Speaking of streaming, here's Paul Thurrott with details on a new gaming service that Microsoft is cooking up:
Microsoft doesn’t typically make much money on the hardware sales but they do on things like Xbox Live, Xbox Gamepass, and game sales. If Microsoft can create a next-gen console that requires lower up-front payment and longer subscription payments (remember, all games will run in the cloud, so you will need to pay ‘something’ to access them), this is a huge win for Xbox and Microsoft.
The portion of the game that runs locally, some have referred to it as a slice or splice, means that the game is ‘running’ in two locations at the same time and utilizes Microsoft’s cloud to stitch it all together.
The benefit here is that Microsoft’s cloud platform reaches around the globe with data centers in every major market. This makes streaming the games platform available globally but this also likely means that it can run on any type of device. Of course, Microsoft would love you to buy their hardware but the company’s end-goal is that you can access ‘Xbox’ from any device, anywhere and Scarlett Cloud is looking to deliver on this idea.
One person familiar with Microsoft’s plans said that this may reduce latency in all aspects of the game as well. If a multiplayer game is using Azure as it’s central server, Scarlett Cloud console will be closer physically to the multiplayer server resulting in less latency.
Streaming games from the cloud to an "edge" console has long been touted as the future of gaming. Unfortunately, it just hasn't really worked over the past decade-plus. But Microsoft has a unique advantage here given all the resources poured into their Azure Cloud over the years, and the scale at which it operates now. What if after years of being beaten badly by Sony, they rise up out of seemingly nowhere for the final finishing move? It doesn't sound that crazy.Read more...