Sony may have decided to skip the video game industry’s largest annual expo this year, but Microsoft plans to be back at E3 2019 with its usual blow-out press conference. And now, French gaming news outlet JeuxVideo is reporting that Microsoft plans to discuss its next-gen Xbox lineup as well.
We likely won’t get pricing details or product names, the report states, but we’ll certainly get some official confirmation of the two devices Microsoft is planning to release next year. The news lines up with the company’s slow and steady approach to unveiling its future console roadmap following the launch of the Xbox One X in fall 2017.
At last year’s E3, Microsoft unveiled the next iteration of Halo, to be called Halo Infinite, and also confirmed the rumors that it was officially working on a game streaming service for Xbox consoles that would also work across Windows PCs and mobile phones. (A report from just yesterday also has that cloud service coming to the Nintendo Switch.) In contrast to Sony’s more tight-lipped approach to next-gen hardware and services, Microsoft has already come out and revealed the name of the cloud service to be xCloud, with public trials starting this year.
Last December, the codenames for Microsoft’s new consoles apparently leaked, with one called Anaconda and another Lockheart under a new two-console development strategy codenamed “Scarlett.” Microsoft is reportedly taking its existing Xbox One S / One X “good/better” approach and apply that to its new generation as well, so there will be two console options for people at launch.
Other rumors have the higher-end Anaconda containing a solid state drive, and the lower-end Lockheart potentially coming in a disc-less variant to compliment xCloud alongside a new disc-to-digital initiative that would let consumers transfer over physical libraries. Additionally, JeuxVideo is reporting that, as rumored, the newest Xbox devices will be fully backwards compatible with the current generation of hardware, and that Halo Infinite will be a launch title across the Xbox One X / One S and the new consoles.
So we may know a fair bit about Microsoft’s approach here, and it makes a lot of sense now that E3 2019 will be the company’s big opportunity to kick off the next-gen conversation, especially with Sony absent. (We know much less about Sony’s next-gen approach, but we still have enough information to speculate what the PlayStation 5 will be like.) Both Microsoft and Sony’s new hardware items are expected to launch in the fall of 2020, marking seven full years of the current generation.
By Nick Statt