The next Xbox console is already being planned.
There have been questions surrounding the future of Microsoft in the console space – even though the company is committed to launching the Xbox Scorpio later this year, their push towards Xbox as a service over the last few years has been enough to give everyone a bit of a pause and contemplate if the future of Xbox may not be as a device agnostic service, rather than as hardware.
However, speaking to Gamasutra in an interview, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has admitted that planning for what comes after Scorpio for Xbox in the console space – in other words, the next Xbox console – is already underway at Microsoft. “I’m a strong believer in console, and what that appliance means in my family room, under my TV,” Spencer said. “Like I think…I log in with a controller, it kind of has power options and auto-update options that just feel a lot more like my cable box than it does my laptop.
“I’m not saying one is better than the other, but that space of a console, you just turn it on and it’s always ready and it’s really purpose-built to go do one thing first, which is play games. Yes, people can do other things on it, but it’s purpose-built for that. I’m a believer in that.
“And I’ve said, and this is actually true, the planning for what happens after Scorpio in the console space is already underway. You have to think about it that way. Like, what is the next thing? We — I — remain committed to the console space. We think it’s critically important.”
Spencer explained the recent push towards services that Microsoft has been making, pointing out that Microsoft views it as a supplement for Xbox consoles, not a replacement altogether.
“So put the gamer in the middle, build a service capability around them, and whatever device they sit down with, we’ve got the capability, let’s bring them the experience we can bring them there. If the games can run natively on a PC, and they’re on a PC, let’s go let ’em play those games.
“Obviously on console, same thing. If they’re on a mobile device, what can we do? In the case of like Minecraft and Solitaire and some other things, we can give ’em a game. In other cases we’re going to bring ’em things like Beam, and their activity feed on Xbox Live, and the ability to chat with their friends on a service and device, wherever they are.
“So I definitely think about Xbox Live as something that’s more pervasive than just sitting on the console. The console itself, I think, is a foothold for us, a strength for us, and something we definitely have longterm belief in.”
This is perhaps the first clear indication that we have received of a proper Xbox One successor existing beyond the Scorpio- the question, of course, is just how much of a leap this mysterious new Xbox will be. Is it going to be another iterative update like the Scorpio, or will Microsoft jump ahead to a proper successor entirely?
For now, this is spitballing and speculation- but we can’t wait to see what the future of Microsoft in the console gaming space may be.