Microsoft currently has plans to develop not one but two brand new consoles for release sometime in the near future. In addition to the thinner, slimmer Xbox One many folks are expecting Microsoft to announce next month at E3, there’s a second “upgraded version” of the Xbox One that’s said to be coming soon. The thing about this next version is that it’s not technically a major console release. It’s considered to be an incremental “upgrade” over the currently released Xbox One. If that sounds a bit vague, think of it like this: the currently-released Xbox One is an iPhone 6. The upgraded one coming out is a 6S—faster, bigger, bells, whistles, all that jazz. These tech upgrades are said to be required if the Xbox One wants to keep up with VR development.
This may sound familiar to you; the PlayStation 4 is also receiving an upgraded version soon to help give its “Morpheus” virtual reality hardware a solid platform on which it can stand. In the eternal arms race that is video game console development, it looks like both Microsoft and Sony have found their flagships. Now it’s just all about incrementing and upgrading the little bits here and there as tech continues to develop.
But what does this mean for you as a consumer? Well, for what it’s worth, backwards compatibility is something that both tech giants are no longer underestimating. It’s said that the hardware architecture on which these new, upgraded consoles are built should make it easier for them to handle backwards compatibility; you don’t have to re-buy the games that you already have in order to play on these upgraded rigs. It’s a little like how PC gaming works in that way. The more up-to-date your rig is, the better it’ll look. That’s all. It should still work.
As well, according to The Verge, Microsoft is looking into building a TV streaming solution similar to Google’s Chromecast or Sony’s PlayStation TV. It’s a compact device that you plug into your television to access Xbox One digital content. It’ll also stream Xbox One games to another TV in the house, allowing you to play without having to unplug your hardware to install elsewhere.
Of course, these are rumors, and seeing as how we’re about a month out from E3, one should expect more rumors like these to start flying around. We’ll know for sure what’s true and what’s not very soon, at least.
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