Despite the rumors, the next Xbox may not make a huge mistake

Though the Xbox One X is essentially a brand new console, it's never too early to begin thinking about the next generation. These mid-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft have left many wondering what the next generation of consoles will look like, and of course, there have been plenty of rumors to tell us what we might expect. Even though Microsoft is said to be putting a heavy focus on streaming moving forward, it seems that may not heavily influence the design of the next Xbox.

First, let's back up a little bit. Several weeks ago, we heard a report that claimed Microsoft was looking to leverage all of the work it's put into its Azure cloud platform for new gaming initiatives. While this has a lot of implications for gaming in general, in the long term we might see Microsoft try its hand at cloud-based game streaming.

Microsoft's cloud gaming ambitions are nothing new, however it does seem like Microsoft has really started to ramp up its focus on the cloud, and it isn't hard to imagine a future where it tries to move beyond conventional consoles. A new report from the folks at Thurrott pumps the breaks on such talk, though, claiming that Microsoft is moving ahead with plans for new hardware in the next generation.

Thurrott spoke to three different sources who claim that the next Xbox will be a console that runs games locally and not just a dedicated streaming device. Couple those insider claims with the fact that Microsoft is currently looking for an engineer with GDDR6 DRAM experience, and it seems that hardware is indeed still a focus of Microsoft's gaming arm.

That doesn't mean we won't see Microsoft push streaming with whatever is next for the Xbox brand, just that it won't focus on streaming at the expense of dedicated hardware. Regardless of what Microsoft ultimately chooses to do with the Xbox brand next, it's going to be a while before we hear about it – Thurrott says that release may not happen for another three years, as Microsoft is currently focused on the Xbox One X.