The next PlayStation and Xbox consoles are still years away, according to Sony and Microsoft, yet chatter around new consoles has already begun.
Crazier still, several new games announced this week are headed to so-called “next-generation” game consoles. And we’re talking big games, like the long-anticipated followup to “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim”:
- Bethesda Softworks
It’s been nearly five years since the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launched – it makes sense that new consoles would already be in the works. What’s less normal is major games being announced for that next generation of consoles so early.
Yet, here we are. These are the four surprisingly huge games that are headed to consoles that are still years from launching:
- Bethesda Softworks
The team behind blockbusters like “Fallout 4” and “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” have an entirely new game franchise in the works. “Our first wholly original franchise in 25 years,” studio director Todd Howard said during Bethesda Softworks’ annual briefing at the E3 2018 trade show in Los Angeles last month.
Howard called “Starfield” a “brand new, next-generation, single-player game.”
There’s no release date, or release window – Howard said, “Everyone should be very, very patient,” when asked by GameSpot about when to expect “Starfield.” When asked specifically about what “next generation” means in the context of “Starfield” – whether it refers to the game’s engine, or to the next generation of console hardware – Howard said, “It’s a bit of both.”
Given that “Starfield” is seemingly so far away – at least three years in the case of the next PlayStation, according to Sony – Howard’s next announcement was even more of a surprise in scope alone.
Check out the teaser announcement for “Starfield” right here:
2. “The Elder Scrolls VI”
- Bethesda Softworks
“We’re also building toward the game after that,” Howard said. “And it’s the one you keep asking about.”
In a brief video depicting a sprawling landscape, Bethesda teased “The Elder Scrolls VI” – the next game in the “Elder Scrolls” series, and the first since 2011’s “Skyrim.”
“The Elder Scrolls VI” is planned for after “Starfield,” which is itself years away.
“It’s very early. Very early,” Howard told GameSpot. “It’s in the concept and design [stage] – this is what it is, this is what it will be, these are some of the parts it will have.”
There is no announced launch window for “The Elder Scrolls VI,” but we can guess based on Howard’s statements that it’s anywhere from three to six years away. Of all the games listed here, it appears to be earliest in production.
Check out the teaser announcement for “The Elder Scrolls VI” right here:
3. “Cyberpunk 2077”
- CD Projekt Red
“Cyberpunk 2077” has been in the works for years, and it’s entirely possible that it arrives on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Given the latest trailer, though, the game looks just as likely to arrive on next-generation consoles.
The game has no announced platforms, and looks – frankly – unbelievable.
In the literal sense of the word, “Cyberpunk 2077” is too unbelievably pretty and detailed for modern consoles. Perhaps the more powerful PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X consoles could power the game, but it seems unlikely on the nearly five-year-old original PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles.
Then again, the game was shown off at Microsoft’s Xbox One briefing. With no release date and no official word from the game’s creators (we asked), this one is less certain to be a “next-generation” game.
Check out the new trailer for “Cyberpunk 2077” right here and decide for yourself:
4. “Halo Infinite”
The new “Halo” game Microsoft debuted last Sunday wasn’t actually a game. It’s a conceptual demo – an “engine demo,” intended to show off the new Slipspace Engine software that was built to create “Halo Infinite.”
A new game with that name is in development, but it sounds mighty early.
“We still have a long way to go until we ship the game,” 343 Industries studio head Chris Lee said in a June blog post. Moreover, what’s shown in the debut video isn’t necessarily part of the upcoming game. The new game will feature series protagonist Master Chief as the main playable character, and will continue the story from “Halo 5: Guardians.”
Lee also said the new “Halo” game will take advantage “of the full power of the Xbox One family.” Microsoft isn’t saying when or where “Halo Infinite” will launch.
Check out the teaser announcement for “Halo Infinite” right here:
If you thought “Halo Infinite” sounded early in development, imagine how early the games are from Microsoft’s new Santa Monica-based studio, The Initiative.
The studio is tasked with creating new franchises for the Xbox brand – the next “Halo,” “Gears of War,” or “Forza Motorsport.” And whatever that studio is working on isn’t likely to arrive any time soon.
The same could be said for Microsoft-owned Playground Games, the British studio behind the “Forza Horizon” arcade-style racing series. Playground is getting a major investment from Microsoft that allows it to build a second team devoted to creating new games. Like The Initiative, Playground’s second game is unlikely to be ready very soon – games take years to develop, and that’s when you’ve already got an idea to run with.