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Xbox Two: what we want to see from a new Xbox

The new Xbox has been nothing more than a dream for the past few years. We had hoped that Microsoft was working on the next Xbox, and even suspected that this might be the case, but until recently we certainly didn't know that.

At the E3 2019 conference, Microsoft officially announced the next generation of hardware, in the form of the enigmatic Project Scarlett. With the release "Holiday 2020", Project Scarlett is apparently four times more powerful than the Xbox One X with the ability to run games with 120FPS and possibly 8K resolutions.

However, Microsoft does not confirm whether Project Scarlett includes more than one new Xbox console. This despite rumors that there are two new Xbox consoles along the way: a high-end console with code name & anposonda Anaconda & apos; and an entry level console with code name & apos; Lockhart & apos;.

Microsoft may still be rather silent about the finer details of Project Scarlett, but we do know what specifications we expect and when we see the console (or consoles) on the shelves.

So, without further delay, here & apos; s everything we know about the next Xbox.

(Updating: Microsoft has officially announced the next generation of hardware: Project Scarlett.)

Image credit: Microsoft

What's the latest on Microsoft's next Xbox?

Microsoft has officially announced Project Scarlett at the E3 2019 conference. The next generation of hardware is apparently four times more powerful than the Xbox One X and can boast 120 FPS, 8K capabilities, ray-tracing, SSD as virtual RAM and a custom AMD design processor. It also offers backwards compatibility for all Xbox consoles – that is, four generations.

If that's not enough, Halo Infinite is the first confirmed launch title.

  • Xbox Two vs PS5: predicting the future

Image credit: Microsoft

Xbox Two release date

The Xbox Two (also known as Project Scarlett) starts ' Holiday 2020 & # 39 ;, which means around November / December 2020.

Xbox Two news and rumors

Project xCloud

Although Microsoft's game streaming service is not yet ready for primetime, it is further than anyone thought: Project xCloud, currently being tested by Microsoft employees, can now stream 3,500 games from the cloud with another 1,900 games possible titles in their way.

Microsoft revealed these and other important details in a blog on the Xbox threadand says that more details will be announced soon.

The main points in the post are that Microsoft has a number of games that are already compatible with the service of the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and original Xbox game library and claims that any game published on the Xbox One could be xCloud compatible without any additional work from developers.

To stream these games to customers, Microsoft has implemented xCloud servers in data centers in 13 Azure regions – including North America, Europe and Asia – and says it will continue to build more centers as development continues. .

Interestingly, Microsoft says that developers such as Capcom and Paradox are currently running tests on the servers and have updated their developer kit with cloud-specific APIs. In some examples from Microsoft, the new developer tools offer creators the ability to make multiplayer matches in the cloud more seamless by moving all connections to the same server and allows games to scale the font size depending on the screen you use.

We expect to hear more about Project xCloud news on E3 2019, as the service is likely to start next to the next Xbox.

Pre-E3 pests

Expectations were high at Microsoft's E3 2019 showcase on June 9, and the company helped build the hype by hiding secret messages in its three countdown trailers for the show, suggesting that the next Xbox console (s) would appear .

The first video had the code R55, the second G36 and the third B0. All three were picked up by an observer Twitter user who have decided that they are the RBG code for the color Scarlet, the code name for what is probably the next generation family of Xbox consoles. In a turn-around confirmation of the theory, Microsoft has awarded the Twitter user a free month of Game Pass for their efforts. We now know that the user with an eagle eye was right and Project Scarlett was officially unveiled during the conference.

Patent of cloud gaming from Sony
According to a recently accepted US Patent and Trademark Patent Office (spotted Digital trends) filed by Sony in 2014, the company is working on a "system for combining the recorded application status with interactive video output applications".

In other words, a cloud gaming service that can compete with the Google Stages (or a cloud that streams new Xbox) and possibly start with the PS5.

Players can stream a game via a hosting server. So if you have a device that connects to the Internet, whether it is a mobile device, console or PC, you can connect to that server and the game you want to play is streamed to your monitor or screen, allowing you to play using your preferred input device. Imagine your Netflix for gaming.

Instead of downloading a game, it will instead be streamed directly to your device and you would be playing in real time, eliminating the need to delete games to create storage space on your device and reduce hardware requirements – although you technically would not own the title.

A diagram illustrating how the streaming service would work, included in the patent from Sony (image administration: Patent and Trademark Office of Sony / United States)

Sony also points out that this cloud gaming service would benefit game developers because the service would prevent piracy (because the games exist only on the server) and developers could design games to specifically utilize the capabilities of the service.

But how would players pay for this service? Sony has included two specific models in its patent. The first would see that Sony itself would collect a subscription fee from users and then pay royalties to developers. The second is that the developers themselves collect a subscription fee from players and then pay a fee for using the hosting service. However, neither model specified a price range.

