At E3 2018, Microsoft confirmed work has begun on the next-generation of Xbox consoles. During the Xbox E3 conference, Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirmed that the hardware team is working on the future for the Xbox family of systems.
What is interesting is that Spencer said “consoles”, meaning plural. Could Microsoft launch more than one next-gen console, like it has done with the Xbox One X and Xbox One S?
While everything remains a little vague, it’s certainly exciting for Microsoft to confirm work has begun, meaning we are not far away from seeing a shiny new system. Not only that, but big-name publishers have also confirmed they are working on games for next-gen systems. During Bethesda’s E3 briefing, it confirmed development on a two next-gen projects: Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6.
Trusted Reviews has rounded up all the latest news regarding the Xbox Two. We’ll update this page as more information crops up, but for now here’s our wishlist!
Xbox Two – What is it?
We have no idea yet. The Xbox One X only launched in November 2017 and is presumably Microsoft’s iterative upgrade as opposed to a brand-new generation.
The Xbox Two will likely be a direct competitor to Sony’s PS5, which already has a number of rumours circulating about its development.
Of course, with Microsoft having toyed with mid-generation upgrades via Xbox One S and X, there’s no telling what strategy it will adopt for its next console. Will this be another half step that offers backward compatibility with previous hardware, or will this be a more definitive step forward?
At this point, only Microsoft knows.
Xbox Two release date – When could it be coming out?
A potential release window for Xbox Two remains a mystery at the time of writing. Xbox One X was the core focus for Microsoft in 2017, and a reveal at E3 2018 seems rather unlikely at this point.
In general, the games industry is predicting a 2020 release date for the Xbox Two, but with no official word from Microsoft, this is all just speculation based on past trends and what Sony’s product roadmap is likely to be.
Xbox Two games – What can we expect to play?
Microsoft has made a big deal in recent months about making the Xbox platform into a single cohesive eco-system. This has been achieved in part, with the Xbox Game Pass and Play Anywhere allowing you to access a library of first-party content on both the Xbox consoles and Windows PCs.
Knowing this, we wouldn’t be surprised if Xbox Two is fully supportive of Xbox backwards compatibility at launch, embracing all eras of the Xbox brand.
In terms of the hardware it’ll be packing under the hood, it’s possible we’ll see the Xbox Two embrace GDDR6 memory for its GPU (as reported by reliable Microsoft insider Paul Thurrott) as indicated by a recent job-listing for the company. This is a standard of memory that’s not even available for gaming PCs just yet.
Xbox Two wishlist – All the stuff we’d love to see
A stronger exclusive library
When it comes to big-name exclusives, Microsoft has been lagging behind the quality of Sony and Nintendo for some time. Of course, the likes of Forza, Halo and Gears of War continue to impress, but they’re relatively predictable when it comes to the competition. Here’s hoping Crackdown 3 and State of Decay 2 rock the boat ahead of Xbox Two’s arrival.
But even then, Sony has a list as long as your arm on PS4, with God of War, The Last of Us Part 2, Days Gone, Spider-Man, Death Stranding and so many more. Xbox has an awful lot of catching up to do that could take them many years to even be in the conversation.
We’d love to see Microsoft find new studios or bring familiar ones into the fold to develop new and exciting IP for Xbox. Rumours regarding this idea have been circulating in the industry for a while now, so hopefully there’s a little fire to that smoke.
Improved user interface
Despite going through multiple iterations since its 2013 launch, the Xbox One interface can still feel finicky to use. The abandonment of Kinect meant that menus originally designed with voice navigation in mind had to be redesigned from scratch, and this clearly wasn’t an easy task.
Switching from games to download to your friends’ list and back has never been the most intuitive, and we’d love to see Xbox Two address deliver a fully fledged overhaul. The option for shortcuts to specific menus or an easier way to navigate each section would be great.
More dedication to Game Pass
Game Pass has already proven itself to be brilliant value for gamers. It adopts the streaming model popularised by Netflix and makes it available for games at an affordable price. New exclusives, modern greats and classics too can be accessed at the touch of a button.
We’d love to see Xbox Two continue to innovate this model, which we have a feeling Microsoft already plans to do. Having access to the latest blockbusters on release for a fraction of the price holds huge appeal.