While the Xbox One X is still reigning supreme for sheer horsepower in next-gen consoles, Microsoft is already teasing when the next Xbox could be hitting the video game market.
There has already been great debate over Sony ruling the roost with its titles like God of War, Insomniac's Spider-Man, The Last of Us Part 2, and Death Stranding, but boss Phil Spencer still promises Microsoft has plenty up its sleeve. Many thought this was just some new exclusives for the Xbox One X, but recent leaks have suggested that everyone is already hard at work on the console's successor.
The Xbox One X was only unveiled at last year's E3, and while no one should expect some sort of super-advanced next-next-gen console to make it to this year's expo, sources at Thurrott suggest Microsoft is already plotting its console future. The site notes that while everyone is looking to a sci-fi world where consoles are replaced in favor of cloud gaming, the technology isn't quite there yet. With the likes of Sony and Microsoft squeezing out at least one more console before gamers play from the ether, the system has a tentative release date:
"I’ve heard that within three years is a realistic possibility; the company is not currently in a rush to replace the Xbox One X as it has a significant horsepower advantage when compared to the current offering from Sony."
Even with consoles spanning around seven years and a push towards cloud-streaming presumably coming within that period, Microsoft alludes that it will still work on its dedicated hardware for games to be played on. The timeframe of "the next three years" would put the mysterious console in line with Sony's promise that the PlayStation 5 won't be coming before 2020, but who will get there first?
Other details from Thurrott reaffirm a step up from the Xbox One's GDDR5 memory to hire someone with GDDR6 expertise and the fact that the console will be forward and backwards compatible. Given that Microsoft has one of the most impressive backwards compatibility schemes out there, gamers can expect the library to grow. Cloud gaming may be the way that the industry eventually heads, but for the foreseeable future, the likes of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are still striving to work on what they are known best for.
As the Nintendo Switch does its own thing for the family-friendly market and its amazing exclusives like Mario and Zelda, Sony and Microsoft arguably occupy a much more competitive market. The Xbox One X nudged ahead of the PS4 Pro to become the most powerful console in the history of the industry, so the big question is, can Microsoft do it again? Either way, as the world of video games looks ahead to this year's E3 offerings, it sounds like everyone is in for a bit of a wait before Xbox and PlayStation lock horns all over again.