Xbox Scarlett features disc drive, standalone game streaming still coming in 2019

What you need to know

  • "Project Scarlett" is Microsoft's upcoming console.
  • It features a disc drive so you can use physical media.
  • "Project xCloud" is the company's game streaming service.
  • It's entering public trials in 2019 and is separate from at-home streaming.

Updated June 10, 2019: Phil Spencer confirmed that both datacenter streaming like Google Stadia, and the ability to make your home console a free private server, are coming in October as public trials. For comparison, Google Stadia launches in November.

E3 2019 is in full force, and new details keep on coming out about Microsoft's next-generation console plan, "Project Scarlett," and its "Project xCloud" game streaming service. Yesterday, the company revealed that Project Scarlett would be a powerful device that would be capable of 8K resolution and 120 frames per second gameplay. However, other details like if it would support used games and a disc drive weren't addressed. Luckily, GamesIndustry managed to talk to Microsoft's Executive Vice President of Gaming Phil Spencer who confirmed that Project Scarlett would indeed feature a disc drive.

Spencer said the following when asked about the future of physical media.

Yeah, physical discs are part of our future. We know, because we see it, that more and more players are buying digital. We think the experience in certain instances, specifically if I am away from my console and everything is on my hard-drive with the entitlements are all there, there are some scenarios that are easy. But we know that people still have discs. So even when we put out things like the Xbox One S All-Digital edition, we are very clear with the name because I am not trying to confuse anybody, that if you are somebody that has a library of discs, or that's the way you want to acquire the content, then you should buy the Xbox One S, not the Xbox One S: All-Digital Edition which is why we put it in the name... I want to be very descriptive, because I am not trying to confuse anybody about what the options are. I want to give people choice, and right now physical is a choice that millions of people love.

It's great to see that physical media will still be supported in Project Scarlett. It's even more important nowadays when companies like Telltale Games are closing down and their projects are being removed from digital storefronts. However, that wasn't all that Microsoft confirmed during E3 2019.

According to a report by The Verge, Project xCloud streaming is still coming in 2019. We aren't talking about streaming from your console, but from a datacenter directly to any device. This service is expected to be paid like Google Stadia, but other details aren't known as this time.

Senior product marketing manager Mark Skwarski said the following when asked about Project xCloud.

We are scaling the program up globally. We have deployed project xCloud blades into data centers in thirteen regions around the world. We've also started our alpha testing. Many employees like myself have access to Project xCloud... starting later this year, the public will be able to get its hands on the service as well.

Many thought that Project xCloud had been pushed back in favor of using your Xbox One as an at-home server, but that's clearly not the case. I'm sure many fans can't wait to get their hands on the public trials later this year.

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Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.