Leaks indicate new tablets, Xbox, and Hololens due from Microsoft

Bill Roberson
New hardware from Microsoft could debut early next year, Fortnite for the Switch lights up Nintendo's E3 announcements, Samsung's Note 8 phablet phone gets some big upgrades.

Faster, cheaper, more holographic

There’s been a splash of news about some future hardware from Microsoft, including a next-gen hololens augmented reality headset that could arrive next year. According to several posts, leaked internal Microsoft documents indicate that along with a new Hololens setup, a new Xbox and some new lower-cost tablets are also on the way.

Brad Sams at Thurrott.com says the leaks indicate that the new Hololens will actually be a third-generation device. He claims Redmond halted work on the follow-up to the original headset when it appeared even more advanced systems could be implemented, including better holographic display tech and other improvements. Plus, it looks like it’ll cost less as well. Sams said it appears the new headset will appear in Q1 of 2019, although whether it’ll be a consumer product or dev device is still unclear.

In Xbox news, a new console codenamed Scarlett is expected in 2020, and Ars Technica says there may be more than one device or console in the works. They also say it’ll likely be more of an evolutionary upgrade to the current Xbox, with faster this and that of course. And finally, there may be a trio of new Surface tablets on the way, including a down-market model codenamed “Libra” targeted at education and lower-end consumer markets, similar to Apple’s most basic iPad. Will it all happen? Seems to make sense, and we’ll keep tabs on any new developments.

Fortnite every nite

E3 is marching on and yesterday’s big news from the Nintendo presentation was, of course, that mega-hit game Fortnite is coming to the Switch. Now you can battle on across numerous platforms, but it seems like the Switch is an especially good fit for Fortnite since you have much better control over the game using the Joycon controllers than poking at a touch screen.

Also, it’s a bigger screen, and you can play against your friends – or, enemies, as it were. Also, it levels up to the big screen when docked. Did we mention it’s free? It’s right now, so start dancing already. Check out all our Nintendo and E3 coverage.

Note Number Nine

Samsung’s new Galaxy S9 smartphone is a winner, but it was also kind of a disappointment when it came out as it was more of an evolution of the very similar S8 that some radical new trajectory everyone had been hoping for. I guess we’ll have to wait for the folding phone for that. But details around Samsung’s other halo phone, the Note 9, have leaked, and it’s looking like more of an upgrade than the S9.

According to Twitter leaker Ice Universe and Gordon Kelly at Forbes, the Note 9 is going big – even bigger than it already was – with a 6.4-inch screen, which is the biggest phablet Samsung makes. The phone will also be packing a big 4,000 milliamp battery, which it’s gonna need to power the CPU – so far unspecified – and 8gb of RAM. It appears the front camera will also get a big upgrade and internal memory includes a 512gig option for massive internal storage.

Combine that will a sub-$200 400gb microSD card in the card slot and you’re looking at a phone with almost a terabyte of storage – impressive. The Note 9 will also likely include the slick S-Pen as well. No pricing as of yet but we’d gamble on the thousand-dollar mark, at least for the 512gb model.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.