Phil Spencer made a curious comment at the end of the Xbox E3 briefing this year – the hardware team at Microsoft is hard at work on the next game consoles and are apparently far into the design process. This was not an official announcement; it was merely a line casually dropped while commenting on Microsoft’s commitment to video games. However, this comment has led to quite a bit of discussion around the internet. Will this be a next-gen Xbox console or another iteration of the Xbox One?

The next console is apparently code-named Scarlett according to Brad Sams, a writer at Microsoft Insider website Thurrott.com. Since reporting on the code-name, Sams has been able to view content which describes several currently unannounced projects that Microsoft is working on and plans to release by the year 2020. Curiously, “Scarlett” describes a family of Xbox devices. This could be an entirely new console in multiple SKUs or it could mean a series of devices such as a traditional console and a set-top box similar to Apple TV or Chromecast. Whatever the tech giant may be planning, Brad Sams fully believes that a new Xbox console will launch in 2020.

Matt Brown over at Windows Central speculates that Microsoft may announce the new Xbox next year – possibly at the 2019 E3 conference – with a launch in 2020.

My guess is that Microsoft will release their next console in 2020 – possibly in two or more SKUs. There could be the basic system and an “Elite” SKU. I also suspect that Microsoft is working on a portable Windows device that will work with the upcoming Xbox game streaming service.

Whatever the case, The Inner Circle will be there to fill you in on the details about the next console from Microsoft as well as Sony, Nintendo and whichever companies step into the ring.