We expect Sony to implement this cloud gaming service alongside PlayStation 5, although the company has not indicated whether this is the case. But it seems that Microsoft's xCloud service will have fierce competition between Sony and the Google Stages.

Sony confirms the PS5
In an interview with Wired, Markus Cerny from Sony has confirmed that the next generation PlayStation console that will be launched later this year will not be confirmed, but he refuses to confirm whether it is mentioned PlayStation 5.

With a customized version of the third-generation AMD Ryzen chipset (8 cores with the company's new Zen 2 microarchitecture), the upcoming console will be able to support ray tracing – a complex lighting technology that until now has reserve of incredible has been high-end PC GPUs. The chipset will also be able to deliver a new "gold standard" in immersive 3D audio, especially for those who like to play with headphones connected.

One of the other major upgrades here is the integration of a customized solid-state hard drive, which would work differently than how you can connect an SSD to your existing PS4.

Sony showed a demonstration of an early devkit to Wired in the interview. During a Spider-Man game, a fast screen to load took 15 seconds on a PlayStation 4 Pro, but the same task took less than a second on the next-gen devkit. It is estimated to be 19 times faster than a standard SSD in terms of reading times.

Essentially, you should expect your games to load much faster on this next-gen console. That said, the integration of this technology can cost a lot, so there can be a price increase.

Since we expect Microsoft to officially announce the next Xbox on E3 2019, this appears to be a calculated move from Sony, especially given that the details of the PS5 became public on the same day that Microsoft officially announced the date on which the Xbox One S All-Digital would launch worldwide.

The next Xbox is more powerful than the PS5 – according to industry invaders
According to a tweet from reporter Ainsley Bowden (via T3"Highly reliable" Xbox and Microsoft information sources have confirmed that Microsoft's flagship next-generation console (codenamed the & apos; Xbox Anaconda & apos;) is more powerful than the PS5.

View the tweet below:

Bowden's claim has not been confirmed, so it's worth taking a pinch of salt. But when a speculative Twitter user asked him about the sources of this information, Bowden replied that the informants "have been knocking on leaks for years".

Despite the uncertain sources of this information, we would not be surprised as the next Xbox is in fact more powerful than the PS5.

The fact that Xbox leader Phil Spencer said last year that Microsoft's next-generation consoles will be the "benchmark for console gaming" is obvious, but in terms of specifications, the Xbox One X is more powerful than the PS4 Pro. So it would not be a huge shock to see that Xbox is again a little more sophisticated when it comes to the next generation of consoles.

xbox one' s all-digital edition

Image credit: Microsoft

Xbox One S All-Digital Edition

Thanks to the ever-swirling rumor mill, we already knew that Microsoft was working on a diskless version of the Xbox One S (called the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition) – a new 4K HDR streaming-compatible console that doesn't work use disks or physical media from whatever nature.

However, Microsoft has now officially released the cheaper, discless Xbox One S All-Digital Edition.

The All-Digital Xbox One S became available worldwide on May 7, 2019 for $ 249 (about £ 190, AU $ 349) and becomes a member of Microsoft's Xbox One family of consoles, allowing it to play the same games as the slightly more expensive Xbox One S.

In fact, based on the specifications, you cannot see the difference between the two when they are next to each other. (Specs include 1TB HDD, 8 cores, Custom Jaguar CPU @ 1.75 GHz, Custom GPU @ 914 MHz, 12 CUs, 1.4 TFLOPS, 8 GB DDR3 @ 68 GB / s, 32 MB ESRAM @ 218 GB / s.)

In addition to the system, Microsoft also unveiled a new Xbox Game Pass Ultimate plan that combines both an Xbox Live Gold membership plus an Xbox Game Pass membership for $ 14.99 per month, available to all Xbox One owners . Just like before, you can still buy Xbox Game Pass separately for $ 9.99 and Xbox Live Gold for $ 9.99 a month, but this deal will save you 25%.

Leaked specifications
Thanks to a report from a French gaming site, we can finally know the specifications of the everyday code name Lockhart and Anaconda next-generation Xbox consoles.

According to a report from the French game site JeuxVideo, two next-generation Xbox consoles will be unveiled on E3 2019 – you may know them by their code names Lockhart and Anaconda.

Moreover, the site claims the following Xbox specifications that were leaked last year, not far from what we can expect from Microsoft later this year.

According to the report, the Lockhart console is the entry-level machine, with lower performance and therefore a lower price. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the alleged Lockhart specifications is that it has a disc tray – essentially it functions as a cloud streaming box for digital games, apps, and other media.

Rumor has it, however, that the Anaconda is much more of a high-end system, with very high performance and a higher price to compare – allegedly comparable to the Xbox One X's at the release.

