Details Emerge of the Purported Power of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5

It’s 2020 and that can only mean one thing. New consoles are coming.

Details have been sparse, as Microsoft has shown of some nuggets of the Series X prior to the holidays while PS5 dev kit leaks hit the internet. The most recent leaks however, are quite intriguing if true.

We can possibly be seeing two strategies at work from Sony and Microsoft. In one corner, we have competitive pricing and in the other best in class power. I can just sit back and watch the fanboys react.

I’ll try to sum up, but in a nutshell, according to Eurogamer and Digital Foundry, the PS5’s Oberon chipset and system specifications should output 9.2 teraflops of gaming goodness. Meanwhile, details on the Xbox Series X are more sparse with the Arden chipset, but Digital Foundry estimates 12 teraflops. For those who are shit in math, 12 is bigger than 9, which in this case is a good thing.

If true, the Xbox Series X will have a clear power advantage over the PS5, but this advantage will come at a cost. Sources claim that Sony is targeting the magic $399 price point, which Microsoft will have a tough time hitting. $499 may be more reasonable target for the Series X and there comes the trade-off. Power or price. This could very well be the reason Microsoft may be releasing two SKUs. There’s the beefy Series X and the rumored cheaper “Project Anaconda.”

Time will tell, but I love the drama that comes with new hardware releases.

[Source: Digital Foundry]

Microsoft Announces That Xbox Exclusives Will Remain Exclusive to Xbox…What?

According to a Gamesindustry.biz post, Microsoft has no immediate plans to release exclusive Xbox games on other consoles. Instead, Microsoft will focus on its own platforms.

I’m a simple man, so perhaps I was confused by what ‘exclusive’ actually means.

Okay, so I’m not a total dumbass. Anyway in statement to Gamesindustry.biz, Microsoft did clarify:

“The past year has been an exciting time for us as we have more than doubled the internal creative teams making up Xbox Game Studios. As these new studios transitioned in, we were aware of some existing commitments to other platforms and will honor them. However, going forward these new studios will focus on making games for our platforms. We have no plans to further expand our exclusive first party games to other consoles. We continue to believe deeply in cross play and progression of games with the right flexibility for developers to insure a fair and fun experience.”

Gamesindustry.biz

Microsoft has been releasing titles like Ori and the Blind Forest on Switch as well as Minecraft on multiple platforms. A new generation of consoles is coming into view and Microsoft has been acquiring studios. I’m not surprised that Microsoft wants its investments supporting its own interests.

[Source: Gamesindustry.biz]

Phil Spencer Throws Water on the Concept of a Streaming Only Xbox – For Now

There has been a lot of speculation of what Microsoft has in store for the next generation. There’s rumors of multiple SKUs, with varying specs. There was even rumors of a streaming only next-gen Xbox powered by xCloud.

Well folks, according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer, there will be one SKU. In an interview with Gamespot, Spencer has confirmed that the team is “not working on a streaming-only console right now…”

Spencer goes on to state that the team is looking to focus on xCloud as a gaming option on as many devices as possible.

“We have more compute devices around us than we’ve ever had, whether it’s your phone, a Surface Hub or an Xbox… The world where compute devices are gone and it’s all coming from the cloud just isn’t the world that we live in today.”

Gamespot

It’s all about giving you options apparently, for Microsoft. Game at home on a powerful console, or on the road via your phone or tablet, It’s an interesting plan, if Microsoft can deliver.

[Source: Gamespot]

Spencer Drops More Nuggets on Project Scarlett

The successor to the Xbox One is just over a year away, so its expected that more details are starting to drop. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has revealed via Gamespot that Project Scarlett will be four times as powerful as the Xbox One X along with other nuggets.

Feel free to read the exclusive Gamestop interview, but in the meantime, here are the juiciest bits.

  • Games will load fast and run at high frame rates possible (i.e. 60 frames-per-second).
  • Backwards compatibility will play a major focus.
  • Backwards compatibility for existing controllers.

All good stuff so far. Nothing groundbreaking, but welcomed news.

