Xbox Two Is Set To Smash Next Gen PlayStation

Regardless of where your console allegiances may lie, several nuggets have been cooking over at Microsoft that tell me a few things. These little clues, reported separately and individually over the course of 2018, tell me that Phil Spencer and Xbox are not taking their overwhelming defeat this generation lightly. Instead, they are lying patiently in wait for their next moment to shine.

Xbox Two Is Set To Smash Next Gen PlayStation

It would be fair to say from the get go, I am a PlayStation fanboy. Owning a PS4 this generation has been an utter delight. It has torn me from my gaming PC more successfully than any other console has in my gaming lifetime, due in no small part, to the incredible roster of PlayStation exclusives we’ve been treated to. I say this because it is all too easy to read an opinion piece about potential successes of a once doomed console (Xbox One) rising above and beyond its arch nemesis, the PlayStation 4, in the following generation and suggest the rest of the article is little more than minority fanboy wishes. So please know that I am speaking from the PlayStation end of the spectrum.

For a while, near the start of this generation, I thought Microsoft would be bowing out of the console race altogether, given its abysmal performance this time around. Its heavy hitter that everyone was waiting for, Scalebound, was suddenly cancelled which was tantamount to PlayStation owners being told Uncharted 4 was getting cancelled. For first party titles like this to get cancelled after so much public exposure… Not a good look. Of course, over the course of the generation, Xbox proved time and again, it was not the coolest kid in the playground. Its console exclusives were simply sequels of existing franchises suffering from fan fatigue (Halo, Gears of War) and the ones that were original IPs (State of Decay, ReCore) released to little more than a shrug of the shoulders from critics. Phil Spencer has a lot of work to do to return the Xbox brand to the glory days of the 360.

Xbox Two Is Set To Smash Next Gen PlayStation - Nier: Automota

The Xbox problem would appear to snowball, as games like Nier: Automata would be available to PlayStation owners for a year first, devs knowing that was where the majority audience and the money lay. Moves of desperation from Microsoft, like buying console exclusivity from Crystal Dynamics for Shadow of The Tomb Raider for a year, coupled with the neverending delay announcements for Crackdown 3 meant the PlayStation 4 had officially won the console race of the eighth generation. After all this, they still had a whole suite of PC based enterprises to keep them more than afloat as a corporation. Yet, I was a fool to think that Microsoft would bow out of videogames altogether.  It would seem they are not ignorant to the fact that gaming is now doubly profitable than movies and you can bet your bottom dollar they will not lose their now loosened grip on things. 

Accepting defeat this generation, it’s becoming clearer to see that Phil Spencer and Microsoft have used this time to lie in wait to prepare properly for the next generation and while the Xbox One has proven a failure in the eyes of some, it has also been a convenient testing ground for Microsoft. 

Xbox Two Will Offer Different Pricing Plans For The Same Entry To 9th Gen

A big stumbling block for Microsoft was the price of its Xbox One console on release. While much earlier generations of consoles pushed their luck and asked for a lot, we’d all gotten used to console pricing in later years that was just right. Although, the Xbox One pushed a little too hard, asking consumers to fork out $499. A full $100 more than the PS4 on release, because it had a giant Kinect camera that nobody asked for or used. A later model would release without the Kinect camera at a lower price but perhaps the damage was already done. The PlayStation 4 would convert many an Xbox gamer (myself included) by winning the price war.

Xbox Two Is Set To Smash Next Gen PlayStation - The Xbox One and One S

Rumours are now circulating about the start of the next generation, with Xbox releasing different models of console at different price points. The 8th generation has played around with the idea of premium hardware (cough cough just get a PC if you’re a graphics nut) with the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. We’ve also had the lower end of things with the PS4 Slim and the Xbox One S. If Microsoft were to introduce this staggered pricing model from the get go on generational release (as opposed to staggered throughout the generation as was the case this time around), it would be an undeniable value proposition… Especially if Sony didn’t mirror the tactic. 

What started this line of thinking was Phil Spencer discussing the next generation at E3 of 2018. The keen listeners among us noted that he referred to the next generation’s “consoles”, suggesting this tiered hardware idea would be a part of the Xbox Two’s release plan. Sure enough, a report from Windows Central emerged just two weeks ago, talking about prototype models “Anaconda” and “Lockhart” with the codename for the unannounced 9th generation family of Xbox Two models currently being “Scarlett”

Buying The Potential

The cynics among us can easily say that if Microsoft are lacking the talent to make amazing first party exclusives, buying that talent to keep for themselves is a cheap shot at the competition. That may be true but it doesn’t change the fact that it will have a positive impact on Microsoft’s exclusives in the next generation. PlayStation has the likes of Quantic Dream, Naughty Dog and Sony Santa Monica; teams that have proven masterclass levels of skill in marrying gameplay and story. Yet, so far, Microsoft has 343 Industries and well… Microsoft Studios (among others, seen in the image below but let's be honest – Rare didn't exactly blow our skirts up with Sea of Thieves). Teams that certainly know what they’re doing but haven’t really blown it out of the park in terms of gameplay or storytelling innovation. 

