Microsoft's next-generation console is set to launch sometime in 2020, likely towards the holiday season at the end of the year, but what can we actually expect from it? Microsoft hasn't made much in the way of firm announcements for it, but we do have a few key details which could make it a landmark release for the often-second-place line of consoles.
The most obvious is the hardware refresh that happens with every new-generation system. Like the PS5, the Xbox Scarlett will utilize a new AMD APU that pairs a Zen 2 CPU with Navi graphics for much higher levels of general compute and graphical rendering performance. When combined with faster memory and more of it, the new system should be far more powerful than even the Xbox One X.
We expect to see 8K video support, 4K gaming at up to 30 FPS on the base system and up to 120Hz at 1080p. A new version of the system will likely release a few years later, offering 4K at higher frame rates too.
Like the PS5, a major introduction will be with the standard SSD. We expect this to be a 512GB NVMe model which will give console gamers that kind of load times that PC gamers have enjoyed for years. Developers will be able to massively optimize their content too, which should lead to game load times dropping down to seconds or fractions of. That also leads to faster game play, with levels that can load in quicker and far fewer elevator sequences between levels.
Other new features will include better game streaming support, with potential access on other devices through Microsoft's cloud gaming system. There's also the possibility of better audio support and virtual reality through some sort of Microsoft mixed reality headset, but the jury's still out on that one.
What would you like to see in Microsoft's next-gen system?