Microsoft’s grand plans to have a game streaming platform is slowly taking shape with information currently available pointing to the company working on a new cloud-ready console that goes by the codename Scarlett. Though complete details aren’t available at the moment though what is known is that the console will have a lower upfront cost and will log onto the cloud to allow for game playing.
The distinct advantage with a cloud-ready console is that it won’t need to have an extravagant hardware setup to allow for a hitch-free game playing experience as most of the processing would be taking place in the cloud. That way, the device won’t be as expensive as say a conventional console that does all its processing locally.
However, the Scarlett does come with a completely different challenge, that of tackling latency aspects that one normally would come to associate with such a setup. Also, it would be wrong to say the Scarlett will have all its processing tasks relegated to the cloud. Rather, the console will have enough processing to deal with image processing, controller input, collision detection and so on.
In fact, the game would actually be playing simultaneously at two locations, at the device locally and at the cloud. It would be up to specialized software at the cloud that would be tasked to stitch the two portions together to allow for a seamless playing experience. And with data centers spread all across the world at strategic locations, Microsoft shouldn’t have any issues in allowing for effortless game playing.
Microsoft had first shown its take on online game streaming service back in 2013 at its employees meet. Since then we have had a couple of Xbox devices of the conventional types hitting markets though what is amply evident is that work on the Netflix type game streaming platform were never off track. That said, it shouldn’t be until 2020 for the Scarlett to reach markets, accompanied by the conventional new gen Xbox console even though there is nothing that we know of the upcoming new console at the moment.
As for games, sources point out that there won’t be any discrimination on the basis of consoles. In other words, things would be so designed to allow every device to play every game effortlessly. However, the cloud-based game streaming service will have a subscription model for users to play the games.
In fact, it is the subscription model that Microsoft expects will be the biggest draw to lure gamers to hook on to the service. No doubt there will also be a Netflix type eat-as-much-as-you-can sort of a model as well though it remains to be seen if there would be enough takers for it.