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Gaming Gossip: Episode 16 - Our wishlist for a next-generation Xbox console

We discuss the recent rumours of a new Xbox console arriving in 2026, whether it's too soon for a new console generation, and likewise what we would want from such a hypothetical device.

Audio transcription

"Hello everyone and welcome back to what I believe is our 16th episode of Gaming Gossip.
It's just me and Alex today. You know, we're lacking Dav. Dav's busy, so it's just me and Alex.
It's not the bad boys anymore. It's the bar boys, yeah."

"Today we're going to be talking about, well, predominantly Xbox, but consoles as a whole.
Maybe a little bit of summer game showcases and stuff like that. You know, a bit of everything really.
There's a lot of stuff.
There's a lot of stuff. There's a lot of stuff. They're all kind of intertwined with one another though."

"That's the thing. That's why we're talking about them collectively, essentially.
But essentially we wanted to talk about, predominantly, the rumour that a new Xbox console was being planned for 2026.
Now this is...
Early."

"Yeah, well, in one way, yeah. Very early. But it's also quite a big deal, really.
Because I don't feel like we've really tapped the potential of this generation.
We're already talking about the next generation as well, so I don't know. What do you think?
Well, you said it's early, which I completely agree with. Too early?
I think it's far too early. I was expecting, like, well, obviously they've been sort of every..."

"If you look at the 360 to the One and then the One to the One X slash S, about seven years each time.
Was it less for the 360 to the One?
But the seven year gap felt like a really good amount of time.
Because by, say, like 2015, we were really hitting the stride of the sort of PS4, Xbox One generation."

"And stuff like The Witcher 3 came out and that was like, okay, this is kind of really what we're expecting of this generation.
Anything more is great, but anything less is like, you know, go back to the 360 era.
And then we've got the One X and the PlayStation. And I would agree with you.
I don't think we've seen any sort of anything near the capacity. We've seen some great games."

"We've seen some great tech demos disguised as games, like Forspoken.
And yet we've still seen nothing that I would say, wowee, you know, that really blew me away.
As something that needed to be on the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox One, the Xbox Series X, especially with Xbox.
Because PlayStation at least puts out these exclusives like Spider-Man 2 where you go, okay, well, that's pretty cool."

"Whereas Xbox, we're looking at PC still, really.
Yes, it's fascinating, isn't it? To talk about Xbox and then to just bury Forspoken like that.
Just out of left field, just completely buried.
But no, yeah, no, I would agree."

"I think the one thing we can say, though, about this generation of hardware is that it's kind of different to other ones.
I mean, granted, there is this whole thing going around this rumor that we're expecting like a PS5 sort of pro model to be released later this year.
Right. But Xbox. Yeah, exactly. It's all speculation, isn't it, at this point."

"But the point is, is that it doesn't look like Xbox has anything of a similar sorts planned this generation.
Like it seems like they're doing the Series X and Series S.
You know, some slight changes to the way that the things fundamentally work like they do with every generation of consoles.
Slightly different way that the memories distribute and stuff like that."

"But otherwise, we're not going to get that sort of upgraded mid generation jump by the looks of things this time.
So perhaps that's why we've got a shorter generation, but it does feel very early either way.
Maybe Xbox is already sort of or Microsoft is already sort of mentally written off this generation.
You know, they're miles behind sales and expectations compared to PlayStation."

"They are doing better than I think Xbox One did. But Xbox One was an absolute disaster.
So it's not exactly like a good sort of tentpole to measure it against, is it really?
But yeah, perhaps they're sort of looking at this as another generation they're going to write off and they're going to look at the next generation.
Which bear in mind as well, this rumor states that it's going to launch alongside as a Call of Duty 2026, which will be like a day one launch for the new Xbox."

"So perhaps they're looking at it going, let's get this one out the gate real fast.
You know, massive big sort of launch thing and see if we can rejuvenate the Xbox name in a way with this sort of next step forward with the Xbox hardware.
But I don't know. Either way, I think it's a bit too early.
I don't, yeah, I don't think we've really seen anything that's necessarily screams next gen."

"And I think the ones...
Nothing is.
Yeah, Karam.
Yeah, nothing. I was going to say like with COD though, like, and, you know, oh, COD's coming out on the new Xbox."

"Well, it's going to be on the old one.
Like it's going to be on the series X and S. Why the hell would you buy it?
COD is not a console seller, in my opinion.
COD is a, is one of the biggest software sellers."

"But I don't know if you can attribute buying a new console to getting the new COD unless you don't have a console at all.
Because COD doesn't need a new Xbox to run it.
COD doesn't even need a current Xbox to run it.
Like it's still on that old, old engine."

