This week, it was revealed that Microsoft’s next-gen plans are even more robust than we previously anticipated.
We already knew about Microsoft’s Xbox Scarlett project, which seems to be the overall term being used to explain the next-gen project.
But this week, we seem to be getting news that there are actually multiple arms of Scarlett – and some of them are closer to becoming a retail reality than others.
Thanks to some in-depth reporting from Thurrott (who we trust with everything Microsoft), details about the upcoming hardware products are coming into focus.
“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,” writes Brad Sams at Thurrott.
“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.”
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Next up, we’ve got news about the consoles that will leverage the power of xCloud to deliver gaming experiences to players.
Using advanced network techniques combined with video encoding and decoding, Microsoft is keen to let gamers stream games without having to download 100GB+ files to their devices.
Thanks to techniques researched so far, it’s possible that you’ll be able to get console-level gameplay, even over a 4G connection – that’s the basis of the planned xCloud consoles.
Thurrott notes: “On the xCloud side of things, there is Anthem; this is what Microsoft calls the Xbox One S version of its cloud platform. Anthem V2 will roll out later next year which will be based on a revised version of the Xbox One S that is focused on reducing the cost to manufacture the hardware. And of course, there is an Anaconda Cloud in the works as well.”
Don’t expect these names to be attached to the hardware when it launches over the next few years – Microsoft’s marketing department will no doubt attach something sexy (Xbox Cloud or similar) to the machines before they’re released into the wild.
But that’s not it: Xbox hardware may soon be bundled with services (Xbox Games Pass, Gold, Netflix et al) and rolled out to customers – and that could happen as soon as next year.
“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.
“What this will allow you to do, as long is it is shipped as planned, is order an Xbox One with digital services ‘attached’ to the hardware when it ships to your house.”
It’s an exciting time to be a Microsoft fan and we look forward to the official announcements of these products.