Rumors of a streaming-only Xbox started emerging earlier in July and now we know a lot more about how it might actually work.
According to a report from Wccftech, the Xbox Scarlet Cloud will utilize a semi-custom AMD Picasso chip. In case that series of APUs sounds familiar, these are the same chips AMD is rumored to introduce as its next-generation Ryzen 3000 mobile processors, which have been recently spotted in a few HP laptop benchmarks and even in an upcoming AMD-powered Surface Laptop.
This new streaming Xbox won’t just be powered by a laptop CPU of course. Microsoft will undoubtedly want the chip stripped of unnecessary components and have a custom packaging made for its upcoming console. Interestingly, this new chip is said to offer even better performance to power, which may allow it to fit into an even smaller form factor than the Xbox One S and Xbox One X.
Microsoft is purportedly tuning the APU to run ‘latency sensitive’ calculations, which we assume means the console will be able to render predicted frames in games. This way, before you even move, shoot or press a button on your controller, the game will be ready to animate your action and reduce the lag that streaming games suffer.
AI comes to gaming
The second part of this technology is a piece of software called Project Brainwave, which is deep learning acceleration platform for real-time AI that Microsoft announced last year. This deep learning software will supposedly run on both the console and on Microsoft servers, improving its ability to predict the actions of players in an effort to minimize latency.
This all might sound like some lofty goals from Microsoft, but the company has been making strides into game streaming. Microsoft’s recently announced Project xCloud already lets you play Forza and other Xbox One games on your phone, thanks to the company converting its datacenters to work with its consoles, so the company is already putting in the legwork into a game streaming future.
Between multiple confirmations of AMD’s upcoming APUs and Microsoft’s evolving Cloud architecture, the Xbox Scarlet Cloud is almost assuredly real. Still, there’s a chance this might be all smoke and mirrors, so stay tuned to TechRadar for more news on this front.
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Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.