"And for them to be like, oh, COD's coming with the new Xbox.
It feels like they're just really out of touch lately, Xbox.
Yeah.
With what pushes those consoles."

"I would agree with the out of touch thing.
I would also think that it comes across as a bit of a desperation plea.
You know, like, how are we going to get people to buy a new console?
Well, I'll tell you how."

"We'll market it with the biggest, one of the biggest sort of gaming franchises out there.
You know, they can't market it with a series like EA Sports FC, because most likely it's still massively connected with PlayStation as of all the FIFA games, really.
So you look at Call of Duty, which, you know, Xbox and Microsoft now own because they own Activision and Blizzard."

"So I can understand why that would be the case to do that.
But I don't know.
I just, I think as a whole, though, it feels like we're at a sort of turning point with console hardware in general, right?
Yeah."

"We're seeing, and Jonas wrote a great article about this recently, actually, one of our good colleagues, Jonas, where he basically says, you know, are we in a console crisis with sales dropping repeatedly?
And, you know, we're seeing various different reasons to suggest that consoles are becoming less popular, PCs becoming more popular."

"And it's less about hardware these days.
And as you say, more about software and that sort of stuff.
And I think that Xbox is the worst of the bunch there, because Nintendo, they do their own thing.
Everyone says we're in a console crisis, which is kind of true."

"But Nintendo still sells boatloads of Switches.
And the Switch 2 is probably going to sell like hotcakes as well.
But PlayStation, even Sony aren't meeting their expectations for PlayStation consoles.
And PlayStation absolutely blows Xbox out of the water."

"Like it's not even close.
Bodies Xbox.
Exactly, yeah.
So it's, I don't know, it's strange.
It's very strange, this situation."

"Again, though, we should say this is a complete rumor, right?
We haven't had any official confirmation.
We're all speculating, yeah.
It's all conjecture."

"It's all conjecture.
And it's coming from a source as well that's, you know, it's from a Call of Duty data miner that's basically suggested this is going to be the case.
And it's been picked up by various media, like Insider Gaming, which come along to us and stuff like that.
So it's not exactly a firm source that this is happening."

"And it wouldn't surprise me.
As usual.
Yes, exactly.
We like lying to you.
We do like lying to you."

"We just love lying to you.
And that's basically how Games Media works.
Is that there's...
Well, actually, it's not us lying, right?
It's the big executive, you know, the corporations and the publishers that don't tell you anything official so that you have to rely on data miners and leakers and whatnot to get the information out there."

"JimmyGamer57, who spends his days going through the COD local files to find some reference to Xbox 2026.
You know, like...
It's a fair point.
Put that aside."

"It's a fair point because, again, this is...
I love lying. I don't know about you.
We're getting into the territory now of the issues with the gaming industry as a whole and the fact that it takes, you know, years and years to make a singular video game, never mind a new platform.
To do anything."

"Yeah.
To even think about it.
So you can understand why they take the time to make these announcements.
But, you know, if a movie company came out and didn't tell you about a movie that they were making until the trailer dropped, you'd be like, what?
So, you know, it's a very unusual situation to be in."

"But anyway, let's talk about this hardware a minute.
What would you like to see?
Let's say it's hypothetically real.
What would you actually like to see included in this next generation console?
And I can't say I would like to see, like..."

"A 200 pound drop in price or something.
Yeah.
A 200 pound drop in price actually for them not to make it at all.
Now, I would like..."

"Can I sort of cheat the question a bit and talk a bit about something that I think could sell the console?
Yeah, go on.
I think if you push the release date back of this new console until The Elder Scrolls 6 and you make The Elder Scrolls 6 a very beefy game to run to the point where it needs this new hardware or an absolute monster of a PC, then you sell an Xbox."

"Because otherwise, I don't know what they have that genuinely sells Xboxes at this point.
But putting it onto the hardware, how would you make it better?
Because the thing is, right, is that the Series X, correct me if I'm wrong, but it's a more powerful console than the PS5.
Yeah, marginally, I believe."

"Was that the case with the...
It beats it in some metrics, right?
I don't know whether it beats it in all of them, but there's a multitude of metrics that it does beat it in.
It's a beefy machine. And guess what? People still like PlayStation because it's got the name PlayStation."

"It's got better games.
It's got better games. It's called the PlayStation. It has more care for its fan base.
It's not laid off a bunch of people recently, although it probably will at some point because...
Well, they did close down FireSprite recently, right?
Exactly."

"And London Studio. No, was it FireSprite? It was definitely London Studio.
Liverpool, FireSprite, and then the London PlayStation as well.
But yeah, so what do I want to see in the hardware?
I still want to see a disk drive. Don't be giving me none of that digital-only stuff."

