It is described as a “family of devices” rather than just one games console, but could that just mean replacements for the Xbox One S and One X, or is Microsoft planning a portable Switch competitor?
As part of Microsoft’s E3 press conference, Phil Spencer announced the acqusition of four independent developers including Ninja Theory, Compulsion Games, Playground Games, and Undead Labs. But he also mentioned “the next Xbox consoles.” Fresh rumors now suggest that next console generation is closer than we thought.
As Thurrot reports, Microsoft is apparently planning to release “a family of devices” under the Xbox name, which is project currently codenamed Scarlett. What’s just as interesting is the timescale, with Microsoft intending to launch in 2020, no more than three years after the Xbox One X.
There are many ways to speculate as to what a family of Xbox devices could mean, but the simplest is usually the safe bet. This family could simply be the Xbox One X as we currently know it joined by a brand new, more powerful console. It may also mean Microsoft intends to release replacements for both the Xbox One S and Xbox One X in 2020.
A more radical idea is a competitor for the Switch. We’d get a new Xbox home console, but also a handheld device capable of playing the same games. Whatever the case may be, it would be surprising if Microsoft ditched the backwards compatibility it has worked so hard to perfect for Xbox One. The next Xbox is bound to have it as standard.
The bigger problem for Microsoft isn’t one of how good the new hardware is, it’s what games there are to play for it. More specifically, what exclusives will it have that everyone wants to play? That’s where the four studio acquisitions come in, all of whom now have just over two years to deliver something that will help sell consoles.