Just as we know Sony is working on a PlayStation 5, we know Microsoft is also working on its next-gen console. Whatever the new Xbox turns out to be, it’s still a little while off yet, but we’ve started getting together all the details available so far.

When will the new Xbox hit shelves? What the hell will it be called? You can check out everything we know so far below.

What’s the new Xbox release date?

According to sources speaking with news website, Thurrott, Microsoft will probably be aiming to release its next-gen hardware in 2020 at the earliest, but as with anything yet to be confirmed by the company, this could certainly change.

With Sony announcing its absence at E3 2019, it’s safe to say there are no plans to release the PS5 next year. If that’s the case, I’d say Microsoft will be following a similar timeline. Furthermore, none of the next-gen games we know about so far are close to ready enough for release by 2019, which should also be a dead giveaway.

Although, some rumours are saying Microsoft is well ahead of Sony in terms of its next console, so who knows, maybe Sony’s absence will be too big of an opportunity for a new Xbox hardware release. We’ll have to wait and see.

What will the next Xbox be called?

We’ve already heard that Microsoft is referring to its next console as Project Scarlet, at least internally, but that’s pretty much all we know about the name so far. Will they call it the Xbox Two? Maybe, but it doesn’t really have a nice ring to it, does it?

We may hear more about the new console at the next E3, but don’t be surprised if we don’t.

What will the new Xbox be capable of?

As far as raw power goes, the Xbox One X is currently at the top of the console food chain. It’s capable of native 4K and running most games at 60 frames per second, making it the best gaming experience outside of a very expensive, very powerful PC.

During a recent interview, Xbox boss, Phil Spencer said he’s “always wishing games would start quicker,” which is a pretty good indication that the team will be aiming to maintain its reputation for power. It also means we might see far less loading times, which is always a plus.

Other rumours suggest the new Xbox will be capable of higher and variable refresh rates, meaning we could get a console capable of going beyond 60 frames per second, should the TV it’s attached to support such settings.

“I think frame rate is an area where consoles can do more,” Spencer said in an interview. “When you look at the balance between CPU and GPU in today’s consoles they’re a little bit out of whack relative to what’s on the PC side.”

No matter how you slice it, it looks like the next Xbox will be one powerful motherfucker.

new xbox

Will the next Xbox take physical games?

According to Thurrott, Microsoft is allegedly working on an Xbox One without a disc drive, making it cheaper to manufacture and, of course, to purchase. It’s far from the next-gen Xbox we’re waiting for, but if it’s legit, it’ll serve as an interesting litmus test for digital-only consoles.

“Microsoft is moving forward very carefully with this product as it knows that a sizeable portion of its users do prefer to buy physical games and not download them,” Thurrott says.

I doubt Microsoft will ditch the disc drive altogether, but they’ll probably give gamers the choice of a console without one at a cheaper price.

What games will be on the next Microsoft console?

There are a few games which have already been announced but are still years off any kind of release. Presumably, they’ll be released on next-gen hardware. The ones we know of so far, as well as some other assumed future titles, are listed below.

  • Starfield
  • Elder Scrolls VI
  • GTA VI
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Fallout 76 (Bethesda has already said they’ll be supporting this forever, so it’s fair to expect a port)
  • Beyond Good & Evil 2
  • Halo: Infinite
  • Gears 5 (possible current-gen release)

Given Microsoft’s big push with Game Pass and backward compatible games, I’d expect that to continue with the new Xbox. In other words, you’ll probably be able to play games from Xbox One, 360, and earlier on the next console.

What is Project xCloud?

Microsoft has already announced something called Project xCloud, which will be a game streaming service which allows users to play console-quality games on almost anything, including your smartphone.

It works by outsourcing the work a PC or gaming console would usually do to the cloud, which leaves your device free to simply display the images. Assuming the team has found a way to keep latency low, this would indeed allow for graphics far superior to what a smartphone or an iPad can currently run. See more in the video below.

One would assume this will fit in with the next generation of Xbox hardware somehow, so I’d say the company will be looking to offer a whole variety of options to gamers moving forward.

Image: Microsoft