Microsoft appears to have all but conceded the current generation of game consoles to the PlayStation 4 after it confirmed that the Xbox One‘s replacement is already under development.
Xbox head Phil Spencer already said this week that the company is “deep into architecturing the next Xbox Consoles,” and a new report by Thurott.com has Microsoft getting ready to launch a next-generation console as soon as 2020.
Microsoft is also said to be working on releasing a whole “family” of devices rather than just one, potentially under the Scarlett codename. This may also explain Spencer’s use of the word “consoles” in the plural, although that remains to be seen.
If Microsoft does have multiple hardware devices in the works, it is unknown what they will entail. Microsoft has previously been rumored to have a streaming device of some sorts in the works, and “Xbox TV” hardware was mooted to arrive during 2016’s E3 conference. This ultimately did not happen after Microsoft reportedly cancelled the devices that were thought to be $99 boxes developed under the Project Hobart name.
The theory was that they would connect to secondary TVs throughout the home and then stream content from a donor Xbox One, allowing remote playing of games in a similar way to that which Windows 10 users already enjoy.
No matter what the 2020 Xbox launch looks like, we can safely predict that there will be some sort of backward compatibility built in. Microsoft has made lots of noise about backward compatibility throughout the Xbox One’s life cycle and we don’t expect this to change with the device’s replacement.
There’s a huge catalog of games already out there and Microsoft will no doubt make it available on hardware that Spencer assured fans will be at the top of its game, saying “we will once again deliver on our commitment to set the benchmark for console gaming.”
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