"But then again, you've got to put the disk in and then download the game fully anyway. I don't know.
But I want to see disk drive. I want to see in-built Kinect. There you go.
Give me a camera on the console so that I can be like, Xbox on.
And then it turns on. Xbox, record that. Xbox, play."

"I want to be able to do that.
And I also want it to be... I don't know. Big. Make it massive.
Bigger.
Make it absolutely massive. Bigger."

"I think it's funnier to have a massive console. You could put the whole telly on it.
It's my dream console, really. Just have it resting.
But yeah, any wish lists from you?
Because I feel like, I don't know, I didn't really look at consoles and go, I really like that."

"I think a nice look.
Ooh, tell you what. Replaceable panels.
Because Xbox loves to do their special editions, right?
And PlayStation does as well."

"But what PlayStation have done, which is quite smart, is go, we don't have to get a whole new PS5.
You don't have to. You can safely buy the PS5 now.
And guess what? If we release a special edition cosmetic, you just snap the plates off.
Snap them. Hopefully you don't know what I mean."

"But if Xbox could do that, rather than have like, oh, here's the Barbie limited edition Series S that only one person in the world is going to get.
Here's the Spongebob one. Here's the Ninja Turtles one.
Here's the South Park one. Here's all this, that, and the other."

"It's like, I'd rather just have the little snappable things so that I can have Eric Cartman on my Xbox one day and Patrick Starr on the other.
Is that not the American dream, Ben?
What I would say, I think that you're onto something there."

"I think upgradability is something that would massively, you know, excel and make an upcoming Xbox stand apart from a PlayStation.
Because we know for a fact, right, with the way that Sony works, the next PlayStation console is probably going to be similar in that you can probably do a few minor upgrades to it."

"Maybe putting in like a new sort of memory thing.
But it's going to be a closed system again, as it always has been with PlayStation because that's how they work.
They don't need to really do anything because people want PlayStation consoles."

"That's just how it is.
But I think with Xbox being owned by Microsoft and Microsoft being tech geniuses and like, you know, tech giants own, operate Windows and all that stuff.
I think if you make an Xbox console into essentially like a mini tower PC that you can upgrade."

"I'm not saying that you can, you know, you'll be able to buy it by this point, like an RTX 70 series and slam it in there because it'd be bigger than the actual console itself.
But I mean, you can make minor upgrades to it so that it can sort of last into the future."

"I think that would be a massive point that they could do to make it stand out above PlayStations.
Otherwise, you also mentioned that about a disk drive, right?
I think that disk drives need to go."

"Not- What?
No, let me finish, right?
I think disk drives need to go because they don't do anything.
As you say, right?
All they do is they basically serve as like essentially a lock and key system to access in a physical media, right?
You don't really play games off disks anymore."

"They're too small.
They don't carry enough data.
So you put the disk in, you download the thing and you can play the thing.
So how about we get rid of disks and let's use like keys or cartridges or something that you put it in and go, there's your access to the game."

"It works.
What the hell are you talking about?
The point I'm trying to make- You're insane.
Disks are big and the disk drives are massive."

"So why not have like a memory card, right?
That you put into the console and you go, all right, well, there's your access to the game.
You download it to the console."

"It does the same thing that a disk does.
It's just not as big.
It takes up less space than the actual unit itself.
Essentially- Like a massive Switch cartridge."

"Yeah, well, essentially like a Switch cartridge except not using a Switch cartridge's format because, again, a Switch cartridge is different because they generally do play off the Switch cartridge, right?
Because it's a handheld system."

"But it's essentially just a memory card, right?
Instead of using a CD form as a way to transfer media and transfer the data, you actually just have like a memory card, essentially."

"It's just, here's your 150 gigabytes of data that allows you to play the game.
Download it to your console.
Happy dates.
And it does the exact same job as a disk does except you don't need a disk reader inside the console that takes up, you know, half of the console or whatever."

"I'm looking at my Xbox next to me and it's probably like a good sort of- It's crying.
Quarter of the console, you know, that the disk drive takes up."

"Please don't get rid of me, Ben.
But no, that's- Please don't remove my disk drive.
That's what I think they could do that, right?
To just- Because I just- I get the point that why people like disks, right?
And I like physical media because it's essentially like foolproofing you from the future and not being caught out by digital- You can snap them when you rage quit."

"Exactly, you can.
But I do think that disks are outdated.
I think that we're on the way out from disks because- Look, if you're buying a copy of Baldur's Gate and it takes three disks to install it to your console, then surely disks need to change."

