During a topical conversation about games being entirely streamed from the Cloud, Microsoft’s head of Microsoft Studios Phil Spencer discussed over Twitter that he doesn’t believe the Xbox One will be the “last console” in the impending light of game streaming technology, like Sony’s PlayStation Now service.
A question was tweeted to Spencer yesterday, asking if he thought if the Xbox One, “is the last console as we know it," as far as gaming consoles running games on their local hardware and capabilities. Spencer promptly responded that he doesn’t think the Xbox One will be the “last console as we know it,” but instead thinks that consoles’ local hardware (in rendering things like graphics and / or physics) will still be an important thing for quite some time.
@BuldozerX I don't. I think local compute will be important for a long time.— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) January 13, 2014
The discussion proceeded a little bit further into the idea of games being entirely streamed via the Cloud, where Spencer remained adamant that local hardware will still be useful for each gaming generation, because of persistent issues like bandwidth-cap will likely limit the processing of certain things that would otherwise be processed better on local hardware.
"You can look at mobile, connected to faster networks, more cloud services but local power still increases each gen," he continued on Twitter. "Bandwidth caps clearly an issue, still believe [hardware and software engineers] working together will find local [hardware] scenarios critical."
Unless you have an internet connection with a bandwidth akin to the volume of the known universe divided by zero, there are just certain things you can’t generate and process via a limited stream that wouldn’t be outperformed by moving parts. However, in light of Sony’s PlayStation Now, I reckon I may have to change that attitude pretty quickly.