A few years ago, Microsoft made an ambitious announcement at E3, revealing what was at the time knows as Project Scorpio, a console capable of playing games at 4K with 60fps and HDR visuals. The console launched as the Xbox One X and is now 2 years old. There have been rumours of new consoles slated for a 2020 release, but it is only now that we are hearing something semi-concrete about it. It is possible that Microsoft is working on two new consoles for the next release, hoping to attract a larger audience.
Michael Pachter, an American video game analyst believes that Microsoft will utilise the two-console approach for the next generation of consoles. The running theory is that Microsoft has multiple consoles in development with the code names Scarlet, Anaconda, and Lockhart, and will be two separate releases. One Xbox will be a cheaper model, with no internal hard drive or optical drive. This console will leverage Microsoft’s game streaming service, allowing users to get into the Xbox space for potentially as little as $100. The second console will be a more traditional console, capable of playing games at 4K with a frame rate of 240fps. There’s also the suggestion that the console may support VR gaming.
“So I think there will be a streaming device, like a $100 Xbox console that doesn’t run in 4K or 240 frames per second. And then I think there will be a more expensive $400 console that supports 4K, 240 FPS, virtual reality.”
Pachter’s predictions are in line with all the rumours that have been circulating about the next generation of Microsoft’s consoles. Earlier reports have said that Microsoft is likely to release two consoles, in an approach similar to the current one of having an Xbox One S and an Xbox One X, but this time, one less powerful console that streams games while the other, a more powerful console with a traditional setup.
What is unexpected in Pachter’s statement is the VR bit, given that Microsoft had stopped all work on bringing VR to the Xbox One a while back. It is possible that the company did so in order to focus on new hardware, given that there hasn’t been any development from Microsoft in the AR/VR space.
Microsoft has a tradition of keeping its hardware on lockdown when it comes to leaks. In the last few years, the company’s hardware devices have had very little leak-out about them. In fact, when Microsoft sent out dev kits for the Xbox One, they employed a clever painting technique that would help the company identify the source of the leak, if an image of the console or the controller were to ever make it online. Similarly, Microsoft is keeping a tight lid on the next generation of consoles, but hopefully, the company will reveal something this year at E3.
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