Microsoft designed the Xbox One with a simple concept in mind: to build an all-in-one entertainment system that could take over for all the others in your living room.
It's an amazing concept, in theory, but it comes with a few caveats. Namely, they wanted you to use the Kinect constantly, and be online all the time. It didn't jive well with the greater gaming community, so what we got was a trimmed down version of that original concept.
Now that the Xbox One is out and solidified, Microsoft is looking towards the future. What will the Xbox Two be like, and how will it compare to the Xbox One? It's time to find out!
The Xbox Two's Announcement: Déjà vu?
While Microsoft should certainly do things differently with Xbox Two. a lot of the things they wanted to do in the first place will be much more realistic in the future.
By all accounts, the Xbox Two should release in the year 2020. The chairman of Google in 2013 claimed that everyone would be online by 2020.
If this was the case, Microsoft would have a lot more ground to stand on in terms of their "always online" plan, and their cloud computing concepts they had in mind.
In this regard, the Xbox One and the Xbox Two will have a lot in common, but that's where the similarities will end. The world will be a far different place in 2020, and gaming will evolve as well between now and then.
The Future of Purchasing and Playing Games
The Xbox One already offers a digital download marketplace. That's been somewhat standard since the Xbox 360, but what if there weren't any discs at all? Trends are showing that the next generation of games will most likely get rid of discs altogether.
As part of Microsoft's original plan, cloud computing was supposed to be a way of making games evolve and expand by offloading some of the processing power to a cloud of servers. This of course required a constant internet connection, so it was scrapped.
Taking that concept to the next level though is cloud-based gaming. Instead of downloading anything at all, you simply stream the game to your system much like the way you watch movies and TV on apps like Netflix.
Imagine choosing a game, and playing it instantly without any downloads, patches, or installs. This will be a reality with Xbox Two, and while some people may miss their discs (I know I will), ultimately it will bring us better games much faster than ever before.
Out With the Controller?
Microsoft has also been experimenting with things beyond a simple controller. Of course, they haven't abandoned the traditional method of playing games in the slightest, but the fact they they're experimenting shows their willingness to look for alternate options.
Take the Kinect for example. This device was meant to offer a hands-free experience, but even with the Kinect 2.0 on Xbox One, the device never saw the support it needed.
Microsoft still insists that Kinect isn't dead, but it's hard to see how it can ever truly come back to life with the lack of support.
That being said, with the announcement of the HoloLens for the Xbox One, Microsoft is bringing an augmented reality headset to life. With this technology, games will come to life in the world around you, and it's possible that this will be the way that we control and experience our games on the Xbox Two.
In short, the future is looking to be digital, with a new and exciting way of controlling games that will redefine the standard for the first time since the original Xbox.
The Physical Console (or Lack Thereof)
Let's say the Xbox Two is indeed cloud-based. If that's the case, then all of the games will be stored on servers and beamed to you. This means you won't need a fancy console with seventy-five gigs of ram or anything.
In this scenario, the only thing you'll really need is a sensor to receive the information. One concept I was throwing around was an update to the Xbox One to make it a receiver. If this were the case, you wouldn't need to buy a new console, you would just need the new controller or HoloLens headset.
That seems like a possibility, but it removes the feeling of upgrading to a new console, so Microsoft may opt to have some sort of physical device, if only to give you that sensation of upgrading to something bigger and better.
Wrapping it Up
When you boil it all down, the Xbox Two will bring back a lot of features that Xbox One was originally supposed to have. The catch is that these features will reappear in an evolved form.
What do you think the Xbox Two will look and play like in comparison to the Xbox One? Share your predictions in the comments below!