With the Xbox One X now live, many gamers are wondering what the Xbox Two release date will be. With mid-generation releases emanating from both Sony and Microsoft, estimating precisely when the next console generation will begin has become more complicated. Perhaps the arrival of the Xbox Two is less critical than sequels were in previous years, but many gamers will still be looking forward to this system.
There has already been a raft of speculation on the Xbox Two release date, with many conflicting opinions having been aired. The usually authoritative Wall Street Journal made the somewhat unlikely suggestion that the next generation console could even emerge next year. While others are sceptical of this nation, and instead believed that the Xbox Two will be delayed until the next decade.
Ubisoft weighs in
And the head of Ubisoft has recently been speaking on the subject, concurring with the letter opinion rather than the former. Yves Guillemot spoke on the subject of the next generation console in a call with investors, and suggested that the Xbox Two release date is likely to be later rather than sooner.
“As Sony launched PlayStation 4 Pro last year and Microsoft Xbox One X this year, we think we still have a minimum of two years in front of us before something new is coming, but that’s just our perception,” Guillemot commented.
This would suggest that 2020 would be a likely release date for the Xbox Two, even though two years obviously literally corresponds to just before Christmas in 2019. Guillemot went on to praise both the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro, indicating the support of the developer for the mid-generation concept.
“We really like the fact that Sony and Microsoft are really putting more power in their machines, using the evolution of technology to give power to our developers to create better games for our players. That is going in the right direction rather than trying to do accessories or other things. That is going to help the industry a lot because the games will be really beautiful on those machines,” Guillemot added.
Microsoft / Sony relationship
As Microsoft and Sony ready themselves for their next generation releases, it is notable that the relationship between the two mega-corporations has warmed significantly. Naturally the two companies remain rivals, but there seems to be considerably less bitterness than has been the case in the past.
Sony and Microsoft executives alike have praised their rival company, as both recognise that it is possible for the Xbox and PlayStation ranges to coexist relatively peacefully. Microsoft did prod the wasp’s nest slightly with its suggestion that Sony had “bemused” the company by omitting a 4K Blu-ray drive from the PS4 Pro. But, generally, the somewhat more magnanimous relationship between the two companies indicates that the PlayStation and Xbox are both here to stay.
This means that the existence of an Xbox Two release date can at least be set in stone, as this was not a certainty at one time. It isn’t that long ago that the scrapping of the Xbox Two seemed a distinct possibility, for a couple of credible reasons.
Scrapping Xbox Two
Firstly, the more complex climate of modern video gaming means that the idea of another huge and expensive hardware release no longer necessarily makes sense. With streaming games becoming more popular and feasible, and technology becoming obsolete rapidly, a more flexible approach to the next console generation has certainly been floated in some quarters.
Secondly, and slightly less likely, was the suggestion that Sony had got so far ahead in the console war that Microsoft may admit defeat before the Xbox Two release date rolls round. This was never likely to be the case, especially for such a powerful and wealthy corporation as Microsoft, and the good news for gamers is that the Xbox Two now seems to be a certainty.
While the Xbox Two release date may not yet be set in stone, what is clear is that Microsoft has resolved to keep its existing customers in the loop. Even with the Xbox One X now in the shops, there’s been a clear commitment to ensuring that the existing Xbox One and Xbox One S users are neither alienated not excluded.
Harvey Eagle, the boss of Xbox in the UK, recently commented on the subject. “The Xbox One X sits at the premium end of our family of devices. But everything will work across all of those devices, the idea that nobody will be left behind is really important to us.”
It will be interesting to see whether this ethos is retained when the Xbox Two is released, but certainly both Sony and Microsoft are making a significant effort to display loyalty to their user bases.
Exclusive titles key
A defining aspect of the Xbox Two will be the ability of Microsoft to deliver outstanding exclusive titles. This is something that the mega- corporation has arguably failed to do with the existing Xbox One releases, with an obvious criticism of the Xbox One X being that there are no new exclusive AAA titles as of yet.
Games consoles are ultimately defined by their games, and Microsoft must surely do a better job with this when the Xbox Two release date is revealed. A killer app early in the lifecycle of a console can make a huge difference to its commercial viability, and this will be vital for Microsoft considering the stiff competition from a potential PlayStation 5 release, and Sony’s existing lead in the ongoing console race.
The quality of the Xbox One X, the commitment that Microsoft has made to this console, the powerful internal components included, and particularly the relatively high price tag involved all suggest that the Xbox Two release date will be some years into the future. While Ubisoft believes that two years will be a minimum, it seems likely that the next generation console will arrive in 2021 at the very earliest.