We may well get a new Xbox in 2019 - but it won't be a new-new Xbox.
Based on what we know about game console lifecycles and what Sony is up to, 2019 is too soon for a new Xbox. We don’t expect there will be a new Xbox until at least 2020. We’ll explain why below, but it’s all about lifecycle.
Xbox chief Phil Spencer admitted in July 2018 the team were deep into developing the “architecture for the next Xbox consoles”. Since then, there’s been very little word from the horse’s mouth.
While several recent leaks have suggested that 2019 won't bring the successor to the Xbox that Spencer has referred to, rumour has it we'll see the launch of a disc-less Xbox One S, which relies solely on Game Pass streaming and downloads to play games.
The Xbox was released on 15 November 2001. The Xbox 360 was released on 22 November 2005, so there were four years and seven days between the Xbox and Xbox 360.
The Xbox One was released on 22 November 2013, so there were eight years exactly between the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. November 2020 would mark seven years since the Xbox One, so it would make sense for the rumoured new consoles to launch then.
Over time, Microsoft and Sony started to align in their release dates, bringing them closer and closer together. The original Xbox was released around a year after the PS2, but the Xbox 360 was released around a year before the PS3. The Xbox One, however, was released in the same month and year as the PlayStation 4.
Xbox and PlayStation compete directly with each other, and neither Sony or Microsoft will want to jump the gun, for fear of their console being trumped by the other. Based on this and what we know about Sony’s game console lifecycle (they release a new console every seven years or so) the new Xbox will be released around the same time as the new PS4.
When will that be? All signs point to 2020. Some people are even saying 2021, although if that’s right it will probably be early in the year.
Consider this - by the time November 2019 comes around, the Xbox One will be just six years old. However, the One X, the super powered latest model, will only be two years old. Given its relatively hefty price tag, Microsoft won't want to upset their loyal fans by launching a console just two years after they've spent big.
Xbox has also enjoyed a strong year, after several where they've struggled to match PlayStation. The recent crop of games are more than enough to keep gamers satisfied for the meantime.
2020 should be the date in your calendar.
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