MICROSOFT could be due to announce its plans to set out on a discless, digital-only future – setting the stage for the Xbox Scarlett reveal.
Another week, another leak from Microsoft. Rumours are rife that the company is planning to release a new Xbox console, potentially as early as April.
If chatter turns out to be correct, the new hardware will introduce a disc-less version of the Xbox One S.
With more emphasis on Netflix style subscription services, including Microsoft’s excellent value Xbox Game Pass, it certainly seems believable.
And by ditching discs and going all digital, Microsoft could deliver the cheapest launch console we’ve ever seen.
Of course, the only question mark will be how big a hard drive it comes with. An important consideration with game file sizes growing considerably with every passing update.
The main source of the leak comes from the highly prominent Windows and Microsoft Authority, Brad Sams at Thurrott, who was also speaking more widely about Microsoft’s other consoles in development:
“The name Xbox Scarlett has been floating around since this summer and it represents, at a broad level, the next generation of consoles. As of right now, there are two being planned, Anaconda (which others have noted as well) and Lockhart, which is an ‘arcade’ version of Anaconda.”
“Microsoft refers to Anaconda as Scarlett Pro and Lockhart as Scarlett Arcade. Think of Lockhart as the successor to the Xbox One S, whereas Anaconda is the successor to the Xbox One X. And to toss one more name into the bunch, Danta is the name of the Scarlett devkit that is based on Anaconda.”
“But before those devices and software show up, we will first see Maverick. This is the disc-less console that I wrote about a few weeks back that is still on track to be released next year.
“I believe it will still be released in the spring but as with all hardware and products, plans may change or be cancelled.
“Along with Maverick, Microsoft is planning Roma, which is a ‘digital attach’ feature for the Xbox” claims Thurrot.
Well… this claim seems to have been confirmed this week as new information about the hardware surfaced thanks to an in-depth report from WindowsCentral.
“Microsoft is reportedly set to call the disc-less Maverick console the “Xbox One S All-Digital Edition,” with preorders aiming for mid-April 2019 and with general availability coming in early May 2019,” writes WindowsCentral.
“It looks as though it could be near-global simultaneous launch for almost all existing Xbox markets.”
If this is true, it adds authenticity to the other rumours this disc-less console was attached to above – and shows Microsoft’s commitment to its xCloud project in the future.
Kareem Choudhry, Corporate Vice President and in charge of the Cloud Gaming project has said he believed the time was right for a streaming service.
Which makes sense, with Amazon, Apple and Google all looking to develop their own rival services.
‘We believe now is the time for a game streaming service, people now expect streaming entertainment.’
These comments sure seem to also back up rumours that Microsoft is working on a project that will allow users to access games on Nintendo’s hybrid Switch console, too.
And whilst this seemed like something that sounded ludicrous to begin with, it appears to be growing ever more likely as time goes by.
If Microsoft is looking to move into a more cloud-based future for its consoles, it may well have to compete with Google.
The mega-company has announced it is set to host a keynote presentation on March 19th at 10AM PT in San Francisco for the annual Game Developer’s Conference – and the rumours are worth sitting up and listening for.