Microsoft has slowly been dropping more hints about its plans for its next-gen Xbox, codenamed Project Scarlett. Now, head of Xbox, Phil Spencer has revealed even more about what’s in store for the console, which Microsoft says will be four times as powerful as the Xbox One X.
Current-gen consoles are slowly approaching the end of their lifespan as tech giants Microsoft and Sony prepare their next-gen hardware for release, which is rumoured to be sometime in late 2020.
Not a lot has been said about the new consoles but there are few details which confirm that both Microsoft and Sony are focusing on blazing-fast loading speeds and high frame rates.
In an exclusive interview with Gamespot, Spencer said that consistency would be at the top of the agenda for the new console, ensuring that games load fast and run at the highest frame rate possible (in this case, 60 frames-per-second). Crucially, backward compatibility will play a major role in the console’s design.
“Making sure that all four generations of content — so the original Xbox games that run on your Xbox One today, the OG Xbox; the 360 games that run on your Xbox One; your Xbox One games; and the new generation games — all run on the next platform is important to us,” said Spencer, adding that players with different generations of consoles will still be able to play each other.
Furthermore — and in a move that Spencer says “is a little bit new” for Microsoft — the console will “respect the compatibility of the controllers you already have.” Spencer points to players’ investment in personalized controllers and says that the company wants to make sure those are compatible with future generations of the console as well.
This is all good news for Xbox fans. Upgrading to a new console can be a headache — restrictions on backward compatibility and cross-gen gaming means players lose out on their previous gaming investments, or even put off buying a newer console because of all the mucking around involved. Microsoft seems to be showing genuine respect for its audience with these features, which is vital if the console is poised to dominate the market as critics believe it will when it launches next year.