"There needs to be a new way to transfer physical media and push it forward because it's at the point now where it's just ridiculous.
It's absolutely ridiculous."

"So, yeah, I think there needs to be some sort of change done there.
Yeah, I think- I don't necessarily think we need new hardware or more powerful hardware."

"I think it just needs to be more refined.
I think that a 60fps baseline as like a minimum needs to be set.
No longer this thing like, oh, it's going to run at 60fps, but really it runs at 30fps unless you run it in 1080p and then it runs at 4k."

"It runs at 60fps as a minimum and if you want to run it, you can probably run it at 1080p and 120fps or you can run it at 4k60 or something like that."

"That's how this console works, but we just need to have a firm baseline set because I think we've seen it proved recently with Starfield, right?
The Starfield updates come out and the game runs at 60fps on Xbox Series X."

"I think it's improved.
Probably, yeah, but like if the console could always do it, why do we have to wait like nearly a year to be able to actually do it with the console?
I get that the Series S exists, but it's time that ends in my eyes."

"So, you know, I think they just need to set some boundaries with the console and set some clear sort of guidelines and things that they want to achieve with it and go from there."

"I think they need to stop half-arsing it.
Yeah.
Like this whole thing of like Game Pass.
Oh, it goes on PC and Xbox and the Series S."

"It just seems like half-arsing your commitment to what you want your vision of gaming to be because you're like, we want to deliver this next-gen."

"120fps is the new normal.
I remember when they said that in 2020.
I remember that and then it's not.
It's 30fps again and the Series S can't handle a lot of stuff and I think the Series S is a great product for a consumer, but I think it's a horrible way to sort of push forward the hardware specifications of the gaming industry and if Xbox took a full step back and they said, we are like, we're going to give you budget machines that let you play games, but they're not going to be like very high fidelity."

"You're not going to get 60fps on everything, but you're going to pay 200 pounds less than you would for a PS5.
That, I think, is a much better commitment to have because you've still got PC."

"If people want the high fidelity and you're releasing both on PC and Xbox, I think that's a much better commitment to have and you'd sell a lot more machines because it's essentially what Nintendo does."

"We're not going to give you performance.
We're not going to give you anything else, but we're going to give you really fun games that you like and the IPs that you like and Xbox has enough studios now to say we have the IPs that you like and they've not been pushing them nearly what they're worth."

"Sorry, we've got something else.
No, I was just going to briefly take us on to the rumours of hardware.
Oh, I say the rumours."

"We know that there's going to be Xbox hardware announced later this year.
They said that in January at the Developer Directing."

"So, I mean, granted, Xbox hardware is a very broad statement, right?
It could be a new controller.
It could be the confirmation of an Xbox 2026 console."

"What?
It'll probably be either a new controller or it'll be, oh, here's our handheld gaming device.
It's actually cloud-based gaming."

"You can't run unless you're inside a city using 5G network.
Everywhere else is absolutely useless.
It's probably going to be something similar like that."

"But in a more positive and optimistic sense, what do you expect this hardware reveal to be later this year?
Whenever it is."

"They said holiday this year, I think they did.
I could see it being the handheld.
I think that's the new sort of thing and I think especially with Xbox's ties to PC, as we were saying before, it probably should be the handheld if anything."

"PlayStation has sort of...
PlayStation sold better than they expected with the Portal.
But that doesn't necessarily mean the Portal is a great device."

"You know?
I could sell like Snake Oil and I could do better than expected with Snake Oil but that doesn't necessarily mean that Snake Oil is a successful product."

"It means that I'm a good salesman.
Or you had very low expectations of what you would sell.
Or I expected to sell one bottle of Snake Oil and I sold two."

"That's why I doubled my profits.
Essentially.
And I think that's probably what happened with the Portal because the Portal is not great."

"And I think there's...
Right, Steam...
Valve, as usual, has done what Valve do which is they just sort of do something, usually first, like the Steam Deck, and they come out with it and then they don't really have to do much after that because every competitor ends up shooting itself in the foot, tripping over the finish line or a combination of the two."

"Like, the ROG Ally comes out and then a year later they're like, don't worry guys, the new one's coming is the proper one."

"The one that you bought is a lie.
The Logitech one is like overpriced and it has to switch flicky things for no reason.
So Xbox have a space to go, actually, if you don't want to buy a Steam Deck, if you want a Windows OS running handheld, here you go from the people who make Windows themselves."

"That's your opportunity.
That's your USP, I think.
I would agree.
I think that as long as it's, the thing is right, is I don't know whether handheld technology is in a place where you're going to be able to use a lot of modern games or play a lot of modern games well."

