Microsoft only has one next-generation Xbox on the table, not two

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,444   +560
Staff member

Let’s set the stage here: At E3 2018, Phil Spencer mentioned that the company was already well into the design process of the next Xbox consoles — consoles with an ‘s.’ Shortly after, rumors started popping up that we would see multiple XB consoles because of Spencer’s choice of words. This rumor seemed confirmed near year’s end through a report from Windows Central.

At this year’s E3, there was no mention of two consoles; only Project Scarlett was brought up with a Holiday 2020 launch window. This fact did not refute the rumor since it was already reported that Anaconda and Lockhart were under the Project Scarlett umbrella — Microsoft could have just been playing a semantics game. However, new statements from the Xbox figurehead seems to indicate Microsoft is indeed solely focused on only one next-gen console.

“Right now, we’re focused on Project Scarlett and what we put on stage.”

During an interview with Business Insider, Spencer confessed that they were only working on one system. When asked about his use of the plural word “consoles” at E3 2018, Spencer explained that he was referring to Scarlett and the Xbox One S.

“Last year we said consoles, and we’ve shipped a console [XB1S], and we’ve now detailed another console. I think that’s plural,” quipped the Xbox boss. “Right now, we’re focused on Project Scarlett and what we put on stage [aka Anaconda].”

His excuse does seem a little flimsy. He could just be trying to put a lid on the rumors. However, it seems equally likely that Microsoft sent the plans for the lower-end console to the recycle bin in favor of pouring more focus into its next-gen money maker.

There is also the company's streaming service xCloud to consider. With Google’s Stadia looming on the horizon, it is possible that the company wants to make headway in its streaming interests.

We'll likely learn more at the next-generation wars begin truly heating up.

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Posts: 1,707   +352
I'm not sure why this 'excuse if flimsy'. Far as I remember there has never been a case of a company releasing two consoles at the same time. I feel that rumours have been running rampant the last year, a definite step up from previous years, with lots of wishful thinking being translated into rumours (6 core Ryzen for $99 anyone?). I feel that it's getting out of hand.

Sure, there's always a chance that a rumour has a base in reality, but a lot of them feel like a real stretch, and it's entirely reasonable to assume that when Phil Spencer said 'consoles' he indeed meant the All-Digital which was recently introduced, and then the next gen.
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Posts: 870   +79
They also released the digital only Xbox to test the water years after everyone was unhappy with the idea of a digital only SKU. Since it’s priced “interestingly” with little or no discount over the Blu-ray model in most outlets, there may be some evidence that people haven’t gone crazy over it and confusing customers with 2 launch units might be something they want to avoid.

I like that they aren’t afraid to change tack personally. I was always in for the more expensive console anyway.