We often hear these days that Microsoft is on its way to become the next IBM, but the truth is hardware remains very important for the company. With Surface inventor Panos Panay recently promoted as Chief Product Officer at Microsoft, you can get ready to see some amazing new hardware coming from Redmond in the near future.
In the concluding segment of Microsoft’s E3 press conference, Xbox head Phil Spencer boldly said that Microsoft was already “deep into architecting the next Xbox consoles,” and the use of the plural “consoles” was apparently not a word slip. Indeed, Brad Sams from Thurrott.com is reporting today that Microsoft is planning to release a new family of Xbox products in 2020:
This past week, I was tipped off that the next generation Xbox was codenamed Scarlett and in an effort to track down if this information was accurate, I was able to view content that highlighted several unannounced Microsoft products that are coming in the next two years.
Microsoft is planning for the next Xbox console release to arrive in 2020. But what is more interesting, is that Microsoft describes ‘Scarlett’ as a family of devices; meaning we may see multiple pieces of hardware released that year.
The report doesn’t go into details about what “Scarlett” will bring onto the Xbox table, especially after Microsoft already released the most powerful console on the market last Fall. However, 4K was probably the wrong target for the Xbox One X, and despite its 6 teraflops of computing power we’re still seeing too many games being capped at 30 FPS on the X, and that includes Microsoft’s latest exclusives Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2.
Presumably, the next Xbox console should also support backward compatibility. In an interview with Eurogamer yesterday, Phil Spencer said that he was “very proud of our track record of compatibility,” adding that "it is in our core on who we are.”
If we may have to wait two more years to see a new console generation, we should see new hardware from Microsoft a little bit sooner. In addition to the new Surface Hub 2 that will start shipping next year, Brad Sams also said in a video today that he expects the rumored “Andromeda” folding mobile device to be released this year.
"Andromeda was mentioned in this content that I was able to view... it says a release date of 2018, which is this year,” explained Sams. “So we're looking at a pocketable device, also the documentations says that OEM partners are also going to release similar devices,“ he continued. This could explain why we recently learned that Dell could also be working on its own Windows 10 on ARM foldable device. Anyway, you can watch the segment in the video below, starting at 5:10:
Is Microsoft finally ready to release a new type of mobile device? Sams also said in the video that the information he saw was from the Terry Myerson era, so things may have changed since the exec's departure. Sams also said today that a new HoloLens codenamed "Sidney" will launch in 2019, just like the new Surface Hub 2. Before that, we may get new 10-inch Surface tablets plus the much-anticipated "Surface phone" that was the subject of so many patents over the past few months.