The writing is on the wall for fans and owners of the Xbox One family of consoles. The PS4 has been running away as the most popular eighth generation console since its release in 2013, and Nintendo’s Hail Mary known as the Switch is one of the fastest selling consoles of all time. Even though Microsoft had a stellar E3 conference which was widely regarded as the best of the show, there still isn’t much of a buzz about the Xbox One.
The big question that Microsoft needs to answer is: Should they move on from the Xbox One? Rumors of a PS5 with AMD’s latest Zen CPU architecture and Navi GPU are running rampant across the internet thanks to Jason Evangelho at Forbes. If this is true it would put Microsoft at a major disadvantage. The X still runs on the antiquated Jaguar architecture, which is already a major bottleneck for developers. From what I can see right now it’s the right time to move on from Xbox One.
Let Old Hardware Die
During Microsoft’s E3 conference this year, in what seemed like a throw-away comment, Phil Spencer mentioned that they’re working on the next generation of Xbox consoles. There was also the release of the codename Scarlet for the new Microsoft machine currently in development. It’s clear at this point that the next system in the Xbox family will be showing up earlier than anticipated.
Based upon Spencer’s wording, it seems like Microsoft will be making the smart decision by leaving the Xbox One line behind with this next console. Even though the One X currently holds the title of world’s most powerful console, its hardware needs an upgrade. At the risk of sounding like a PC elitist, the CPU in the most powerful console is what you would find in a budget desktop computer. While the GPU handles the majority of what you see on screen, the CPU mostly deals with physics and other technological elements, like controlling how an entire city runs in GTAV or Cyberpunk 2077, are the responsibility. I can’t see how Microsoft will be able to squeeze any more life out of the Xbox One.
Exclusive Titles for Both Generations
Microsoft’s biggest competitor, Sony, seems to be winding down game production, which points toward the ever-growing rumor of the PS5. In similar fashion, Microsoft’s E3 was light and vague with their first party announcements. The next Xbox needs to be shown at E3 next year and released in November of 2019 to build on the momentum they gained this year. Six years is plenty of time for a generation and it could do Microsoft some good to release (potentially) one year ahead of Sony like they did with the 360.
While 50 games were shown at Microsoft’s conference, very few exclusives stood out. However, the two biggest ones they showed are arguably their two most recognizable franchises: Gears of War and Halo. I could see both of those titles being dual-generational releases. If not, then you run into the same problem from their last console launch — albeit to a lesser extent — where accusations of Microsoft not being consumer-friendly are flying all over the internet.
Learn From The Past
The most important memory that Microsoft needs to keep in the forefront of their minds when marketing the next console is how they announced the Xbox One. Moving on to the next generation is crucial for the growth of Xbox, and Microsoft needs to do it quickly while they still have the goodwill of the gaming community.
The announcement of the Xbox One was a momentous event in gaming when the internet proved it can change the plans of a multibillion-dollar company by yelling loudly enough. This time around, Microsoft should be able to control the narrative due to their consumer-friendly business decisions like cross-buy with Windows 10 and welcoming crossplay in games like Minecraft, Rocket League, and Fortnite. Opinionated Twitter caps lock artists and jaded gaming enthusiasts may even take a wait and see approach to the next Xbox before ravaging it, but that may just be wishful thinking. Jokes aside, E3 2019 will be the perfect time to floor fans of the opposition consoles with stunning graphics, unthinkable tech, and consumer-friendly practices.
Based on personal feeling and the overall positivity towards Microsoft I’m seeing from others right now, they can’t miss out on this opportunity. Not only does it make sense to leave the Xbox One in the past, but people are high on Microsoft right now. If they make a mistake here or there, then people will be more willing to forgive them at this point. Waiting too long to leave the Xbox One behind only introduces the possibility of too many hiccups and losing the head of steam they currently have.
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