At its E3 press briefing on Sunday, Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, confirmed that the next generation of Xbox consoles is already being made, suggesting that it won’t be long before we see new hardware from Microsoft. He didn’t share a release date, an image, or offer any specific details, but nearly five years after introducing the Xbox One, Microsoft is finally ready to clear a path for the ninth generation of game consoles in the coming years.
But just because Microsoft wasn’t able to get into specifics doesn’t mean that we have to settle for vague teases. On Tuesday, Brad Sams of Thurrott.com reported that Microsoft is currently planning to release its next Xbox console in 2020. The future of Xbox is codenamed “Scarlett,” but that name actually refers to a family of devices.
Here’s what Spencer said about the next Xbox near the end of the E3 2018 press briefing on Sunday:
The same team that delivered unprecedented performance with Xbox One X is deep into architecting the next Xbox consoles, where we will once again deliver on our commitment to set the benchmark for console gaming.
Jargon aside, the fact that Spencer referred to “the next Xbox consoles” seems significant. Sams doesn’t know if the new hardware will consist of completely new devices or be more in line with the One X, but considering how recently the One X launched, it would be shocking to see Microsoft abandon the platform altogether in 2020. This might point to the Xbox Two (or whatever it’s called) being backwards compatible with the Xbox One. And we also have to take into consideration the “console-quality game streaming network” the company is building.
Be it consoles, phones, games, or anything else, leaks this far out are always worth taking with a grain of salt, even if they come from reliable sources. Microsoft’s plans could change over the course of the next year, and the streaming service may end up taking priority over the new console. Either way, between Spencer’s proclamations and this new report, we know that the Xbox team is getting ready for the future of console gaming.