Just when it appeared Sony already had the next-gen console war won with its PS5 console, which seems set for a surprise Christmas 2019 release, a Microsoft tipster has revealed how Xbox is primed to outmanoeuvre the new PlayStation with a three-console combo of blows designed to beat it into market submission.
The move, which could be seen as a direct riposte to the rumoured covert operation being run by Sony to release the PS5 in 2019, rather than in 2021 as it first indicated, will see not only a direct Xbox Series X flagship competitor go toe-to-toe with the PlayStation 5, but also two other consoles as well, with the first arriving next year (and potentially before the PlayStation 5).
According to respected Microsoft commentator Paul Thurrot, the three new consoles in the Xbox portfolio are codenamed Anaconda, Lockhart and Maverick, and are broken down like this:
- Xbox Series X (Anaconda) - Referred to as "Scarlett Pro" inside Microsoft, this is the new flagship follow-up to the Xbox One X. It will "set the benchmark for console gaming" and will almost certainly be a 4K, 60fps powerhouse at the very least. It will specialise at running the best Xbox games with incredibly high resolutions, frame rates and physics settings. The devkit for Anaconda is codenamed "Danta".
- Scarlett Arcade (Lockhart) - Referred to as "Scarlett Arcade" inside Microsoft, this will be the next-generation version of the Xbox One S, meaning that it will be a powerful gaming console with the same strong multimedia capabilities, however it will not quite have the same processing power and graphical grunt as the Scarlett Pro.
- Maverick - This is the completely new streaming-focused Xbox console set to arrive next year that will not have an optical disc drive. This console is being designed to run the next edition of Microsoft's cloud platform, which is codenamed "Anthem V2". The system will be cheaper than both Anaconda and Lockhart.
As such, while Sony's PS5 console currently looks like it is going to be a PS5 games-playing behemoth, with happy PlayStation gamers crowing come Christmas 2019 thanks to insane graphics tech, a smorgasbord of killer features, and an in-built Xbox Live-killing super weapon, it might actually be a short-lived period of dominance, with the PlayStation 5 soon surrounded by a trio of powerful Xbox consoles that can deliver both superb native gaming experiences running off local hardware, as well high-fidelity cloud-streamed gaming experiences, too.
Only time will tell who will win the next-generation console war. But this development, if it proves accurate, shows one thing is for certain - it looks like gamers the world over are going to come out on top, with a broad selection of next-gen consoles on offer at a variety of price points on which they can play their favourite games.
Lead image credit: LetsGoDigital