Xbox vs PlayStation
Image: Push Square

We've all seen the PlayStation 5 developer unit by now, right? The V-shaped machine has leaked a bunch of times over the last year or so, but why is it that we don't hear many reliable whispers about the devkits for the next Xbox -- code-named Project Scarlett? Well, according to Tom Warren, senior editor over at The Verge, it's at least partly because "hardly anyone has them".

When asked about Xbox Scarlett devkits on Twitter, Warren replied: "Hardly anyone has [Xbox Scarlett devkits], 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."

It's an interesting tweet in that it perhaps gives some perspective into Microsoft's next-gen plans. It's no secret that the company was caught out by Sony and the PlayStation 4 at the beginning of this generation. The Japanese giant blindsided the competition with a surprise PlayStation Meeting in early 2013, and from that point it was basically body blow after body blow against Xbox until the two consoles hit the market.

We assume that by saying "Microsoft wants to surprise Sony this time," Warren's talking about Microsoft wanting to at least meet Sony on equal footing as we look towards next-gen. By holding its devkits back, Phil Spencer's Xbox division could be keeping its cards close to its chest.

Of course, the other spin on this is that Sony may already be ahead of its rival. Sources say that PS5 devkits are now widespread and have been for months. If Microsoft is still trying to nail down the ins and outs of its next-gen console, then Sony could have an early advantage.

In any case, the next several months have the potential to be pretty juicy. Obviously 2020 is going to be a very exciting year for gaming as a whole, but we're now getting to the point where next-gen leaks and rumours are going to be rampant.