Back in July, a report surfaced that Microsoft was not just working on one next-gen Xbox system, but two. Said report purported that in addition to a more traditional console, Microsoft was gearing up to offer a cheaper alternative that was a streaming-only system.
Now, industry analyst Michael Pachter has chimed in with his thoughts on what Microsoft has cooking for next-gen, and he has echoed the aforementioned report.
“I expect a dumbed down console, like the Steam console, where it’s download only, and there’s no hard drive or disc drive,” said Pachter while speaking to GamingBolt. “So I think there will be a streaming device, like a $100 Xbox console that doesn’t run in 4K or 240 frames per second. And then I think there will be a more expensive $400 console that supports 4K, 240 FPS, virtual reality. I don’t know if there will be ‘models’. I don’t think you’re going to get completely different devices.”
Recently, a rumor was floating around that there would actually be four variants offered by Microsoft next-gen, but the two-variant report has been regurgitated more, further it has a bit more credibility. And as you can see, it's a report Pachter subscribes to.
However, while Pachter thinks Microsoft is adopting a two-system approach to next-gen, he isn't so sure Sony will.
“Whether Sony does it, I think they will probably have that 4K and 240 FPS device that’ll support PSVR,” said Pachter. “Whether they have a PlayStation Now device that is streaming only, I don’t know. Maybe there will be two each for PlayStation and Xbox, but I would be surprised if there were more than two, and I’m not sure whether Sony is committed to doing that.”
Of course, all of this should be taken with a grain of salt, like any speculation. Pachter has been spot on with his analysis in the past, but he's also been wrong. If I was a betting man, I'd say he's correct here, but I'm not a betting man, and it's not something I would bet on.
Anyway, let us know what you think. What are Microsoft and Sony's plans for next-gen?