This morning, Microsoft's Major Nelson gave a brief glimpse of what we can expect from Microsoft and Xbox at gamescom this year. Above all, one line has brought out many. Nelson calls "brand new Xbox hardware and accessories" appearing on Inside Xbox during the show, and speculation is slipping that Microsoft may be preparing to showcase their next generation of hardware. This speculation seems to be wishful thinking when we are at the end of a console generation. Despite the prominence of gamescom as Europe's leading gaming trade show, Microsoft is unlikely to reveal the next generation here. There are a number of reasons why we probably have to wait at least 201
This happens with the end of each console generation. Fans begin to theorize what we see next and when we will see it. This speculation is fueled by excitement for the development of video games, but often begins well ahead of time when console manufacturers are ready to reveal their latest creations. We've basically talked about the PS5 and the Xbox Two since the launch of the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X, and we'll be happy to hear any hint that we could see the future now.
Factors of Plausibility
There are a few supporting factors why people hope that we will soon see the next generation. Microsoft is currently badly destroyed by Sony in terms of total console sales. Even the Xbox One X was not enough to give them a better market share. People would not bother Microsoft for writing the next chapter and launching the next generation before Sony. In fact, it has helped give the Xbox 360 (among other factors) such a fantastic lead over the PS3. The downside (for Microsoft) is that Sony can counteract Microsoft's features and hardware by announcing and publishing early. The more inline they publish at Sony, the better they can balance the competition.
Since 2013 we are also in this console generation. The hardware is slowly showing its age and it's amazing what developers can draw from the base PS4 and Xbox One consoles. The Pro and the X could have better internals, but they are still limited by the fact that the basic models must represent the lowest common denominator. Developers can not really unlock and use the power of these mid-range consoles to achieve basic gameplay enhancements because everything has to coexist with the counterpart to its launch model. Instead, we get stuck with visual enhancements like higher resolution and better frame rates. Not bad things, mind you, but not exactly what I really really want from a next generation console.
At E3 in 2018, Microsoft dropped hints on stage about the future Xbox console plural in development. They are aware that everyone knows that there will come a new generation at some point, so they did not shy away from talking about it, but they did not reveal anything. Iteration and innovation are important, but the company also does not want to take advantage of the Xbox One X, which has not even made its first birthday. It would not make sense to announce the Xbox Two – or whatever the next generation of the Xbox would be called – while still trying to drum up sales and interest in the One X. Unless the Xbox One X was a prequel.
What? As you move to the next generation, the One X becomes the standard base model for Microsoft, making the NeXtbox a premium console. It leads to theories that future consoles will be less stand-alone and iterative, and more like cell phones, tablets, or computers that gather support for multiple improvements in the hardware line. Speculation like this has brought us here, and even if the future of the console is so, I still do not believe that Microsoft will announce a new console at gamescom.
No Next Generation Xbox This Year or Next
Being completely fair, there were not enough console generations to come up with a solid pattern of how often we get new technology. Sure, it was seven years between the PS3 and PS4, but it took six years to get from the PS2 to the PS3, and the PlayStation 2 debuted just five years after the first gray console we know and love. With this logic, we actually increase in each generation by a year, so we can not expect PlayStation 5 to 2021 based on mathematical patterns.
The Xboxed page of things gets even more complicated. It was only four years between the first Xbox and the 360, and then eight years before the Xbox One finally came out. Other factors to consider include whether the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X count as console introductions to intervene in this timetable or not, and what the next generation will look like. Does the industry differ from more traditional console versions? This could significantly affect the release pattern. At the moment we are only five years old in the current generation and it seems like it's running at full speed, a strong end just a few years before the release of new hardware.
At the end of the hardware race, Microsoft will not want to announce a next generation console announcement at a noisy event such as Gamescom Squirrel. You will want to be the only conversation piece. Both the PS4 and Xbox One had exclusive events to unveil their new consoles. The new consoles were at the center of all discussions. There's no way to get a full revelation of what's coming next at a trade show or trade show where other things can distract from exactly what each company wants to say through their console. Until the press starts saying that they have been invited to an exclusive Microsoft or Sony event, I would bet hard not to see any next-gen revelations like gamescom, E3 or even PlayStation Experience.
The consoles were also released less than a year before their later releases, with a late release earlier in the year. Sony released its unveiling, with the first release in February 2013, more information on the console at its E3 press conference this year, with a release of the PS4 in November 2013. Similarly, the Xbox One was unveiled at a special Microsoft event in May In 2013, a few more information came on the E3 and in November 2013, this console version was released.
If Sony and Microsoft are again aiming to release releases for the New Year – which seems to be consistent across all consoles – do not expect any revelations until sometime in the first half of the year that they release. With the first half of 2019 expected to see revelations, I think we'll wait until early 2020 before taking a look at the next-generation Xbox and PlayStation consoles, with a release in late 2020.
Other speculation say that Microsoft's "new hardware" is a new iteration of the Xbox Elite controller, which seems much more likely than a whole new console. If we see new console hardware from Microsoft, it's likely to be just a repeat of the Xbox One (maybe a One X Slim?) And not a glimpse of the next five to ten years of gaming. We all know it's coming, and it's coming soon, but be patient. Such big announcements will not be made at industry fairs like gamescom. Sony and Microsoft do not want to be part of the noise. They want to be the noise.