Microsoft Planning Two Consoles for the Next Xbox – One for Streaming and Another for 4K and VR

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The future of Microsoft’s home console efforts is at the forefront of many analysts’ if/then predictions for VR. Many think that if the company chooses to ignore the space then the future might not be so bright for VR in gaming. But, if the company dives head first into the deep end, VR could not only be here to stay but also ready to prosper.

One vocal gaming industry analyst, Michael Pachter, is letting the world know what the thinks Microsoft is cooking up for the next generation and it bodes well for console VR.

Pachter thinks that Microsoft will be spearheading not one but two console efforts, each with different capabilities and target audiences. One will be geared towards streaming while the other will offer 4K capabilities and VR support. You read that right – Pachter thinks that Microsoft is not only going into VR but dedicating a whole console to it as well.

In comments he delivered to publication GamingBolt, Pachter said: ““I expect a dumbed down console, like the Steam console, where it’s download only, and there’s no hard drive or disc drive…So I think there will be a streaming device, like a $100 Xbox console that doesn’t run in 4K or 240 frames per second. And then I think there will be a more expensive $400 console that supports 4K, 240 FPS, virtual reality. I don’t know if there will be ‘models’. I don’t think you’re going to get completely different devices.”

This, of course, is a slimmed down version of the rampant rumor that Microsoft was looking at multiple levels of console offerings for the next generation. Trimming it down to just two would mirror the current setup that Microsoft has with the Xbox One. Whether or not Sony will continue with the dual-system approach remains to be seen.

On that topic, Pachter said: “Whether Sony does it, I think they will probably have that 4K and 240 FPS device that’ll support PSVR…Whether they have a PlayStation Now device that is streaming only, I don’t know. Maybe there will be two each for PlayStation and Xbox, but I would be surprised if there were more than two, and I’m not sure whether Sony is committed to doing that.”

There is some certainty about Sony’s next-gen effort, however, and that is that the console will have VR. Sony’s PSVR is not only experiencing a mini-boom but also a software renaissance and the company is not shy about talking about its plans for the future of the medium. It’s only natural that Microsoft would want to answer Sony’s VR product but the company has demurred on that in this generation and they could do so again in the next. It wouldn’t make much sense for Microsoft to miss out on a fast-developing segment and the company even has some unique offerings in the AR area that could really make it a competitor with which to be reckoned.

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