Home / Tech / Everything we know about the future of Xbox, from a disc-less console to next-gen hardware (MSFT)

Everything we know about the future of Xbox, from a disc-less console to next-gen hardware (MSFT)

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  • Microsoft is widely expected to further detail its next Xbox consoles this year.
  • Many are expecting details in June, at the company’s annual Xbox press conference in Los Angeles.
  • Between a steady supply of credible rumors and Microsoft’s own statements, we already know a lot about the future of Xbox.

The next Xbox consoles were officially announced in 2018. Maybe you missed it?

“The same team that delivered unprecedented performance with Xbox One X is deep into architecting the next Xbox consoles,” Xbox leader Phil Spencer said during Microsoft’s annual E3 press briefing in June 2018.

This year, at the same event, Microsoft is expected to go into details about the next Xbox consoles. Months ahead of time, the rumor mill has begun churning and we’ve got a few good ideas of what to expect from the not-so-distant future of Xbox:

SEE ALSO: Microsoft is on the verge of announcing a new Xbox — here are 5 crucial components it needs to compete with Sony’s huge lead

1. Before new consoles, we’re likely to see a disc-less Xbox One console.

The Xbox One isn’t done just yet — the latest rumor is that Microsoft will reveal and release a disc-less Xbox One S console in the coming months. That’s according to reporting by Windows Central and Thurrott.

The so-called “Xbox One S All-Digital Edition” is said to go up for pre-order in April, with systems arriving in May.

In short, it’s said to be a less expensive Xbox One S console with no disc drive. 

More importantly, it’s a hint at the future of the Xbox — a future where players either download games or stream them rather than buying discs in stores. 

2. Not one new Xbox, but multiple!

Microsoft has at least two Xbox consoles in the works.

Xbox leader Phil Spencer outright announced as much in June 2018. “The same team that delivered unprecedented performance with Xbox One X is deep into architecting the next Xbox consoles,” he said on stage in Los Angeles on June 10, “where we will once again deliver on our commitment to set the benchmark for console gaming.

Rumors point to Microsoft creating two new consoles that coexist within the same generation: a smaller, less expensive Xbox potentially focused on streaming video games, and a larger, more traditional, more expensive Xbox that could power games locally (or stream them).

A Windows Central report says these consoles are codenamed “Lockhart” and “Anaconda,” respectively.

It’s not hard to imagine Microsoft offering two versions of the next Xbox, one with a lower price point that specializes in streaming and one with a higher price point that’s more powerful.

Also, there’s a precedent: The Xbox One S and Xbox One X are both Xbox One consoles, yet the Xbox One X is more powerful (and more expensive).

It stands to reason that Microsoft will continue this strategy with the next version of the Xbox, and it makes sense — just like Apple has multiple versions of the iPhone, so too does Microsoft have different versions of the Xbox.

3. A big push into Netflix-style video game streaming.

Just as Netflix allows you to watch movies and TV shows from any device, a streaming gaming service would let you play high-end, blockbuster video games anytime, any place and on any device — your phone, or tablet, or laptop, or TV, no game console required.

With “Project xCloud,” Microsoft aims to do just that. 

“There are 2 billion people who play video games on the planet today. We’re not going to sell 2 billion consoles,” Xbox leader Phil Spencer told Business Insider in an interview in June 2018. “Many of those people don’t own a television; many have never owned a PC. For many people on the planet, the phone is their compute device,” he said. “It’s really about reaching a customer wherever they are, on the devices that they have.”

The best way to do that is by lowering the barrier to entry — stuff like owning a TV, not to mention owning a game console and having a stable internet connection, are barriers to entry for the potential userbase Microsoft is targeting with its streaming initiative.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider