The Xbox Series X is set to be the most powerful console on the market when it drops next month, and will be accompanied by the smaller and more affordable Xbox Series S.
While the cheaper console won't be capable of 4K gaming, it will still have access to the huge library of Xbox titles spanning four generations thanks to Microsoft's cloud gaming service, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
The subscription gives players access to new releases as well as an extensive collection of already-released games for $14.99/ £10.99 per month and allows players to switch between their console, PC, and Android device when playing their Xbox games, raising the question of whether we'll see another generation of hardware; Xbox boss Phil Spencer says the answer is "absolutely" yes for Microsoft.
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Talking to Yahoo Finance (opens in new tab), Spencer calls the Xbox Series X the "most powerful next-gen console from anyone in the market" – including the Sony's PS5 – but also highlights the value of an affordable entry point that the Xbox Series S provides, which is more important now than ever given the toll the pandemic has taken on people's finances.
When asked if fans will see another generation of hardware with the successful rollout of cloud gaming, Spencer replied:
"We're about putting the player at the center. It's not about the device in the middle anymore. You see that in every other form of media; my TV is with me wherever I go, my music is with me wherever I go – I'm in control of the experience and I think gaming is going through that same transformation....
"In terms of future hardware, absolutely I think we're going to see more console hardware down the road. Just like in video or just like in music, it's not that streaming has cut off device innovation. I think we'll continue to see that, and that's absolutely what we're planning for."
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Last year, Spencer voiced his view on cloud gaming after Google Stadia rolled out with the tagline "the future of gaming is not a box". At the time, he said:
"I think that the cloud inevitability as part of gaming is absolutely true. But we have more compute devices around us than we've ever had, whether it's your phone, a Surface Hub, or an Xbox.
"The world where compute devices are gone and it's all coming from the cloud just isn't the world that we live in today."
So expect at least another generation of hardware from Microsoft after the Xbox Series X launches. Sony hasn't embraced cloud gaming to the same extent as its rival, so we'll almost certainly see a PS6 further down the line, alongside the next obscurely-named Xbox console.
Source: Yahoo Finance (opens in new tab)
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