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Xbox’s Phil Spencer Says There Won’t Be an Xbox 1.5 to Go With Rumored PlayStation 4.5

xbox one console

Reports have been swirling about an updated half-step to the current home video game console generation (similar Nintendo’s “New 3DS”) that would see upgraded versions of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with increased performance capabilities. While that’s still expected to happen on the PlayStation side of things, it’s apparently not in the cards for Xbox.

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That deconfirmation comes directly from Xbox head Phil Spencer, whose previous comments made it seem like such a thing was inevitable. Really, his comment about separating software from hardware platforms was in reference to the Xbox and PC platforms eventually becoming one, as he explained in a roundtable at Microsoft’s recent Build conference (via Game Informer),

I’m not a big fan of Xbox One and a half. If we’re going to move forward, I want to move forward in big numbers. I don’t know anything about any of the rumors that are out there, but I can understand other teams’ motivations to do that. For us, our box is doing well. It performs, it’s reliable, the servers are doing well. If we’re going to go forward with anything, like I said, I want it to be a really substantial change for people—an upgrade.

That’s not entirely surprising, as it currently seems that the PS 4.5 is centered around providing the best possible Virtual Reality experience along with Sony’s PlayStation VR, while Xbox has no dedicated VR device in the works. Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headset is on the way to PC, but there are no plans to integrate it on the Xbox side of things. Additionally, introducing a half console generation is a risky move that—unless handled carefully—runs a strong risk of defeating the simplicity that makes game consoles such a draw. A half generation where some games and capabilities are limited to a slightly upgraded version of a console could easily be confusing and frustrating for consumers, while limiting the “.5” upgrade to a “this one is better for VR” message is much easier to understand.

(via Gamasutra, image via Xbox)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct <em>Geekosystem</em> (RIP), and then at <em>The Mary Sue</em> starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at <em>Smash Bros.</em>

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