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Next Xbox console in development, Xbox head Phil Spencer says

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Tech team is deep into creating next generation

Xbox chief Phil Spencer

In his wrap-up speech at Microsoft’s E3 conference today, Xbox chief Phil Spencer talked briefly about the company’s plans for its next console.

He said that the team behind last year’s launch of Xbox One X is “deep into architecting the next Xbox consoles, where we will once again deliver on our commitment to deliver the benchmark of console gaming.” Spencer mentioned the company’s work on AI and on cloud technologies, as well as its recently bolstered studio presence. Presumably, his use of the plural indicates some new plan to upgrade through the generation, as we’ve seen with Xbox One and Xbox One X. But it’s a tantalizing notion to include at this early stage.

Spencer also announced today that Microsoft has acquired four independent studios — Ninja Theory, Playground Games, Undead Labs and Compulsion Games — and is building a new internal studio known as The Initiative.

It’s unusual for hardware companies to speak of new consoles well before they are announced. Microsoft’s decision to make this allusion will likely serve as a tonic to its fans, worries about the Xbox One’s relatively weak commercial performance against PlayStation 4.

Update: We updated this story to reflect Spencer’s use of the plural “consoles” which we missed at first. Thanks to James Jarvis.