The next 12 months is likely to be one long tease for gamers on both sides of the mainstream console wall. Both Sony and Microsoft are getting ready to launch their next-gen consoles around this time next year, to ignite another round of console wars.
However, while we wait, it seems that some of the Xbox community will already have played with the next-gen Microsoft console — or at least someone with one.
Despite being a year away from hitting the streets, one user has been taking part in the Xbox online world with a pre-production version of the unnamed console. That user is, of course, Phil Spencer, the head of the Xbox brand — or, officially, executive vice-president of gaming at Microsoft.
Spencer, also known by his Xbox gamertag of ‘P3’, announced that he’d been playing with the new console in this Tweet:
And it’s started….this week I brought my Project Scarlett console home and it's become my primary console, playing my games, connecting to the community and yes, using my Elite Series 2 controller, having a blast. Great work by the team, 2020 is going to be an incredible year.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) December 4, 2019
It’s a particularly busy Tweet, because it confirms quite a few things about the final product. Firstly, the console is clearly backwards compatible as promised, because Spencer has been playing with existing Xbox owners in the community and thus playing current generation games. In fact, the only games he could have been playing, as referenced, are current-gen Xbox games.
Not only that, but Spencer has been using the current Elite Series 2 controller. Microsoft has only just released this $200 controller, so it’s good news for people who’ve picked one up and are looking to upgrade consoles next winter.
Most importantly, it seems to confirm that Microsoft has locked in the new console’s specifications, or close to it. Spencer is no doubt using a development, or dev, kit with slightly different form and specs, but this is the version that developers will use to create the games.