Microsoft won’t release an array of Xbox models next year. Instead, the company will focus on a single model that carries cutting-edge hardware while also relying on the cloud for additional horsepower.
The idea is that, when Project Scarlett rolls out in 2020, it’ll serve as the flagship machine alongside existing Xbox models like the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X.
Reports suggest there will be a second, streaming-focused Xbox model as well. Phil Spencer, who leads the Xbox team at Microsoft, says they’re wholeheartedly focused on Project Scarlett at the moment. While that doesn’t deny other reports, it does appear likely that Project Scarlett won’t be joined by anything else at the end of next year.
In an interview with Business Insider, Spencer highlighted that only one model should be expected:
“Last year we said consoles, and we’ve shipped a console and we’ve now detailed another console. I think that’s plural.”
He’s referring to the disc-free Xbox One S, of course. Microsoft had been rumored to be developing a digital-only model for quite a bit, and the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition arrived in early May. Spencer only wants our current attention on Project Scarlett in a singular form, though.
It’s unclear what actually occurred, but Thurrott reported that developers struggled with tailoring their games for two Xbox models that differed so much.
However, none of this should be taken as a sign that Project Scarlett will always stand alone in its generation. Microsoft’s xCloud technology will be powerful enough to stream full games, and thus a model based entirely on cloud computing could be released in 2021 or later. So don’t rule out the possibility once Project Scarlett matures.
We’ll need to wait and see what happens in the next year. Microsoft might be playing coy at the moment, and in reality there could be a low-cost version of Project Scarlett. But, for now, hold off on expecting anything at all and maybe E3 2020 will surprise.