It's reaching that period of the Xbox One and PS4's life-cycle where conversations begin to gravitate towards the next generation of consoles. Adding to that conversation is Microsoft's Phil Spencer, who has voiced desires to ensure the next Xbox (code-named Project Scarlet) improves on framerate and start times.
The next generation of consoles may not be that far away, though currently Microsoft have been much more vocal about their future hardware than Sony, who have remained silent despite rumors of PS5 dev kits being sent out. During E3 2018, Spencer announced that the team who worked on the Xbox One X hardware were busy creating the next Xbox console, confirming that the current generation of consoles has, at least for Microsoft, entered its final stage.
In an interview with Giant Bomb, Spencer went into detail about Microsoft's vision for the next Xbox. "I think framerate is an area where consoles can do more", he said, adding that "When you look at the balance between CPU and GPU in today’s consoles they’re a little bit out of whack relative to what’s on the PC side". It's fair to assume from this that the next Xbox is hoping to come closer to the PC experience, which often offers 60fps at 1080p with ease.
As for the speed of game installs, Spencer admitted that he gets frustrated with the Xbox One himself. "I'm always wishing games would start quicker," he says. Spencer then brought up FastStart - a new system announced at E3 which will see the Xbox One prioritise crucial game files first during downloads, allowing the player to begin the game whilst the rest of the download finishes in the background. It seems Microsoft will be looking to push this concept even further with their next console release.
It's reassuring, though perhaps unsurprising, to see Microsoft prioritising framerate for their next generation console. As we reach the end of the current generation, framerate has become much more important to console gamers. Games like Fortnite and Call of Duty which achieve 60fps are praised for their fast and responsive gameplay, whilst news of any big titles like the upcoming Spider-Man which fail to hit 60fps are met with cries of disappointment.
While the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X go some way to fulfilling the console gamer's desire for high framerates, it's nice to hear that the next console generation will seek to push things even further. And, given that reports are indicating we may see the Xbox Scarlet as early as 2020, it probably won't be too long before even more details begin to surface about what future console hardware will have to offer.
Source: Youtube - Giant Bomb