Xbox boss Phil Spencer announced plans for a new Xbox console on the Xbox E3 2018 stage. He didn’t share any specifics, so some wondered why he made the announcement at all. Speaking to GameSpot sister site Giant Bomb, Spencer said he did so to assure people that consoles remain important to Microsoft as a company.
“Anybody who might worry about our console future, I just wanted to put that at ease,” Spencer said. “I wanted people to know that I love the track record of our hardware team … we have some ideas in the future [about streaming] but it’s not tomorrow. I didn’t want people to think we were going to walk away from that part of the brand in the business because it’s really important to us.”
Also in the interview, Spencer talked about what new features he would like to see in the next Xbox. Among other things, he said he hopes the next Xbox can offer higher frame rates, while he also hopes the team can deliver a box that launches games faster. Additionally, Spencer noted that the balance between CPU and GPU on console currently is “out of whack” compared to PC, so that’s something he would also like to address with the next console.
A few years ago, there were rumours and reports about Microsoft apparently wanting to sell off the Xbox brand, with the thinking that the Xbox team’s ambitions did not closely enough line up with that of Microsoft overall. And when new CEO Satya Nadella came in, Spencer said there were questions along the lines of “Why is Microsoft in the video game space?” These questions did not come up as a means of condemning Microsoft’s efforts in gaming, but rather as an “honest” discussion about Microsoft’s direction going forward and whether or not Xbox would be a part of it.
Xbox is indeed very important to Microsoft, and Microsoft’s decision to give the Xbox team the time and resources to make a new console and invest in so many new studios speaks to that.
There are rumours circulating online at E3 this week that Microsoft’s new console is codenamed Scarlet and may launch in 2020, though Microsoft has not commented. Keep checking back with GameSpot for more.