An interview with Aaron Greenberg, Microsoft's head of Xbox games marketing, reveals that console gaming could be coming to an end quicker than gamers might have expected.
Microsoft's stance on console gaming has been a difficult one to parse through over the past few years, especially in the months after the company's confusing E3 2016 presentation. There, Microsoft unveiled a new version of the Xbox One with upgraded specs and a more appealing frame before revealing a brand new console under an hour later, prompting fans of the platform to question the company's direction. While that confusion hasn't hurt Microsoft's sales - the Xbox One beat the PS4 in console sales this July in a rare victory - it has brought the future of console gaming to the forefront of gaming discussions.
In an interview conducted by Engadget with Aaron Greenberg, the head of Microsoft's Xbox games marketing department, Greenberg revealed that even Microsoft is leery of the future. The interview often echoed the sentiments of Xbox boss Phil Spencer, who had previously stated that the future of the Xbox looked "a lot like PC gaming", with Greenberg expanding on this idea:
"For us, we think the future is without console generations...we're basically saying, 'this isn't a new generation; everything you have continues forward and works.' We think of this as a family of devices."
Greenberg's "family of devices" is how the prominent Microsoft figure describes the future of Xbox being in the hands of Project Scorpio, the successor to the Xbox One that Greenberg says Microsoft is "making a pretty big bet on". Of course, Greenberg isn't suggesting that console gaming will completely fade away. Rather, the notion of "console generations" will begin to disappear as companies like Microsoft begin to develop families of consoles, like the Xbox One S and Project Scorpio, that can play the same new games at different levels of efficiency and processing power.
If it sounds like a lot for gamers to take in right now, that's likely because it is. The fact is, Greenberg and Spencer are both discussing a console gaming landscape that is entirely different from anything the industry has seen before, so it is difficult to make sense of without seeing how Project Scorpio fares first.
Project Scorpio is still pretty far away, however. For now, Microsoft is enjoying being back on top of the console sales charts and gearing up for what looks to be a highly competitive fall/winter season for the console gaming market - something that, as bizarre as it sounds, could be the last of its kind.
What do you think about Greenberg's vision of the future of console gaming? Do you think the continued comparisons of future consoles to PCs are valid, or does the comparison worry you? Let us know in the comments below.