With the X-Box One’s life cycle coming to a close, Microsoft is preparing to unveil their next generation of X-Box, which has been dubbed “X-Box Scarlet’, at E3 this year. We will have to see how long that name lasts, given Microsoft’s propensity for name changes before release. Gamers will recall that the X-Box One was called “Scorpio” for quite a while before release. The name became so expected that it was the name of a special edition of the X-Box One on release. In the early goings of rumors for the newest Microsoft offering, the two versions of the next X-Box were called Anaconda and Lockhart.
Little is known about the new X-Box heading into E3 2019, but there are a few juicy tidbits to be had. We know that the Scarlet will come in two flavors: one with a Blu-Ray drive, and one without. The model sans-optical drive is going to be a download-only system, and will cost less because there will be, obviously, less hardware. The optical-drive laden model will cost more, and will have more power, similar to the way X-Box One X was a suped-up version of the original X-Box. Both new versions will sport solid state drives (SSD) for faster loading of games and apps.
The hype has been building since last year’s E3 conference, where X-Box chief Phil Spencer talked about what gamers can expect in the future:
Our experts in Microsoft Research are developing the future of gaming AI, so the worlds and characters we enjoy will be even richer and more immersive. Our cloud engineers are building a game streaming network to unlock console-quality gaming on any device. Not only that, but we are dedicated to perfecting your experience everywhere you want to play, whether it’s on your Xbox, your PC or your phone, and of course our hardware team, 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.
There is also rumor that Halo Infinite will be the first launch title for the Scarlet, holding true to tradition of launching new systems with their highly popular Halo franchise. Halo: Combat Evolved, and Halo 3 were launch titles for the X-Box and X-Box 360, respectively. X-Box One did not launch with a Halo title, but Halo 5 launched shortly thereafter.
The only other thing that is known for sure is that Microsoft is angling for a holiday season 2020 release for it’s newest console. If that is the case, they will certainly beat Sony to the next generation of gaming, as Playstation 5 is not expected until 2021.
Rich Davenport graduated from Concordia University in St. Paul Minnesota with a B.A. in Mass Communication. He is a lifelong comicbook reader, a film fan and a hardcore video gamer. He also makes a lot of funny faces in pictures, much to his wife’s chagrin.