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Today I came up with this bold prediction after seeing the news about Nvidia announcing their rumoured RTX 2080 GPU with real time ray-tracing support at Gamescom. Actually, my prediction is based on these two facts:

  • According to rumours almost all AMD stuff is working on Radeon Vega architecture specifically for PS5 which means that they probably don't have enough resources to work on the next Xbox hardware
  • Microsoft and Nvidia work closely on real time ray-tracing support which at least as of now if I'm not mistaken will only be available on Nvidia GPUs using DirectX 12 graphics API. I think it should be pretty obvious that Microsoft wants to use this technology in their next Xbox console, so maybe their partnership with Nvidia doesn't stop at only having real time ray-tracing implementation for PCs. This technology will also give a huge benefit over AMD-based PS5 in terms of graphics.
But, of course there are also several reasons why Microsoft might not go Nvidia way next gen:
  • Nvidia doesn't produce x86 CPUs, so MS will be stuck with separated CPU and GPU components and they will need to find CPU elsewhere which will increase the production costs. Also, abandoning AMD on GPU side can result in AMD refusing to sell CPUs for adequate price which will force Microsoft to choose more expensive Intel CPUs.
  • Backwards compatibility. Actually this might be the least problematic point because I think Microsoft is capable of handling such thing on software side. Original Xbox One and One X have already quite differences in terms of GPU architecture and both  work fine. On the other side, switching from AMD to Nvidia will mean that the next Xbox will drop AMD specific features support like FreeSync2
  • Past history of relationship between both companies. Microsoft lost billions with first Xbox because of Nvidia.
Even though considering all these negatives, I'm still gonna go with prediction that they will use Nvidia GPU for their next console just because of that AMD - PS5 rumour and because I think Microsoft wants that ray-tracing technology support so bad.