e3 News: The fu­ture of xbox

Mi­crosoft is al­ready work­ing on the next gen­er­a­tion of con­soles ahead of any­one else

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - CONTENTS -

What a show. This year’s E3 was ab­so­lutely phe­nom­e­nal, and lead­ing the pack was Mi­crosoft, cham­pi­oning 50-plus games, in­clud­ing 18 exclusives and 15 world pre­mieres on their stage. There were so many games an­nounced it was a strug­gle to fit them all in the mag, but it all goes to show just how bright the fu­ture of Xbox is look­ing. There was a real sense of ex­cite­ment when leav­ing the show, and a feel­ing of all gamers shar­ing in that to­gether. We’ve got Gears 5 and Forza Hori­zon 4 to look for­ward to in the com­ing months, but what has us most ex­cited is what’s in store even fur­ther in the fu­ture.

It was only men­tioned very briefly, but Mi­crosoft is al­ready hard at work on the next gen­er­a­tion of con­soles. “The same team that de­liv­ered un­prece­dented per­for­mance with Xbox One X is deep into ar­chi­tect­ing the next Xbox con­soles, where we will once again de­liver on our com­mit­ment to set the bench­mark for con­sole gam­ing,” head of Xbox Phil Spencer said while up on stage at the con­fer­ence.

What does that mean? Since work is al­ready un­der­way, it sounds like we won’t have too long to wait un­til we’re playing with an even more pow­er­ful con­sole than the Xbox One X. While we doubt any­thing will be ready for next year with so lit­tle teased, the year 2020 feels like it’d be a great time to launch a con­sole—it’d be seven years af­ter the first Xbox One ap­peared on shelves which is a great length for a con­sole gen­er­a­tion. That, cou­pled with a few other an­nounce­ments, is point­ing towards an amaz­ing few years ahead for Xbox fans.

Game plan

Quite a few game an­nounce­ments are also point­ing in that di­rec­tion, such as Halo In­fi­nite, which only had the briefest tease and no men­tion of a re­lease win­dow. It’s also be­ing made in an en­tirely new engine, which suggests it’s be­ing pushed hard for some new tech. Else­where, The El­der Scrolls VI was also teased with some gor­geous-look­ing moun­tains, but looks nowhere near ready for this gen­er­a­tion. We also got to see a tease for an­other Bethesda game called Starfield that looks like it will have a sci-fi set­ting. There have been ru­mors that they’ve been work­ing on the project for quite a while now al­ready, but this was the first we’ve seen of it, and it still has a ridicu­lously long way to go.

A new con­sole gen­er­a­tion also helps ex­plain why things have been so quiet re­cently—while last year was jam-packed with new games, things def­i­nitely feel like they’ve slowed down in 2018. Else­where, we know a new Fable game is be­ing worked on po­ten­tially by Play­ground Games (the stu­dio be­hind Forza Hori­zon), although it was con­spic­u­ously ab­sent at E3

so per­haps they’re wait­ing un­til a new con­sole launch for it to make its de­but. But that isn’t the only news to come out of the stu­dio, it’s also now been of­fi­cially bought by Mi­crosoft se­cur­ing its fu­ture as a big Xbox de­vel­oper over the com­ing years.

They’ve also bought Un­dead Labs (famous for State Of De­cay), Com­pul­sion Games (the minds be­hind We Happy Few), and Ninja The­ory— best known for the ex­cel­lent Hell­blade: Senua’s Sac­ri­fice re­leased on Xbox One ear­lier this year. By in­vest­ing in such hugely cre­ative stu­dios, it shows that Mi­crosoft is very much in­vested in its fu­ture and se­cur­ing the best games.

As well as buy­ing four stu­dios, they’re also launch­ing a brand new one called The Ini­tia­tive, based in Santa Mon­ica and led by for­mer Crys­tal Dy­nam­ics boss Dar­rell Gal­lagher— re­spon­si­ble for over­see­ing the Tomb Raider re­boot. While they have con­firmed they’re cur­rently work­ing

“There’s a lot of po­ten­tial in a con­sole that can play any­thing”

on a game, it’s still far too early to an­nounce what it is—so an­other con­tender for the next gen­er­a­tion Xbox then.

Power up

But what kind of shape can we ex­pect a new con­sole to take? With all the em­pha­sis on power with the Xbox One X, Mi­crosoft still very much wants to be known as the maker of the world’s most pow­er­ful con­soles go­ing for­ward. It cer­tainly has a nice ring to it, and is a great way to push what it’s ca­pa­ble of doing dif­fer­ently. Back­wards com­pat­i­bil­ity is also likely given the suc­cess it’s had with it this gen­er­a­tion, and the fact that no other con­sole mak­ers are doing any­thing sim­i­lar. In a world where most com­pa­nies will charge you again to re­buy a game you al­ready own for a new plat­form, Mi­crosoft puts gamers and their col­lec­tions first. There’s a lot of po­ten­tial in a con­sole that can play any­thing.

There’s also been an­other men­tion of fu­ture tech in the shape of stream­ing con­sole-qual­ity games to any de­vice in­clud­ing both PC and mo­bile. A lofty aim, but if any­one has the chops to do it, it’s Mi­crosoft. It also makes a lot of sense as games like PUBG and Fort­nite are cross­play on mo­bile, PC, and con­soles—it’s only a mat­ter of time un­til other big games also make the leap to mo­bile. In the­ory you could have your su­per new Xbox at home, but still be able to play games on it from your mo­bile while wait­ing in a cof­fee shop some­where. It also ties

Above Luck­ily you don’t have to wait un­til next gen to race around in a sea­sonal UK in Forza Hori­zon 4.

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