Microsoft revealed their plans for the future of Xbox at their E3 showing a few days back, but though we know a few things – such as its launch window, the fact that it launches with Halo Infinite, its initial spec list – there’s still some tangible things we have no idea about just yet. What’s it going to be called? What will the box look like? What’ll the price point be?
These are important questions, of course, but with still more than a year to go before the console (or consoles, if the leaks are accurate) launches, there’s plenty of time for Microsoft to answer them all. And they’re definitely thinking about this stuff too. In an E3 livestream event hosted on Mixer, Xbox boss Phil Spencer spoke about a number of these things (transcription via Twinfinite).
He spoke first about what the console looks like- of which Microsoft has a rough idea, but with so long to go before its actual release, nothing is set in stone yet. “I know what it’s going to look like,” he said. “I think it’s a cool looking ‘new’ thing, which will be interesting, but we don’t have the final ID [Industrial Design] done, so it’s not like we’re going to put out a half-done ID and say ‘this is kind of what it’ll look like.’ We’ll wait on that, because that’s not really what’s going to determine purchase decisions.”
“Even the name,” he added. “I hope somebody is not making their mind or decision on this product based on what it’s named.”
And of course, Spencer is also aware that the console’s pricing is going to be an important factor for a great many people. As per him, Microsoft has a design price in mind, and he’s fairly confident they’re going to be able to hit that price. Spencer also promises Microsoft will announce the pricing for Scarlett as soon as they can.
“The price will be important,” he said. “Clearly price is one of these things people want to know, and as we’re kind of watching the cost of the components that are coming in, things like tearups and other things, trying to figure out what that price is going to be next year… We have a design price in mind, and I think we’re going to hit that, but we want to make sure that everything comes in right, so that’s the price that we hit.
“So, we’ll get the price out as soon as we can, so that people can make those decisions.”
Finally, he moved to the topic of first parties, and mentioned that it was an exciting time for Microsoft, especially to be in a position where they can already have spoken about a number of their upcoming first party titles at E3, and yet still have more games waiting in the wings to be announced later. He specifically mentioned the likes of Playground’s new game (long rumoured to be Fable 4), the game being worked on by their newly formed studio The Initiative, and Rare’s second ongoing project besides Sea of Thieves.
“The thing I loved were the games that we didn’t show,” said Spencer. “What’s Playground’s second team working on? What’s The Initiative doing. What’s Rare’s second game that’s coming? What’s Turn 10 doing?”
“We haven’t really been before in a first-party situation in which we can have more first-party games that we’re ever had, and a lot of the questions I get are, ‘wait, I thought you were going to show this or that,'” he continued. “I think it’s a great place for us where we can actually get the right thing to show at the right time and not have to rush things on stage. It sounds like I’m trolling people, but I’m not trying to do that. I am honestly as excited about the things that we didn’t show.
“We opened with four first-party games which we’ve never done before, which I thought was an awesome line-up, it’s nice to have some things also still going that we’ll show at the right time and hopefully drive excitement.”
Chances are Microsoft are holding back on all these announcements and will be unveiling all this stuff next year, when Scarlett will be revealed in full. At least we hope so, in any case.