The launch of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles in November also brought some speculation that they could be the last such consoles released. Many feel that cloud servers that stream games to customers will take over. Indeed, Sony plans to launch its streaming game service, PlayStation Now, sometime in 2014.
But Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer believes that the successor to the Xbox One will still need a lot of local hardware in order to work. In a Twitter exchange with a fan this weekend, who asked if the Xbox One will be the last such console "as we know it", Spencer stated:
@BuldozerX I don't. I think local compute will be important for a long time.— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) January 13, 2014
He followed up that answer with a couple of other comments, stating that while there will be more cloud services in the future, "local power still increases each gen." On the subject of how bandwidth caps from ISPs could affect cloud gaming development, Spencer stated:
The bottom line: Spencer thinks the Xbox One won't be Microsoft's last dedicated game console and that cloud gaming won't be a replacement for a powerful local processor and graphics chip anytime soon.