Microsoft has wowed E3 in recent years with new console announcements. In 2016 we got the Xbox One S reveal and Project Scorpio confirmation. A year later, Scorpio became the Xbox One X. At E3 2018, there was no new console to discuss. However, the company did talk about its next generation of device, reportedly codenamed Xbox Scarlett.
Specifically, the company says it is already working on its next iteration of the Xbox. A report from Thurrott.com points to the company aiming for a 2020 launch of the new device.
Of course, the current Xbox One has been with us since 2013 and is now five years old. 2020 will sync up with what we think of as a normal console generational cycle. For example, the Xbox 360 was released in 2005 and replaced in 2013, so a seven-year lifespan for the Xbox One is normal.
However, the situation raises perhaps the only problem I have with the Xbox One X. The world's most powerful console is a tour-de-force, but despite its obvious improvement on the normal Xbox One it was arguably an unnecessary product.
The Xbox One S served as the mid-life console update we have become accustomed to through generations. How will Microsoft differentiate the next Xbox enough from the Xbox One X? Perhaps one way is an all-out push towards mixed reality integration. The question is do gamers need a new Xbox Scarlett just three years after the excellent Xbox One X?
Of course, this is all speculation because no details are available on the console. Although, if the timeframe reported is correct, we may see Microsoft reveal the console at E3 next year. Sony and Microsoft has typically used the conference to announce a new console a year ahead of the hardware's release.
Change of Tactic
Microsoft largely fudged the launch of the Xbox One back in 2013. The company put an emphasis on the console being something of a living room device for entertainment. Sony went all in with a gaming approach with the PS4, speaking to gamers and not undermining them.
It is a strategy that worked for Sony as the PS4 runaway with this generation in terms of sales. Microsoft salvaged the situation admirably in recent years and we expect the company won't make a similar mistake with the next generation of Xbox.