Last week, we covered some hot leaks on the next generation PlayStation console (touted at the PS5) and the PSVR 2 headset. In this week’s special, we bring you a counter from their rival, Microsoft and the Xbox 2.

What Do We Know Till Now on Xbox 2?

So till now, rumours suggest that there might be two different versions of the Xbox console. One will focus on streaming, while another, and more powerful, will focus on being an upgrade to the traditional hardware. In the E3 2018, Phil Spencer mentioned the following on cloud gaming’s 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 (…)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 (…) is deep into architecting the next Xbox consoles where we will once again deliver on our commitment to set the benchmark for console gaming.”

windows mixed reality hp headset

What The News About Xbox 2 Now?

A recent report  reveals Microsoft’s plans for the two new models which are come in by 2020. There’s plans for a project called Scarlett which consists of a new family of Xbox devices. These are focussed around building a more powerful hardware, as well as creating a device capable of streaming a vast library of titles.

Both of these are planned for a 2020 release. The first will be similar to Xbox One in capabilities. The second device will be a cheaper version and will stream the titles. This has been codenamed as the ‘Scarlett Cloud’.

This two pronged approach by Microsoft is sensible since Microsoft doesn’t want to discount it’s current demand as well as wants a foothold in the future of gaming.

What is Xbox 2?

So, what is Xbox 2? It is the successor to the Xbox One. It is the fourth instalment in Microsoft’s line of consoles. Possible specs for Xbox 2 includes an AMD Ryzen chip built on the next gen 7nm Navi manufacturing process. As a result, gamers can expect an improvement in performance and efficiency over the previous models. The new model might come in 8 or 12GB RAM variants considering how demanding contemporary games are becoming.

Since, Phil Spencer’s announcement included the word ‘consoles’, there might be two devices coming into the market. Now, one of the devices which is thought to have a more powerful hardware can boast of SSD storage but the more budget-version streaming device is unlikely to sport the same. The two devices might not even have the chipsets.

There was talk of Microsoft introducing VR to the Xbox 2, but unfortunately, there hasn’t been any news on that front. It looks unlikely that Microsoft is going to introduce VR to Xbox in the second generation. But given Microsoft’s foray in to VR with the Mixed Reality Headsets and PSVR’s rising popularity (particularly with the new PSVR 2 headset), VR should be in the pipeline.

windows mixed reality OEM headsets

Microsoft offers a meshed experience called Mixed Reality. It’s called Mixed Reality because it uses elements of the real world and the VR environment in tandem. Instead of creating an immersive virtual environment inside the headset display, Windows MR (mixed reality) instead allows the user to see the world around and overlays elements of VR.

When is Xbox 2 Expected to Release?

There is no expected release date as of yet. Xbox consoles have usually worked on a six-year cycle for releases. The Xbox One was originally released in 2013, so the Xbox 2 is likely to be released in 2019-20. The current consensus is 2020. However, Xbox One X released in 2017, disrupting their usual cycle. So, there’s no saying what Microsoft might do considering they are taking crucial steps to secure Xbox’s future.