One of the biggest surprises of E3 2018 was when Xbox head Phil Spencer went on stage during the Microsoft press conference and announced that work has begun on the next-gen Xbox. As one of Microsoft's biggest first-party devs, I got a chance to ask the Sea of Thieves team at Rare what they expect from the next-gen console.
"As [next-gen] starts to become a reality, we'll be working with the engineers in Redmond and figuring it out. They'll be architecting it in the right way, like they did with the [Xbox One X]," said Sea of Thieves producer Joe Neate. "I have all the confidence in the world that [Microsoft is] going to make that transition as smooth as possible for everyone."
Neate says that he believes the transition to the Xbox One X serves as a good template for what he and other Xbox developers can expect when the next-gen Xbox comes out. "The transition to the X was as smooth as it gets. Normally when you go from console generation to generation, like, everything fucking changes and you have to rewrite everything."
However, based on the Xbox One X, Rare says the engineering team at Microsoft are "very forward thinking" when it comes to their hardware project. "I trust that team to get that part right and we'll do the Sea of Thieves part right and when the parts need to meet then they will," concludes Neate.
Currently, leakes have pointed to the next Xbox as being codenamed "Project Scarlet" and that it's aiming for 2020. We will have more details regarding the next Xbox as they become available.
We will have a full interview with Neate and Rare senior designer Shelley Preston later today focusing on Sea of Thieves and Xbox Game Pass. But with the next-gen consoles looming it's good to get insight from a first-party studio keyed into Microsoft's process about the next Xbox hardware. For more, check out our recap of Microsoft's E3 2018 press conference and our full E3 guide.