Microsoft hints at future Xbox hardware upgrades

A console is something that currently stays pretty static over its lifespan. But that could all change as Microsoft's Xbox chief hints at optional hardware upgrades for the Xbox One being made available in the future.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Console gaming could soon be getting the PC treatment as Microsoft hints at optional hardware upgrades being made available for the Xbox One in the future.

Speaking at Speaking at an Xbox spring showcase event last week, Xbox chief Phil Spencer talked about the platform receiving "new hardware capability during a generation," reports Polygon.

"When you look at the console space, I believe we will see more hardware innovation in the console space than we've ever seen," said Spencer. "You'll actually see us come out with new hardware capability during a generation allowing the same games to run backward and forward compatible because we have a Universal Windows Application running on top of the Universal Windows Platform that allows us to focus more and more on hardware innovation without invalidating the games that run on that platform."

And Microsoft is clearly eyeing the PC model. Or perhaps it is the razorblade model, where the console will not only be used to push games but also new hardware.

"If you look at PC specifically and see the evolution that happens there, there's no reason why console can't ride that same curve. I look at the ecosystem that a console sits in and I think that it should have the capability of more iteration on hardware capability."

Consoles, it seems, are under pressure from cheap PCs and a rapid increase in smartphone processing power.

"For consoles in general it's more important now than it's ever been, because you have so many of these other platforms that are around. It used to be that when you bought your console you were way ahead of the price performance curve by so much, relative to a PC. But now PCs are inexpensive and your phones are getting more and more capable."

This is an interesting idea because it would move the Xbox away from the major upgrade model and more towards one of continual upgrade. This would not only help with backward compatibility of games, but it might also prevent owners jumping ship to a different platform when there's a new console release from a competitor.

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