The upcoming family of next-gen Xbox game consoles from Microsoft featuring faster load times, better framerates, backwards compatibility, and more exclusive games was announced at E3 2018 and is expected to launch some time in November 2020 or 2021.
In an upcoming teaser for GDC 2019, the Game Developers Conference trade show / expo which annually consists of a 5 day gathering for the game industry’s best and brightest, it has been revealed that Microsoft will bring Xbox Live to the Nintendo Switch as well as mobile platforms. This was confirmed by Microsoft who has also recently brought their voice assistant AI Cortana to Amazon’s smart speaker and smart home line of products as a downloadable Alexa skill. These two moves are significant on their own but also signal a greater long-term strategy which could change the face of Xbox gaming forever.
Phil Spencer has been quoted as saying that “for a long time, Xbox was like the Garage of Microsoft”. His aim to re-invent the Xbox brand has begun to take shape behind-the-scenes, but will only truly be felt during the next-generation of consoles games. It takes time to make changes at major companies, Spencer inherited a mess from Don Mattrick whose infamous DRM scandal can be largely blamed for the deficit between PS4 and Xbox One this generation. Earning back the reputation of Xbox with gamers will take time. It also takes a long time for game studios to produce new games, and that’s a big part of what Phil Spencer has been initiating, exclusives for Xbox.
Today, Microsoft has announced their plans for investing in the future of cloud gaming. While they recognize that this new service is unlikely to be any gamer’s main platform of choice for the foreseeable future, Project xCloud is more about working out the kinks and glitches to be prepared for when that day comes that cloud streaming video games are a viable option. Using their massive Azure server platform (which was also offered as a source of dedicated servers for Xbox ONE games), Microsoft will deliver cutting edge cloud gaming through Project xCloud to devices like PC and smartphones. Unlike other cloud gaming services, Microsoft’s xCloud has custom features and controls built for each game.
In a recently published interview with GamingBolt, Matteo Sciutteri of RuneHeads has revealed a few expectations for next-generation hardware currently in development from Microsoft and Sony. As many may know, Microsoft openly announced the Xbox Project Scarlet family of consoles to be in development at this year’s Xbox E3 2018, though no details were yet provided. Sony has been vague about details as well, merely stating that a next-gen console can be expected from them around 2020 or 2021 with a possible name of ‘PlayStation 5’ given by the leading game industry giant.
Current Blu-ray drives found in PlayStation 4, Xbox, and past systems like PS3 are unable to read data off the disc fast enough for gamers to play without first installing their games. This has been an issue now for 12 years and likely won’t be solved anytime soon. However, next-generation game consoles like PlayStation 5 and the currently code-named Xbox Project Scarlet could finally bring a change to the disc drive frontier of modern video games.
A bit of information has made its way to the public through Xbox Boss Phil Spencer expressing his hopes, dreams, and potential plans for the upcoming next-generation of console gaming expected to be launched in November of 2020 or 2021. We will continue to update all information regarding the next-gen Xbox Project Scarlet platform as the next few years should be some of the most interesting in gaming history.
Editor’s Note: Project Scarlet is a code name for use during the development of the next Xbox and will probably not be the final name of the product(s) developed under this frame work. The following post includes the latest information but this project is a work-in-progress and subject to change over the next few years.