The Microsoft Xbox One has had an incredible run. The all-powerful games console was launched in late 2013, and has spent the past seven years going toe to toe with Sony’s PlayStation 4. We’re not about to get into a debate about which console was better – there are thousands of articles online discussing that topic, and we don’t want to add to that number. Because of the brilliance of both machines, though, we can say with certainty that the past few years have been great for gamers. Some of the greatest video games of all time were made and released on the Xbox One.
If everything goes to plan, the Xbox One will become a last-gen console somewhere toward the end of 2020. The Xbox Series X is on its way, and when it arrives, it will become the focus of Microsoft’s gaming operations going forward. Just as the Xbox 360 was eventually made obsolete by the Xbox One, the current console has had its time and will be retired by the forthcoming Xbox Series X.
The gaming market is exceptionally competitive at the moment, and so it seems that Microsoft has decided to release one more version of their console to hold on to their market share. Since the current-gen consoles were released, we’ve seen both Google and Nvidia muscle in on the cloud gaming scene. Both companies have attempted to create the gaming version of an online slots website via their Stadia and GeForce Now platforms. Just as online slots websites like Late Casino offer gamers hundreds of games in one place, Stadia and GeForce Now offer a massive library of games through one portal, accessible through any laptop, phone, or smart television. Neither platform has yet attained the enormous global popularity of online slots websites, but the principle is the same, and the potential is there. They represent an existential threat to companies like Microsoft and Sony, and so perhaps we shouldn’t be shocked to see Sony surprising us with a final flourish for the Xbox One.
A few years after the Xbox One was released, Microsoft released a ‘souped-up’ version in the shape of the Xbox One X. The company marketed its latest creation as ‘the most powerful gaming console ever created’ and stated that it was a step toward the technology that we’ll see in the Xbox Series X when it eventually arrives. Microsoft might not get any bonus points for the unoriginal (and slightly confusing) naming system they use for their creations, but they told us no lies about the capability of the Xbox One X, which launched in 2017. Its biggest selling point was the fact that its powerful enough to render games in 4K, but it also came with enough new processing hardware to speed up the performance of virtually every game previously released for the platform. This latest (and presumably final) incarnation of the Xbox One is also an Xbox One X – but one that comes with some unique visual tweaks.
We’ll stop beating around the bush and get to the point. The new Microsoft console is an Xbox Series X with a design twist – it’s cyberpunk-themed, and it glows in the dark. It isn’t any more powerful than the existing Xbox One X and doesn’t do anything that the 2017 console can’t, but it looks a whole lot cooler. Aside from glowing in the dark, it comes with futuristic blue LED lights on the face of the console, laser etchings and engravings, and customized panels that make it look like a rustic creation from a future dystopia. Steampunk is a difficult concept to explain here if you’ve never come across it before, but it’s a genre of fiction that includes the ‘Blade Runner’ franchise, and it comes with a distinctive style. This new Xbox unit fits the theme perfectly.
If you know anything about this year’s biggest game releases, you’ll already know that one of the biggest titles scheduled for release over the summer is ‘Cyberpunk 2077.’ You might have seen some promotional material for the game even if you’ve never seen its name before – it’s the one that includes a photo-realistic digitized version of Keanu Reeves. From this, we can deduce that the new version of the console will come packaged with a copy of the game, and so from Microsoft’s listed release date of June 2020, it appears we may finally have a release date for the game, too. ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ has shifted away from its intended launch date several times, and there had been some concerns that we might not see it this year after all, but so long as Microsoft goes ahead with this console launch, we can finally pencil in a date for the game’s availability. That’s probably useful to know even if you have no intention of buying the console.
You probably have no reason to buy this console if you already have an Xbox One X. Given that a major console release is coming up at the end of this year, it might make more sense to hold on to your money and buy the Xbox Series X (or PlayStation 5 – we’re not going to judge you) when it becomes available in December. If you’re excited about the Keanu Reeves-led cyberpunk game, though, and you want a truly unique looking console to play it on, this is the mid-year treat for you.