There's been plenty of buzz around a recent interview Xbox boss Phil Spencer did with The Verge, especially with Xbox Series X|S just around the corner.
We've seen that the Xbox Series X runs less powerfully than the Xbox One and just how epic quick resume is, but Spencer has also touched on the future of the brand.
Up in the Clouds
Given the drive Microsoft has given to Xbox Game Pass, and the progress of Project xCloud - it's apparent that is where Spencer & co. see the future of the gaming.
The ability to have a library of games on the cloud, that you don't need to download, and can be paid for via subscription is the model Xbox has taken up.
This is perhaps highlighted best by the pay-monthly Xbox All Access for your Next Gen console, allowing you to pay for your Xbox Series X|S and Game Pass for a monthly fee over two years.
So what's the next step? perhaps removing the console altogether and a new tier of Game Pass.
In his interview with The Verge, Spencer said: "I think you're going to see lower-priced hardware as part of our ecosystem.
"When you think about streaming sticks and other things that somebody might just want to just plug into their TV and go play via xCloud.
"You could imagine us even having something that we just included in the Game Pass subscription that gave you an ability to stream xCloud games to your television and buying the controller."
Removing the hardware would be a massive cost-saver for both the producer (Xbox) and the consumer.
Brad Sams has stated Microsoft has been experimenting with a Chromecast-like TV dongle, dubbed Project Hobart.
Spencer mentioned the possibility of a "Platinum" tier of Game Pass that would come with free hardware.
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Following the Netflix model of a monthly subscription fee is likely to keep the consumer on board for a longer, especially with the possibilities of whole catalogue of games to choose from.
Throw in recent deals Micrsosoft has done with Bethesda and EA, and the prospect of an even larger Game Pass, without the need of a console, is a terrifyingly good prospect.
So if you are levelling up to an Xbox Series X, look after it - it may just be the final console you have.
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