"And I say this because we see older Xbox IP come to Switch and run terribly.
Well, Switch is not a Steam Deck."

"I know the Switch is an older property, right?
It is.
But the point is is that if a game like Grounded, which is, Grounded is old at this point."

"Let's not beat around the bush.
Grounded is not a new game.
It's an old game at this point.
It's been going for quite a long, quite a few years."

"And it goes into the Switch and it just runs horribly.
Now, the reason I bring the Switch up is because there is a significant price jump between the Switch and the Steam Deck."

"And I think that the market for console gaming, there's a disparity between those wanting to buy a Switch and buy a Steam Deck because of the extra like £250 or whatever it is to be able to get a decent Steam Deck or even get an entry Steam Deck really."

"So that's the bit that sort of concerns me a little bit is that I don't know whether the hardware is in place to do sort of local gaming on a device, on a portable device."

"Which is why I think that they'll try and they'll look towards cloud gaming again.
And that worries me because I've used a lot of different cloud gaming systems and services and software and whatnot and they've all been absolutely terrible for me."

"And granted, right, I don't live in a big city but I have very good internet connection.
I still cannot get these handheld systems to work well, right?
They're still like absolutely terrible to use."

"And I think that they probably only apply to the what, 20% of the population, the human population that live in cities or whatever."

"Everyone else, it's like a completely unreasonable product that is unusable in majority of cases."

"It's still 5, maybe 10 years out from being a consumer system.
But yeah, I would hope that they have something in store."

"Maybe they, look, Microsoft is Microsoft.
They've done a lot of massive things in the past."

"So maybe they'll really sort of run with this system, this handheld idea and redefine it."

"And, you know, blow Steam Deck out of the water.
You never know, it could happen, right?
No one's gonna deny the fact that the Xbox Series X as a system, as a console, is a very well-manufactured device."

"You know, it's a very good console.
It's just not, it's just lacking elsewhere to make it stand out and excel beyond the PlayStation 5."

"So, they have all the tools in place and all the opportunities to make a very competent handheld system."

"So hopefully that's what they'll have in store.
But, you know, if they do say that we've got new hardware coming and later this December they reveal like the Xbox Elite Series 3 or whatever they're on, I'm gonna be massively disappointed because I'm just, they've released so many controllers these days, I don't think anyone can get excited for them."

"Also, like, the third-party ones are often like cheaper and as effective.
Like, that's the..."

"I use a SCUF controller.
I've always liked the ones with the buttons on the back.
And I've had multiple series Xbox Elite Series controllers and they've all broken very quickly."

"I think that the production quality is terrible.
So I use a SCUF one as Elite."

"Yeah.
I use this Thrustmaster which I got as one of my very first things that I ever reviewed at Game Reactor."

"And it's...
It got a 9.
I probably could have even given it a 10 from little old me because it is that good."

"Very expensive.
It's Forza Horizon 5 as well so it has the little driving stick that I never use.
But I used it once on GTA and I crashed immediately."

"So, you know.
But, like, that's the thing is that you can get...
If you want to spend the money because there's loads of people who want to spend the money and if you don't want to spend the money there's plenty of options in third party places at this point."

"But yeah, Steam always wins.
Don't bet against Steam.
Don't try and bet against Steam.
Said from the mentality and perspective of a PC gamer."

"I mean, tell me one time...
Like, it's really annoying.
It's really annoying because I want there to be competition."

"But, like, as well Valve fanboys are really, really, like, zealous.
Like, they will..."

"I love Epic Games because it gives you free games every week.
They refuse to take free games from Epic and would rather pay..."

"Granted, not very much.
But still, they would rather pay money to buy something from Steam.
That's how dedicated these people are."

"The madness.
So, if Xbox even comes out with something that genuinely does rival the Steam Deck you can be sure that the Steam Deck will still sell well because of these people."

"These madmen.
That's why I say, like, don't go against it because half of the time you've just got an army of people who will defend Gabe Newell to the hilt even though they will call out people for defending stuff like Pokemon against Powerworld for the same reasons."

"There's madness in this world.
There is madness and with that bombshell I think we should probably wrap up."

"It's been...
We've been going for a while actually, so, yeah.
This has been episode 16 of the Gaming Gossip."

"We'll be back next week with Dav.
He'll be back.
We'll be the full reunited bad boys and we'll actually..."

"We'll do the preview of the Summer Showcases.
We were going to do that today but with a smaller cast this time around so, yeah."

"I feel right with that Dav because he's going as well.
He'll be there.
Exactly.
So stay tuned for that and otherwise..."

"Yes, yes.
So stay tuned for that and otherwise I've been Ben, that's been Alex and we'll see you all on the next episode."

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