[Source: Gamespot]

So Will There Be Multiple SKUs of Project Scarlett?

If previous reports and rumors are to be believed, Microsoft has multiple SKUs of Project Scarlett in the works, at different specs and price points. However according to a Business Insider interview with Phil Spencer, it’s not a matter of if, but when.

The BI interviewer pressed Spencer on whether we can expect multiple SKUs, mainly by acting as a grammar nazi and getting into semantics about whether Spencer said console or consoles.

“Technically that is plural,” Spencer said with a laugh after I pushed him on the technicality he invoked. “Right now,” he said, “we’re focused on Project Scarlett and what we put on stage.”

Business Insider

So does that mean there’ll be more than one? Possibly. At launch? Probably not, but who knows? At some point and time? No doubt, but mid-cycle hardware updates are nothing new now, aren’t they?

[Source: Business Insider]

E3 is Over, But We Will Always Have This Man’s Beard

E3 2019 is officially in the books. There were some legitimate surprises, new hardware, new games, etc…

But what I’m going to remember most is that beard from the Xbox briefing. I don’t know if I should be impressed or frightened by it. It’s unnerving yet mesmerizing. I CAN’T STOP STARING AT IT.

If one was juvenile and fanboyish enough to declare a winner of E3, then it is clearly Xbox, by virtue of this man’s beard.

Microsoft Kick-Offs E3 2019 With Sexy New Xbox Hardware, Games, Services

Microsoft kicked off E3 2019 on Sunday announcing plenty of games, but know what’s sexier than games. HARDWARE! Hot sexy hardware makes my blood boil, in good way.

Good stuff. Who doesn’t like POWER and short load times.

Project Scarlett comes out in the Fall of 2020, and by then Microsoft will have come up a terribly convoluted name. My money is on Microsoft Xbox One X-2 The Ocho.

Oh, and when the Scarlett comes out, you can become reacquainted with an old friend:

But wait, there more! I’ve been hankering for a new Xbox One Elite controller, which I love, but I’ve heard rumours that a new version was in development. Well here you go:

The Series 2 Elite controller, which you can pre-order today will last 40 hours on a single charge. The unit ships with a charging dock and costs a ridiculous $179.99. This thing is over-engineered and stupid expensive, and I want it so bad it hurts. I just pre-ordered mine because I have no fucking self control.

Of course there are games to be had as well, and new ways to play them on Project xCloud. Microsoft did not have a ton to say about xCloud, but what they did talk about looked promising. The best part, we’ll be able to try it out this October.

Like the Google Stadia, xCloud will let you play Xbox titles across multiple devices, whether its phones, tablets, TVs or computers. Unlike Stadia, xCloud will also allow you to stream games directly from your own local Xbox.

Yes, Sony did do this with PlayStation Remote Play, but that was pretty shitty. Hopefully Microsoft’s solution will be better.

As for games, there was plenty announced as well as Gears of War 5 (launching September 10) which everyone knew about, but looks good nonetheless. Kait is still a smoke.

Lastly, there’s Keanu…

Keanu is a national treasure. I’d buy Cyberpunk 2077 just because of Keanu. He’s so wise, like an American Buddha. Cyberpunk 2077, from CD Projekt’s Cyberpunk 2077, launches April 16, 2020.

As for the rest of games well, here’s a handy list…

  • Bleeding Edge
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Minecraft Dungeons
  • Blair Witch
  • Keanu Reeves In Cyberpunk 2077
  • Spiritfarer
  • Battletoads
  • RPGTime: The Legend of Wright
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition
  • Wasteland 3
  • Lego Star Wars The Skywalker Saga
  • Dragon Ball Z Project Z Action RPG
  • 12 Minutes
  • Way To The Woods
  • Forza Horizon 4 Lego Speed Champions
  • Gears Pop
  • State of Decay 2: Heartland
  • Phantasy Star Online 2
  • Crossfire X
  • Tales of Arise
  • Borderlands: Commander Lillith and the fight for Sanctuary
  • Ring of Eldin

All in all, a fun Sunday and good stuff coming to fans of the Xbox.