The next generation of consoles is only a year away, and already, both Sony and Microsoft are laying the groundwork. Though the next Xbox is still referred to by its codename, Project Scarlett, it seems like Xbox has a good idea of how it's going to square up with Sony in 2020.
Speaking to The Verge, Xbox chief Phil Spencer identified the ways in which Xbox fell behind in the last gen, and where it's looking to make up ground in the next.
"I would say a learning from the Xbox One generation is we will not be out of position on power or price," Spencer says. "If you remember the beginning of this generation we were a hundred dollars more expensive and yes, we were less powerful. And we started Project Scarlett with this leadership team in place with a goal of having market success."
Just how that market success will be achieved seems to be building off the Xbox One's current model. Though it struggled at the start of the generation, Xbox has gradually built up a platform around backwards compatibility, cross-play functionality, and a subscription service. Some of those are going to be circling back around for Project Scarlett.
"We're all-in on Project Scarlett and I want to compete," Spencer says. And I want to compete in the right ways, which is why we're focused on cross-play and backwards compatibility."
The Scarlett is set to launch holiday 2020, up against the PlayStation 5. And while both console manufacturers have been trickling out info about the new systems, today's X019 gave Spencer the chance to talk more about the Xbox platform, including its Game Pass subscription.
When asked if Xbox Game Pass, which is already on both Xbox consoles and PC, could ever come to services like Google Stadia, Spencer made it sound unlikely in its current form. "So do we want that Xbox experience to be available in other places? Yeah, we're doing xCloud and other things, but it would have to be a full experience," Spencer says.
Considering Microsoft has xCloud, which announced its impressive preview catalog today, Xbox will probably do fine without making the jump over to Stadia. But in terms of the next console generation, it seems like Microsoft is not dissuaded by its tumble at the start of the last gen. It's going to be a good fight to see which piece of hardware emerges dominant at the end of 2020.