that Microsoft will provide additional clarity going forward but Sams believes that the hardware could come with a certain level of computation power that would work with the xCloud service to handle specific gaming elements locally to reduce latency and increase performance.
The hardware is expected to cost in the region of $60.00 – $80.00 if it actually makes it to market, with the higher price likely including a controller.
(Source: Brad Sams [YouTube])
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