Xbox Two Is Set To Smash Next Gen PlayStation - Microsoft's new devs

To help combat their difficulty in dealing with storytelling, Ninja Theory will no doubt be of great assistance. The team that brought you Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice managed to sell millions of copies of their game through mostly word of mouth as the indie studio didn’t have the funding for a massive marketing campaign. That was done by not only telling a great story but also by handling the sensitive issue of mental health with impressive grace and respect. Microsoft now owns them. With the resurgence of single player story-based games in the year of 2018, this buyout in particular could turn out to be a very smart move.

On top of this, they have bought Playground Games (Forza) , Undead Labs (State of Decay) and Compulsion Games (We Happy Few). The latter two may have made headlines with their buggy releases but at the very least, this is Microsoft ensuring any of their future titles will not be risked to audiences other than those with Xbox consoles in their living rooms. 

Xbox Two Is Set To Smash Next Gen PlayStation - Darrell Gallagher

The Initiative is also a development studio quietly set up by Microsoft with the goal of making console exclusives. What really matters here is the people behind the project. The Initiative is led by former Crystal Dynamics' Head of Studio, Darrell Gallagher. Other confirmed members of the team are Brian Westergaard (Lead Producer of God of War 2018) and Christian Cantamessa (Lead Designer / Writer of Red Dead Redemption) returning to a familiar role as Narrative Consultant.

Pre-empting The Digital Takeover

It’s no secret by now that a fully digital takeover is coming. As Netflix culture continues to grow so too does the digital marketplace for games. As the years go on, physical discs are becoming an increasing inconvenience for their owners. Microsoft appears to be acutely aware of this. After all, it is almost confirmed that the next generation of consoles will finally follow suit, arriving without disc trays. 

As I mentioned earlier, this generation has been vibrant testing ground for the Xbox while Sony basks in their own success. A strong arm in this preparation is the Xbox Game Pass. Not only does it give access to Xbox exclusives upon their release but a whole range of games for a monthly subscription. While not all that tantalising now, you can be sure that if Xbox gears up their exclusives approach (as they certainly seem to be doing) this will turn out to be yet another smart move on Microsoft’s part. Coupled with the tiered pricing system, things are starting to look a lot more consumer friendly.

Xbox Two Is Set To Smash Next Gen PlayStation - Xbox Play Anywhere in action

On top of this, no matter how much you take advantage of Xbox Game Pass in the future, there’s very little chance of clogging up your hard drive. Xbox Xcloud will also carry Xbox ahead of the competition at the start of the impending digital takeover. Focussing on streaming games, Netflix style, Xbox hopes to bring the first truly serviceable cloud gaming service to gamers. The industry has dabbled with it in the past but Microsoft is aiming to bring it to fully functional level on a commercial scale with every console it ships. Cross platform play with other Microsoft products will only bolster this further. 

Where Sony Stands In All of This

The PlayStation 4 drove home further successes by launching the most affordable gaming VR headset on the market. While Microsoft seemed not to bother, it is fairly safe to assume all of the above is why. Phil Spencer has ensured resources have gone into investing in the future. 

Xbox Two Is Set To Smash Next Gen PlayStation - Fortnite

During 2018’s Sony / Fortnite controversy, it became clear that, for one reason or another, Sony didn’t want its PS4 players to enjoy games anywhere else. Almost as if drunk on its own success, Sony wouldn’t break on this rule of thumb until the media coverage and gamer outrage became too much. In the end, Sony allowed Fortnite players to log into their Epic account on other consoles. Although, their unwillingness to do so is a worrying sign of their arrogance and lack of foresight. Fully digital platform sharing is the future. Heck, it’s already here in large part. While Xbox have clearly been planning for this, PlayStation appear to believe the strength of their exclusives come first and preparing for a digital future, second.

This will serve to their detriment. 

Microsoft have always had the cloud based connections waiting for their moment, along with a larger server clout as a result of having originated in the PC market. PlayStation have shown no signs of preparing to compete against this aspect of future gaming. It may well be the case, in the shadow of Microsoft, a console without game-streaming services as a primary function will be looked on as inferior. Unless Sony does something about ramping up PlayStation Now and its own servers it may find itself on the back foot on release of the PlayStation 5.

Xbox Two Is Set To Smash Next Gen PlayStation - PS Now

There’s every chance Sony are also waiting for their moment. Waiting for the right time to counter-announce against Microsoft. With the next generation tipped to arrive 2020, time is running out for them and PlayStation faithfuls better hope Sony has a few nuggets of their own cooking that we just don’t know about.

Is there anything Xbox is doing in preparation for the next generation we haven't mentioned? Perhaps you know of PlayStation's plans to counteract all of this? Comment below with your thoughts. Since this can be a divisive subject, we ask commenters to be respectful.

