In a recent episode of the XboxEra podcast (ht PX), one of the hosts mentioned that he’d heard talk of Microsoft releasing a new type of Xbox-branded hardware sometime before the end of 2022. That is, if there’s no delays caused by a pandemic or international conflict.
Curiously, the host, Nick Baker, describes the Xbox hardware as being something rather different than what most would expect.
“I'm saying it should be this year,” Baker said in the podcast episode. “Xbox currently has some hardware to show, that they’re going to show, that falls into a different bucket than people are probably expecting.”
Baker then follows up the above statement by clarifying that he knows exactly what the hardware is but that he isn’t allowed to say any more.
The full episode can be listened to online here. The above quote happens around the 1:47:00 mark.
So, what could this mystery Xbox hardware be?
Given that a new iteration of an Xbox console or controller would be pretty predictable, this product is likely something else such as an Xbox streaming stick for TVs for Xbox Cloud Gaming or maybe even an Xbox-branded TV. Of course, both of these product types are kind of expected too for those that have been following the evolution of Xbox Cloud Gaming news over the past year or so.
Could it be an Xbox VR headset? Maybe. Microsoft will need to catch up to Sony in regards to this genre of console gaming eventually. However, just last year, Microsoft did officially state that VR wasn't a focus for them.
Perhaps a Kinect sensor? This would definitely be unexpected given how Microsoft dumped the Xbox One Kinect rather dramatically during the last console generation. However, Microsoft has also developed a new Kinect sensor for developers since then and has also worked with Sky to enable motion gaming and voice commands with a sensor for Sky Glass TV which is essentially a repurposed Xbox One Kinect.
There’s also a rather large market for home exercise services now compared to when Xbox Fitness launched with Xbox One several years ago. Some new services, such as Pelaton, even use motion-tracking. If Microsoft brought back the Kinect alongside a new version of Xbox Fitness, it could actually do a lot better than it did before.
How about a portable Xbox console for playing games on the go? Perhaps a cheap model with minimal hardware that’s designed purely for Xbox Cloud Gaming? Maybe.
What do you think about this Xbox rumor? Do you think it’s legit? What type of new Xbox hardware do you think Microsoft is planning? Let us know in the comments below and then follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more Xbox news.