Last week a photo was posted on Twitter by “The Drunk Cat” showing two PlayStation 5 dev kits. Also featured in the photo are what’ve been assumed to be development DualShock 5 controllers. But the conversation quickly got focused on one specific user reply, “Still wondering about Scarlett Devkits”. This got everyone wondering Where are the Xbox Scarlett dev kits?
Well Tom Warren, Senior Editor at The Verge, was watching and swooped in with an answer. His Twitter reply read, “hardly anyone has them, and they’re nowhere near final. That’s why you’re hearing a lot of nonsense about them not being powerful etc. Microsoft wants to surprise Sony this time”.
This conversation moved from Twitter to a ResetEra thread where Jason Schreier, News Editor at Kotaku, had his own input. Schreier’s post read, “Not sure if the ‘trying to surprise Sony’ part is quite right — common sense would suggest that, like with the Xbox One, Microsoft is just running behind schedule and will launch pretty hot — but I’ve talked to a few third-party developers who said they were frustrated by the lack of info on Scarlett, especially compared to Prospero”.
Xbox behind PlayStation
So it’s sounding like the development kits for Xbox Scarlett haven’t gotten around yet. We’ve been seeing leaked photos of the PS5 dev kit since October of this year. And it’s safe to assume that they were in devs hands, perhaps larger, first-party studios, well before leaks began. Phil Spencer is even quoted saying that development units were shipping in November. In an interview with Eurogamer at X019 Spencer was asked about multiple next-gen consoles. In his reply, explaining why the plural consoles had been used previously, Spencer said, “We also did just ship the development kit, which is another console”. X019 was held November 14-16, 2019.
All signs are pointing to Xbox being behind PlayStation. Dev kits are only just getting sent to larger, perhaps first-party, studios leaving third-party studios wondering what’s going on. The lack of available images and information on this mysterious tech makes this even more believable. The more hands these kits get into the more inevitable leaks become. So far Xbox is leak free.
What isn’t obvious is whether this is all Xbox’s plan or not. Is this all to get the best of PlayStation or are they really behind schedule? If this is on purpose then Xbox might have a new problem on their hands with third-party support. In their over-correcting for last gen’s launch, hopefully they don’t burn any third-party developers who are willing to support Scarlett. Developers can’t make unique, worthwhile experiences for your console without the hardware. And this generation it’s the games that are going to make all the difference.
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