Thurrott writer Brad Sams has proven in the past that he has insider knowledge of Microsoft and Xbox, with his reveal of Halo: Infinite before the game was officially announced at E3 2018 being just one example of this. Now Sams has uploaded a compelling new video where he reveals new information from sources detailing the long-rumored streaming-only Xbox console.
According to Sams, Microsoft is actively working on an Xbox "cloud console" that would function strictly as a device to stream xCloud, Microsoft's game streaming service. Sams is unsure of when the streaming-only Xbox console will launch, if ever, but he did note that it's more likely to release now that Microsoft has canceled its plans for Xbox Lockhart, and that it would likely have a low price point in the range of $60-$85.
Xbox Lockhart, for the uninitiated, was meant to be a less powerful version of Project Scarlett. However, it seems as though Lockhart was redundant because of this streaming-only console, and so Microsoft is shifting attention to it instead. The console will reportedly be a low power device with the main goal of providing a better experience for xCloud subscribers, with Sams comparing it to Google Stadia.
Sams believes that the streaming-only Xbox will look to undermine Stadia by launching at a lower price. In the video, he also guesses that Microsoft may release versions of the streaming-only Xbox console that are bundled with an Xbox One controller, which would make getting into xCloud "really, really easy."
Sams also notes that it's quite possible that the streaming-only Xbox console won't actually make it to store shelves. After all, this isn't the first time we've heard rumors that Microsoft is making a streaming-only console, only for nothing to be announced. Perhaps Microsoft won't publicly release the streaming-only Xbox it's working on, but we'll have to wait and see on that front.
Ultimately, whether or not Microsoft moves forward with a physical box specifically for xCloud may depend on the success of its chief competitor, Google Stadia. If Stadia is a flop, Microsoft may be less likely to release a streaming-only Xbox console, so it will be interesting to see just how quickly consumers adopt game streaming platforms, or if it turns out to be yet another passing fad in the industry.