Microsoft to unveil new Xbox console by end of year

Andrew Munoz, Reporter

Microsoft is reportedly ready to unveil their new Xbox hardware at the 2019 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June. A French technology website, Jeux Video, says the next generation consoles — yes, plural — will launch in 2020 and are codenamed “Lockhart” and “Anaconda.”

The secret project “Scarlet” will include two new consoles and will take the current place of the Xbox One S and Xbox One X. “Lockhart” will be considered the baseline model, aimed at providing accessible technology to a wider array of consumers. “Anaconda” will be the new top of the line model for consumers willing to spend more money for better performance.

Microsoft has reported that they have been exploring new avenues when it comes to load time reduction, indicating the possibility of a new processor, graphics driver and solid-state memory. This technology would be implemented into both “Lockhart” and “Anaconda,” however “Lockhart” is rumored to serve more as a streaming console with games included. Microsoft has been venturing into the possibility of diskless consoles, meaning “Lockhart” could be a strictly digital console.

New hardware is not the only thing rumored to be revealed by Microsoft at E3 as “Halo Infinite” will be launched alongside the “Scarlet” project. The game will run on the new Slipspace game engine. This engine is designed specifically for “Halo” gameplay according to 343 Industries, the Microsoft division devoted solely to the “Halo” franchise.

Fans of the “Halo” franchise are very pleased with the way Microsoft is handling the development of the game: no paying actual cash for loot boxes, a story mode more focused on the franchise’s longtime hero Master Chief and no battle royale. In fact, 343 developers James Bachici and Jeff Easterling were asked about possibly implementing the game type into “Halo Infinite” during the 343 Social Stream on Mixer. They replied, “The only BR we’re really interested in is Battle Rifle,” referring to the popular multiplayer weapon.

Microsoft has always been the benchmark-setting company when it comes to new technology. It has been developing both “Halo” and its console since their release in 2001. Now 18 years later, it should be interesting to see how Microsoft’s hardware and software have matured.