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Xbox Series X won’t be Microsoft’s last console — here’s why

(Image credit: Microsoft)

More Xbox consoles will be made by Microsoft in the future, despite the shift toward digital platforms and game streaming. 

With the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S due to launch on November 10, there has been speculation over whether they could be the last consoles Microsoft ever makes. But Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, told Yahoo! Finance that this will not be the case. 

"In terms of future hardware, absolutely I think we're going to see more console hardware down the road," Spencer explained. "Just like in video, just like in music, it's not that streaming has cut off device innovation. I think we'll continue to see that, and that's absolutely what we're planning for."

There has been speculation bubbling away for a while now that the upcoming Xbox consoles and the PS5 could be the swansong of gaming console hardware, with a move towards game streaming taking over. 

We’ve seen services such as Google Stadia work to make cloud-powered game streaming a viable alternative to console gaming. And now Amazon, the company with the largest cloud infrastructure in the world, is entering the fray with Amazon Luna. Microsoft has also been working on game streaming via Project xCloud, which is now part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and allows for Xbox games to be streamed to phones and tablets.

Given Microsoft is also a huge provider of cloud-based software and services, it wouldn’t be surprising that it decided to eschew console hardware and go all-in with game streaming and the digital delivery of its Xbox games. Sony, as a more traditional electronic company, appears to be more hardware-centric than Microsoft. 

However, it looks like Microsoft will still be making Xbox hardware for the foreseeable future. This would be in keeping with the company’s efforts to make Xbox into an ecosystem whereby you can game anywhere on whatever device you want, with the latest and greatest console hardware being one facet of that. 

Judging by how quickly Xbox Series X pre-orders and PS5 pre-orders sold out, there’s certainly still an appetite for new console hardware.