Lately, much of the gaming world has been occupied with rumors of the PlayStation 5. However, now it’s time to pay attention to its closest rival, Xbox. Reports are that Microsoft has possibly started with the development of the Xbox Two.
Speculations surrounding the Xbox Two have been triggered by a recent job posting from Microsoft. Though the listing does not exclusively mention the Xbox Two, it does give strong hints about the same. Even the tagline of the posting – “Come be part of what’s next.” – should encourage Xbox fans.
The listing is for an engineer who will lead the DRAM solutions development team for current and future Xbox related projects. Specifically, the listing is for an experienced senior electrical engineer, who should be skilled in “core engineering principles” and have a thorough understanding of the latest memory tech, mainly DDR3 and GDDR5
Further, the listing says that the selected candidate would play an important role in the current and leading memory technology, which is used in the newest Xbox platform, and also in the future consoles from the company. And, the biggest hint of the Xbox Two was the listing stating the possibility of integrating GDDR6 memory into the next Xbox console. The listing clearly mentioned that the engineer hired would be responsible for managing the GDDR6 and other future projects.
“The successful candidate will be the primary technical focal point for existing and leading-edge memory technologies on currently shipping and future Xbox design projects,” the job posting says.
Microsoft’s job posting implies that the engineer would focus on adding the right memory solutions into the console based on several parameters like signal integrity, cost, reliability and performance. Further, the hired candidate’s job responsibilities would include working within an internal team and partner teams for creating specifications, defining the system requirements for each type of memory, qualification and validation of the technology.
The job posting focuses more on the high-tech memory technology and the board design. This is more than enough to keep the fans and experts guessing as to what Microsoft could be planning for the Xbox Two, considering we have already seen the powerful Xbox One X.
Along with the posting for an engineer, Microsoft’s website also has a listing for the Xbox Storage. The person hired for this post will help the team overseeing the storage solutions for the Xbox, another hint that the Xbox Two is in the works.
As of now, it would be too early to guess when we can expect the next Xbox console. But with Microsoft already looking for specialists, it can be assumed that the Xbox Two has already passed or is in the brainstorming phase. Also, going by the development cycles of the previous Microsoft consoles, if the next-gen console is entering the development phase now, it could debut in 2020 or early 2021.
Talking of the PlayStation 5, reports are that it could debut as early as later this year. Other reports claim that the release date might get pushed to 2019 owing to manufacturing issues concerning the system’s main processor. Sony would reportedly go for the TSMC’s upcoming 7nm FinFET technology, which would take about a year to support the console’s production.
Also, the GDDR6 memory technology, which the PlayStation 5 is expected to use, is also not available as of yet. Talking of other expected PS5 specs, according to Digital Foundry, the Japanese firm would again prefer AMD for providing it with the central processor.
Coming to graphics, AMD has talked about its “next-generation memory,” which would be called “Navi.” However, very little is known about it. But, if Navi, which is based on AMD’s Graphics Core Next (GCN) technology, could support the performance leap that Sony is planning for its next console, it could very well feature in the PS5.
Despite the rumors surrounding the PlayStation 5 release, many believe there is no need for the next console, at least not for the next year or so. The PS4 is already selling well. Though the sales are slowing, there are several titles still to come that could further ignite the love for the Sony console. Speaking to GamingBolt, analyst Michael Pachter said a delayed release for the new console would be more logical probably, because by that time 4K TV would be available in a significant number of U.S. homes.
“I think Sony has probably got the next console cycle lined up already,” he says, “I think they already know what they’ve got to do.”