Both consoles are said to have SSD ' s, which should improve overall performance and load times.

According to the report, both consoles will be available alongside Halo: Infinite in 2020 (which will be one of the generation's launch titles)

So what were the alleged specs leaked last year?

Xbox Lockhart specifications:
CPU – Custom 8 Cores (16 zen threads 2)

GPU – Customized NAVI 4+ Teraflops

RAM – 12 GB GDDR6 memory

Storage – SSD 1TB NVMe 1 + GB / s

Xbox Anaconda specifications:
CPU – Custom 8 Cores (16 zen threads 2)

GPU – Customized NAVI 12+ Teraflops

RAM – 16 GB GDDR6 memory

Storage – SSD 1TB NVMe 1 + GB / s

Image credit: Microsoft

The following Xbox consoles are code-named Anaconda & apos; and & apos; Lockhart & apos;
According to Windows Central, in addition to the extra & apos; Scarlett Cloud & apos; two next-generation consoles expected. Xbox console – code name & apos; Anaconda & apos; and & apos; Lockhart & apos;.

The & apos; Anaconda & apos; Rumor has it that the premium Xbox One X model is being replaced, which may come with a solid-state hard drive to improve frame speed performance, and is likely to see a boost in graphics and all-round performance. The & apos; On the other hand, Lockhart & apos; is the successor to the Xbox One S – and offers a cheaper alternative.

Project xCloud

Microsoft is working on a cloud gaming service called Project xCloud and has recently released more information about the service.

Although Microsoft's game streaming service is not yet ready for primetime, it is further than anyone thought: Project xCloud, currently being tested by Microsoft employees, can now stream 3,500 games from the cloud with another 1,900 games possible titles in their way.

Microsoft revealed these and other important details in a blog post on the Xbox thread, and says that even more details will be announced soon.

The main points in the post are that Microsoft has a number of games that are already compatible with the service of the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and original Xbox game library and claims that any game published on the Xbox One could be xCloud compatible without any additional work from developers.

To stream these games to customers, Microsoft has implemented xCloud servers in data centers in 13 Azure regions – including North America, Europe and Asia – and says it will continue to build more centers as development continues. .

Interestingly, Microsoft says that developers such as Capcom and Paradox are currently running tests on the servers and have updated their developer kit with cloud-specific APIs. In some examples from Microsoft, the new developer tools offer creators the ability to make multiplayer matches in the cloud more seamless by moving all connections to the same server and allows games to scale the font size depending on the screen you use.

Image credit: Microsoft

But regardless of Microsoft's switch to streaming services, the company says there will always be a place for consoles:

"We don't develop Project xCloud as a replacement for game consoles, but as a way to offer the same choice and versatility that music and video lovers enjoy today. We are adding more ways to play Xbox games.

"We love what is possible if a console is connected to a 4K TV with full HDR support and surround sound – that is still a fantastic way to experience console gaming. We also believe in giving possibilities it is up to players to decide when and how to play. "

Image credit: Microsoft

What the analyst says …

We spoke with Matias Rodriguez, VP of the Gaming Studio technology at Globant, about what it takes to get the next generation of Sony and Microsoft consoles ahead of the competition and, at this point, whether the next Xbox or PS5 will look like sees being more powerful.

He told us: "Although hardware benefits such as CPU and GPU are often criteria that people look at when it comes to the business and sales performance of a console, meaningful signals of the performance of a console software include SDK & bindings with game engines (such as Unity and Unreal) and, most importantly, the toolchain with which gaming studios & publishers can build content for the console platform.

"Given this, and statistically speaking, Xbox and PlayStation have been the ruling-supreme console in turn, I predict that Microsoft will take the lead this time."

But what are the most important factors in the next-gen console war? Rodriguez gave us an overview of the attributes that, according to him, will influence the preferences of players when it comes to picking up one of the consoles.

Exclusives
"The first important evaluation criteria that consumers consider when they are on the market for a new console are exclusive," says Rodriguez. "Sony is currently the clear leader in this area with exclusive products such as God of War and Uncharted. Microsoft was short with Forza, Sea of ​​Thieves and Halo Wars 2, but has acknowledged the shortcoming; and Phil Spencer, executive vice president of gaming at Microsoft, went on a crusade to bring top studios ' s of first parties into the Xbox ecosystem.

"His crusade proved successful with the addition of Obsidian and Ninja Theory studio – preparing Microsoft for next-gen consoles. It was also revealed that Microsoft will deliver the new Halo game Halo Infinite, which is expected to perform better than the current one Halo that is in the esports ecosystem. "

Halo Infinite is currently one of the few first-party titles we expect from Microsoft on the next Xbox (except perhaps Gears 5), and while the series definitely has a huge attraction to fans, it may not be enough to play PlayStation players to the next Xbox.