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Big Bobby
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Big Bobby

I’ll put money on it that Xbox Two and PS5 will be on par with each other, but power wise, the Xbox Two will have something extra. But looking at the Xbox One and PS4 battle, the PS4 just pipped the Xbox One tech wise, but Microsoft hit back with the Xbox One X, pipping the PS4 Pro. Both the Xbox Two and PS4 will have all the bells are whistles, right down to playing 4K movies, but we all know it’s down to the games. Not sure if tech will be enough for Microsoft with Xbox Two. It might… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

it will smash the ps5 because its heavier maybe?…since xbox still has no games…..lmao.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Dude, better try another job, because your lack of understanding the videogaming market is just sad. I hope the money you got from writing this is opinion was a truck load, because nothing you wrote makes any sense. I know that sites need clickbait titles to get clicks, but damn you think that sony is in trouble, more its not just losing next gen, is getting smashed.. Omg, It makes perfect sense, that 90 plus millions gamers will leave sony after this gen and go to buy first the next box, perfect sense. Of course they are.

skiggy
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skiggy

Sorry to say but this was a horribly, misleading article. I thought this was an article where you were going to talk about speculation of how the Xbox 2 was going to be more powerful than PS5….. All you did was highlight what happened this gen.. What does Xbox 2 have to do with this?

Mantas
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Mantas

Don’t you worry about Sony now, they know how to play the game. 😉

Mike Nickels
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Mike Nickels

Buying exclusivity was a move of desperation, what do you call the Destiny DLC exclusive for Ps4?

Marty
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Marty

Xbox has failured 3 generations in a row, can’t see anyting changing next gen. Playstation is always gonna be best place to game. Roll on PS5(can’t wait too place my order). Ther is simply no reason to ever buy an Xbox.

skiggy
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skiggy

Xbox 360 outsold PS3 the entire last gen except for the very end. All developers worked more on Xbox than ps3 and the games performance proved it. PS3 was the worst PS console that I know of. Go to youtube and watch a video about last gen and it tells you how much the 360 put woopings on PS3 the entire time. If Sony didnt release The Last of Us the PS3 would have sat behind the 360 in sales. As it is PS3 only beat the 360 by around 100k units and thats not something to write home about… Read more »

Big Bobby
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Big Bobby

Agree, the PS3 wasn’t all what it seemed. It bagged extra sales due to being a Blu-ray based console.

Marty
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Marty

Xbox has failured 3 generations in a row, can’t see anyting changing next gen. Playstation is always gonna be best place to game. Roll on PS5(can’t wait too place my order). Ther is simply no reason to ever buy an Xbox.

ClanPsi
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ClanPsi

l get that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but yours is dumb.

gamingmessiah
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gamingmessiah

Congrats on the article. It may have a clickbait title, but just seeing the ps fantrolls crying about it makes it sweeter. Keep up the good work.

andrewsqual
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andrewsqual

Define “smash next gen PlayStation” lol. I don’t even know what it means when Xbots say Nextbone will win next gen. And I didn’t say you are an Xbot so don’t throw that lame excuse at me for my following questions I put to you.     Does a “win” for Xbox mean it will actually sell more then 35 million consoles in half a decade lol? Or is it NOT spending 4 years making games that turn out garbage or mediocre like Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2 and Crackdown 3?     I haven’t seen a promise… Read more »

ArchangelMike
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ArchangelMike

Wow, your article is a little stunted, only because you don’t consider enough that Sony won’t go into second/third place withtout a fight. But it’s not even about that, the fact that right now the Playstation install base is 91million+ means that by the time PS5 releases it will have a very strong core that will transition. Especially when Sony announce backwards compatibility on the PS5.     The other thing is that Sony will also have more heavy hitting exclusive out the gate first, they will still be supporting VR, and no doubt will double down on Playstation Now.… Read more »

Germ the Nobody
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Germ the Nobody

It always cracks me up when anybody tries to pretend Game Pass is better than PS Now. Not in its current state. Not even the tiniest bit. What’s PS Now at like 800+ games? It’s ridiculous to even compare the two.     I do think the next Xbox will be good, I also think the PS5 will be as well. Microsoft was smart to buy out big indie dev teams but their failure this gen does not give me a lot of hope for them.     Scalebound. =(     Also, really hope it’s not called the “Xbox… Read more »

Kevin
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Kevin

Xbox going to destroy PS5 next generation.

andrewsqual
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andrewsqual

Yep and they will “destroy” PS5 even a half decade into the gen when they are sitting at 33 million Nextbone console sales against PS5’s 91 million, like they are right now this very gen. And no, we don’t do the thing anymore where you half PS4 sales and claim that is whst Xbone sales are. EA put a stop to that a year ago with their console sales calculations.     Xbone sales came to a massive slowdown in 2016, the year all its exclusives went to Windows 10 with even more going to Steam and GOG since. How… Read more »

ninja
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ninja

xbox team

bjnbtrjbnt
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bjnbtrjbnt

i just want ps5 to win next gen

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