Microsoft talked a lot about Project Scarlett at E3 and their Project Xcloud streaming service, but they were oddly quiet on the rumours of a disc-less Xbox Two, which would be focused largely on streaming.
Rumours of this console have persisted recently, buoyed by the fact Xbox has just released an all-digital Xbox One S, focused on using Xbox Game Pass and the Xbox storefront to load games.
However, a new video from Brad Sams at Thurrott’s says that the streaming box is still being developed by the company, despite their silence. In the video, he says plainly “I’m hearing this project has not been killed and is being actively worked on.”
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The price of this box would be remarkably low compared to a high-end console, with Sams estimating it could cost as little as $60, or $80 with a controller thrown into the mix. This is a fairly astounding price, and manages to undercut Google Stadia’s $130 early adopter price for its initial hardware.
This comes shortly after multiple sources have claimed that Microsoft is killing off its lower-tier Xbox Two offering, codenamed Lockhart. Instead, the team are focusing on pushing just a single local media offering.
Sams’ video is worth watching for its conversation of how this streaming box could actually use a little on-board computing power to juice up the Xcloud experience, so go check it out.
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With this in mind, it seems unusual that Microsoft would still be looking for a release on their discless alternative but, coupled with Sams track record of having the inside scoop on all things Microsoft, makes me think perhaps the discless Xbox could come slightly later, or be branded differently to make it clear that it’s geared largely towards the Xcloud streaming service. Could this see branding not as an Xbox but as an Xcloud streaming box?
We’ll have to see what Microsoft come up with, but if they’re trying to unify their gaming platfirm by killing off Lockhart, releasing a budget Xbox solely for streaming seems like it would just confuse consumers at a time when Microsoft want them to spend big on the Xbox Two.