With a predicted Christmas 2019 release date, Sony’s PS5 looked to have the upper hand over bitter rival the Xbox, but that’s all changed after a stunning new leak from a reliable source has revealed Microsoft will attack the PlayStation with no less than three Xbox Two ‘Scarlett’ models.
The next Xbox – which some think will be called the Xbox Two (or Xbox 2) and is understood to be in development under the codename ‘Scarlett’ – looks like it has a trick or three up its sleeve, after respected Microsoft pundit Paul Thurrott teased tantalising new details of the forthcoming console.
As with the current-generation lineup featuring the Xbox One X, Xbox One S, and original Xbox One, the Xbox Two will actually be a three-strong range of consoles – but one of them is shaping up to be a complete surprise.
According to Thurrott, the three Xbox Two products in the works are the Scarlett Pro ‘Anaconda’, Scarlett Arcade ‘Lockhart’, and a mysterious new product known only as Maverick.
The Xbox Scarlett Pro will supplant the Xbox One X as the company’s powerhouse console, coming with all the trimmings, including 4K, 60fps graphics based on the latest AMD Zen 2 architecture. Scarlett Arcade will essentially be a next-gen Xbox One S, offering strong graphical capabilities but slightly more modest specs and power compared to the Scarlett Pro.
Both of these machines are still being lined up for a 2020 release date, the tipster says.
Where things get really interesting is with the Xbox Two ‘Maverick’. This will be a completely new console concept for Microsoft which will bid farewell to physical games in favour of streaming direct from Microsoft’s next-gen cloud platform, codenamed ‘Anthem V2’.
Understandably, this will be the cheapest in the lineup, and almost certainly the slimmest due to the lack of an optical drive (which will also presumably mean no Blu-ray/DVD capabilities). It’s also likely to be the first next-gen Xbox Two system released, with Thurrott tipping a spring 2019 reveal that would trump Sony’s accelerated PlayStation 5 release plans by a good few months.
Related: Best consoles
Of course, Sony is also likely to release more than one variant of the PS5 in time, but seeing a cheap new Xbox as soon as Q2 2019 would surely give Microsoft a head start over its rival in the next-gen console wars.
What feature do you want to see on the PS5 or Xbox 2? Let us know @TrustedReviews.