Xbox boss ‘unsure if Scarlett will be last console’

Best way to play high-fidelity games “for years is going to be with a local device”

Microsoft‘s Phil Spencer has said he’s unsure if the next-gen Xbox, Project Scarlett, will be the company’s last console.

The platform holder revealed new Project Scarlett details during its E3 briefing on Sunday, including plans to launch the console next year alongside Halo Infinite.

“Honestly, I don’t know,” Xbox boss Spencer told CNET when asked if Scarlett will be Microsoft’s last console. “When I look, even in a world of streaming, and xCloud, and let’s say streaming of any other form of media that’s out there — music, video — the number of compute devices around us hasn’t gone down; it’s gone up.

“I think this idea that as we become connected, the number of devices around us goes down isn’t the truth that I see in my world today.”

Spencer added: “I think what I see is streaming is going to enable this high-quality content to hit more screens around you. And I actually don’t think that’s going to lead to fewer screens around you.

“Different people will say different things on this, but the truth of the matter is that the best way for you to play a high-fidelity video game for years is going to be with a local device.”

While Microsoft is investing heavily in streaming technology and preparing to launch its xCloud service this October, Spencer said this week that Scarlett will feature a disc drive.

His comments about future hardware generations echo those of PlayStation boss Jim Ryan, who also said recently he was unsure if PS5 will be Sony’s last console.

It seems safe to say Sony and Microsoft are preparing for a potential hybrid model between console and cloud gaming.

The two companies recently announced a strategic partnership that’s expected to result in the PlayStation maker using Microsoft Azure data centres for cloud gaming and content streaming services.