The system would depend on an upcoming game streaming service.
Microsoft hasn’t said much about its next Xbox consoles other than to acknowledge than they’re in development. Details appear to be trickling out, though, and the biggest news may be what isn’t included. Thurrotttipsters have maintained that the next Xbox console family, Scarlett, will include both a conventional system as well as a cloud-only model designed to work in tandem with its game streaming service. It would sell for a lower up-front price, as it would forego the beefy processing power needed to run everything locally. However, it would also address some of the latency issues associated with existing services — it might not feel like a major compromise.
Microsoft kept the gaming announcements coming at its Xbox E3 press conference where it announced a series of studio acquisitions meant to bolster the original gaming content emerging from the console maker.
Xbox head Phil Spencer announced Sunday that Microsoft has acquired Ninja Theory, Playground Games, Undead Labs and Compulsion Games. The four studios will add to Microsoft’s considerable heft in first-party game development, especially as the company looks to strengthen its game download subscription service Xbox Game Pass.
Playground Games, started in 2010, is the developer behind the Forza racing series and has been a long-time Xbox partner. The partnership announcement comes alongside the announcement of Forza Horizon 4, a new title in the series.
Microsoft already publishes multiformat games with Minecraft, but as the organisation increasingly looks to expand the reach of its services and subscriptions, there could come a time when it releases franchises like Halo and Gears of Waron PlayStation platforms. That’s according to boss Phil Spencer, who’s revealed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that he’s been given the freedom to reach gamers on any device.
The sticking point, perhaps, is that the Windows maker’s focus right now is on increasing its Xbox Live membership base, and we know that’s been a point of concern for Sony in the past. Microsoft, for example, wants PlayStation 4 owners to sign in to Xbox Live as part of its cross-platform push in Minecraft, something that the Japanese giant seemingly wants nothing to do with.