For the first time in a console’s life cycle, we got a real upgrade from the previous generation. Sure, we’ve always gotten tiny systems here and there, but the Xbox One X signified a substantial shift in console gaming’s direction.
The Xbox One X was a significant boost over the original Xbox One, delivering extremely high-resolution goals and the option to switch between various graphics settings in many cases. Both it and the PS4 Pro, it is arguable, have had a significant influence on the next generation, since various rendering modes are now the standard.
Internally at Xbox, the One X appears to have had a significant influence. Microsoft has embedded the notion of many consoles within a generation into its naming policy this time around. The term ‘Xbox Series’ has always suggested that numerous console versions are possible for this generation, and the Xbox Series S validated that point at launch.
However, the pandemic has had a significant influence on chip production, to the point that new-gen consoles are still difficult to come by, with the exception of the Xbox Series S, which appears to be cheaper and simpler to produce. Has the chip scarcity impacted our prospects of seeing a new Xbox any time soon, or will Microsoft just shift course?
A new console codename was discovered in a Microsoft determine back in March. If ‘Keystone’ does actually refer to a future Xbox system, then chip shortages have certainly not slowed development. Because the Xbox Series S is easily accessible and the Series X is not, Microsoft may choose another low-cost, low-power alternative rather than a Series X ‘upgrade.’
Or perhaps we’ll revert to a more conventional console route, with internal updates and thin consoles being the best we can hope for from this generation. After all, Xbox Series X modifications are already in the works, and these new consoles are still rather powerful in the great scheme of things. In any case, we know that work on new Xbox hardware is in progress; Microsoft’s Liz Hamren stated as much last summer.
For our part, we’d like to see the Series X stretch a bit further this time. The Xbox One fell behind from the start of the last generation, but 18 months later, the Series X still feels extraordinarily strong – with plenty of untapped potential. Even while we’d want to see more powerful hardware, we don’t believe the market will require it anytime soon.