"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 want to just go 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 TV and buying the controller."
Will people finally buy in to streaming? They will only be upgrading the cloud to Series hardware in 2021, so this isn't a cheap way to experience the next gen for now. Sony had offered this via Smart TV app and PS3 controller in the past for PSNow, but the option was discontinued.
Microsoft's rumored hybridized solution could set Project xCloud apart, leveraging the strengths of both local and cloud gaming. Such a system could see inputs, image processing, physics, and other latency-sensitive components processed locally while demanding elements are handled by the cloud.
This isn't Microsoft's first attempt at offloading processing to the cloud, as demonstrated by "Kahawai," a Microsoft Research and Duke University collaboration. The project aimed to split processing between mobile devices and cloud servers, primarily aiming to reduce bandwidth requirements. Dubbed "collaborative rendering," this allows devices to create a "rough sketch," while GPU-intensive textures and shaders pull from the cloud.
Previously, it was speculated MS could be doing local processing to increase responsiveness. Will they use this idea or just make a basic video streaming stick?