Meanwhile, the PS5 offers the possibility of The Last of Us: Part 2, Ghost of Tsushima and Death Stranding as an exclusive part of the next generation console. When it comes to exclusivity, Sony seems to have the advantage.

Next Xbox

Image credit: Microsoft

Backward compatibility
"Here Microsoft has the advantage over PlayStation in the current generation, because of the built-in support and without streaming as a requirement," says Rodriguez. "PlayStation acknowledged the advantage of Microsoft and Mark Cerny, lead architect at Sony, has been troubled that the next-gen PlayStation can support more than next-gen games, although the details have not yet been announced.

"Microsoft already has the current back-compatibility functionality and seems to be working with Nintendo to deliver Xbox content to the Switch platform, which is believed to be streamed."

Microsoft definitely has the upper hand when it comes to compatibility with earlier versions. As Rodriguez notes, Microsoft has already integrated compatibility with earlier versions, allowing Xbox players to play selected Xbox 360 titles and will undoubtedly implement the same strategy to make the next Xbox compatible with Xbox One titles.

Although Sony has said the PS5 is backward compatible with the PS4, it still lacks the ability (as far as we know) to play PlayStation or PlayStation 2 games – something that would be a treat with players. Whether this is something that Sony intends to allow in the future is unclear, but it currently seems unlikely.

Cross platform / progression
"Microsoft has more openly informed about cross-platform and cross-progression of their titles between Xbox and PC," explains Rodriguez. "In addition, there have been announcements about streaming the Nintendo Switch, with which Microsoft could take a lead on PlayStation."

It's no secret that Sony is not a fan of cross-platform – the only titles that actually offer the opportunity for full platform-independent play between PlayStation and other consoles are Rocket League and Fortnite. Although Sony claims it is "open to companies", some developers have accused Sony of "playing favorites" (via Kotaku). It is not clear whether Sony will relieve the cross-play restrictions, but the increasing pressure from fans and developers can steer the company in the right direction.

In the meantime, Microsoft is quite open for platform-independent gaming, where in some cases you can play between Xbox One and PC, Switch and even mobile. For players who like to play online with friends (without the limitations of the platform that friend is playing on), cross-platform can be an important factor in choosing a next-generation console. With the times, Sony.

Image credit: Microsoft

Streaming of cloud games
"Both Sony and Microsoft have platforms and services to support streaming games in the cloud, so the advantage will be in the form of exclusive content and accessibility," says Rodriguez. "Regarding exclusives and delivery mechanisms, both Microsoft and Sony have solid distribution channels, but Microsoft may seem to have an advantage over Sony by supplying to Nintendo Switch consumers, which may provide access to millions of players who are likely to have a PC or Xbox at home "

Although Microsoft seems to go for digital with its diskless Xbox One S All-Digital (and rumors about a diskless next-gen console), Sony has just approved a patent for a cloud gaming service that will compete with both Google Stages and next Xbox. We don't know much about this Sony streaming service (or that it will be released alongside the PS5), but if that's the case, then it's a game changer and it will be possible to prevent the Stages from losing competition.

Developer relationship / dev environment
"This has been a key element for Microsoft's success as they work to ensure that Xbox development is aligned with game PC ' s development," explains Rodriguex. "This area was a huge learning curve for Sony with its PS3, and as a result, the PS4 has improved significantly in its dev environment. It is expected that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo will continue to offer a solid development environment, as well as an indie-friendly publication ecosystem. "

Perhaps Microsoft is the friendliest gaming giant when it comes to indie titles. The ID @ Xbox program allows indie developers to publish titles for Windows and the Xbox One itself, and the program is likely to advance to the next generation (or a form thereof). In addition, Microsoft titles often run on both PC and Xbox One, making life easier for developers.

If Sony can take it a step further and get the PS5 to a PC level (which seems to be the case), then the platform can become more hospitable to both developers and players.

Next Xbox

Image credit: Microsoft

How is the new Xbox called?

The hardest part of this forward-looking look is actually trying to guess what the console might be called, given the naming progress that came before that. Microsoft will not leave the Xbox brand soon, but the subtitle is a bit harder to pin down. It is unlikely that the next Xbox will retain the code names Xbox Scarlett, Xbox Anaconda or Xbox Lockhart.

If it is a brand new console generation, it would be useful to call it Xbox Two, but at a certain point in time, Xbox 720 created a confusing amount of feeling, so let's not have too much faith in that. We would not be completely surprised by an Xbox Zero – or even infinite – to take a magazine from the next Halo game.

The rumored streaming console can also completely throw away the numerical naming – Xbox Cloud, anyone?

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