There's already a lot of chatter about the next generation of gaming, even though neither the PlayStation 5 or "next" Xbox have been confirmed just yet. However, the folks at Engadget believe there's already a clear winner in sight, and it could very well be Microsoft.
Sure, Sony's got the lead in this generation, with over 80 million PlayStation 4's sold compared to fewer Xbox One units shifted, but Microsoft is loading up on talent and resources for the forthcoming generation, and that could very well make the difference, the site notes in its piece.
Writer Jessica Conditt acknowledges that when the Xbox One launched, it was a "clownish disaster," focusing more on features in general rather than killer games, as well as an always-on Internet connection that was later nixed amidst complaints.
Since that time, the company has been making technical strides, particularly with the release of the Xbox One X last year. Despite its high price, it shifted to the forefront of the high-definition movement, thanks to quality support of both games and 4K-based movies across the board.
And sales have since improved in the Xbox line. Even though they're still behind the PS4, a report from NPD's Mat Piscatella indicates, "Xbox One sales show the highest growth of the three major [hardware] platforms in the US this year, and the Xbox One X in particular has been performing phenomenally."
Conditt believes that "a strong upswing at the backend of a console generation will only help the company in the future. And Microsoft certainly has plans there."
Cross-play has a part in that success, as the publisher has been wide open supporting games like Fortnite and Rocket League with other systems- something, by the way, Sony was against for the longest time before it finally relented.
And while there's doubt about messaging and finding features that fit a crowd outside of "hardcore" gamers, Conditt feels that the next piece of Microsoft's tech may "already be setting the stage for the next hardware cycle."
There has been talk about the company introducing two types of hardware for the future, including a "streaming box" set to ship without a disk drive built in. And while that has a lot of people excited, nothing's been finalized yet. Still, if Microsoft took this choice in design, it'd be leaving a lot of options available for gamers, including those with a budget.
There's also discussion about the Adaptive Controller, and Microsoft's experimentation levels, which could easily carry over into 2019 and beyond.
With this year, Conditt believes Microsoft has turned things around, and that, besides what was discussed above, it's planning big for the future between hardware design and its cavalcade of studio acquisitions like Ninja Theory and Obsidian Entertainment.4comments
To sum up, Conditt concludes, "It took about five years, two mid-generation console releases and a brand-new gamepad to get us here, but Xbox is back. Microsoft is finally in control of the video game conversation once again, and in 2019, its runway is clear. Xbox is about to blast off." And it could very well start with E3 2019, since Sony has stepped away from the trade event.
What do you think? Do you believe Microsoft will dominate in this next generation? We're certainly eager to find out!