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Xbox Scarlett Cloud: The Streaming-Only Console is Microsoft’s Risky Choice.

October 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Gaming, Microsoft/Xbox, News

( Microsoft is working on Xbox Scarlett Cloud console which is said to be a streaming-only device. In simple terms, you can say that a “Netflix for games” console is in development. It’s clear that Microsoft is working on Xbox One successor and they confirmed the same at E3 2018 presentation. If we look at the official comments and different instances when Microsoft spoke about cloud gaming and new hardware, it becomes pretty clear that Microsoft is insistent on becoming a “cloud first” company.

Xbox Scarlett Cloud – a console or an add-on?

There’s nothing wrong with cloud gaming, but if the cloud becomes the only way to play games on the Xbox Scarlett Cloud console, then it would be a problem. If that happens, the next Xbox console would become an add-on. It will become a luxury for a majority of players and those who can afford would like to buy it as a secondary option.

Latest reports from many sources suggest that Microsoft will launch two consoles and one of them will be a game streaming box. It means that the console will be purely based on content streaming and won’t come with a local storage option. The traditional console will be a more powerful unit that will sit under your TV and can store content locally.

For instance, if we keep the entire cloud thing out of the picture, it’s easy to assume an Xbox One X successor. And when Microsoft talks about “new hardware systems” like how it did at E3 2018, it’s safe to assume that the company is talking about an Xbox One successor. Interestingly, this is not the case here as the Xbox Scarlett Cloud rumors suggest that one of the next Xbox consoles will stream games from the cloud.

Scarlett could confuse buyers and hurt traditional console sales

In the tech space, when you introduce two similar products and ask customers to make a choice, you aren’t helping them, in fact, you’re causing a confusion. If the latest Xbox Scarlett Cloud rumors are accurate, Microsoft is going to cause a lot of confusion. As far as the marketing is concerned, Microsoft will have to answer many questions. And the questions will not only be limited to the general queries about Xbox Scarlett vs Scarlett Cloud comparison.

People would want to know why to choose this one and why that one. Microsoft can’t just tell people that if they are living in rural areas with a crappy internet connection, they should not buy Scarlett Cloud and those living in cities can blindly go for it. That’s stupid and that’s not how console makers can convince people to choose one product over the other. But aren’t we, as gamers, going to base our buying decision mostly on the speed of our internet connection?

How much speed is good enough?

When it comes to the internet speed, nobody knows how fast is good enough because it’s not just bandwidth that can affect gameplay online, but there are several other factors a buyer will have to consider. Some people may argue that Microsoft has acquired companies that are too good at managing cloud computing and have reduced latency to less than a second. But we should not forget that ISPs are also responsible for network latency. Microsoft can compress the data and release it, but what matters the most is the amount of time this data takes to reach you.

Cloud gaming has a lot of problems that people have discussed many times. We have seen many hardware systems, even in the gaming world we have seen what happened to OnLive, and how the Kickstarter-backed Ouya died. Some might argue that Gaikai did the best as the service is now being used by Sony for PlayStation Now. It’s true that PS Now is doing well in terms of video game streaming but again, it still needs a lot of improvement because when your internet connection lags, even for a second, the game is over for you. And you can’t expect this to happen in racing games and RPGs. Cloud gaming is the future of gaming and there’s no doubt about it, but it would be great if companies implement such plans after releasing the next generation consoles.

One simple thing Microsoft is not ready to understand

The hardware excellence Microsoft has achieved with Xbox One and Xbox One X is impressive. They didn’t handle the Xbox One launch in the way their rivals did, but they managed to repair the damage. We know Kinect gimmick didn’t work as planned and hopefully, Microsoft won’t be doing that sort of thing with Scarlett Cloud, but one thing Microsoft is not trying to understand – more focus on software.

In 2013, they brought a new hardware, the Xbox One, and they introduced backwards compatibility, a software-centric move. They killed Points and made several other changes in their strategy. If we look at the patterns, Xbox fans celebrate software related decisions more than the new hardware announcements. Whether it’s Xbox One X or Xbox One S, what makes fans happy is the announcements like Game Pass, acquisition of new game studios for exclusive, first-party content.

It’s hard to understand why Microsoft is not focusing more on software and less on hardware. Even in 2018, the company wants to deliver the best hardware. If reports are accurate, the company is also willing to use blockchain technology for the Xbox Scarlett Cloud.

It’s time for Microsoft to focus more on software. No matter how amazing console they build, no console maker will ever be able to convince PC gamers to buy some gimmicky hardware. Console gamers aren’t asking for too much, so all the attempt to sell a system with more RAM, teraflops won’t make any difference.

In the end, it’s all about how you see the whole thing. For people with a perfect internet connection, Microsoft Xbox Scarlett Cloud would be a must-have, and for others, a traditional console would be the best choice until and unless we reach to a point where latency issues and bandwidth limitations won’t be a problem.

Staff Writer; Jay Baker

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