Already tired of that Xbox One you’ve got? Good news: Microsoft is apparently preparing two new ones to put in your living room.
That’s according to anonymous sources who told gaming site Kotaku that not just one but two new versions of the Xbox One are in the works.
One, expectedly, is described as a “cheaper, smaller Xbox One” — a “slim” version of the current Xbox One, basically, which makes perfect sense given the history of game consoles. Sony’s been giving its game consoles this kind of treatment since the original PlayStation, and Microsoft revised the Xbox 360 twice before moving on to the Xbox One.
More interesting, however, is the second new Xbox One that Microsoft is reportedly working on.
The mysterious second console is reportedly codenamed “Scorpio,” and is said to be released in 2017. So, how’s it different from the current Xbox One? Reportedly, it's more powerful — powerful enough to run the Oculus Rift VR headset, which currently requires a pretty hefty PC (both in terms of horsepower and cost) to run — and may have a ton of storage (2TB).
Maybe more important than any of this is what it could mean for the bigger picture future of the Xbox. Sources told Kotaku that the Xbox — as a platform, like Apple’s iPhone or Google’s Android — may move toward a more phone-like approach to new versions.
Think of it like this: Every few years, Microsoft could release a slightly more powerful Xbox that works with previous versions and adds the ability to play games that are even better looking.
That said, all of this is unconfirmed by Microsoft; the company didn’t respond to a request for comment. Xbox head Phil Spencer, though, has indicated previously that the Xbox platform is going to move toward a more iterative release process. Here’s Spencer speaking during Microsoft’s Xbox Spring Showcase event in February 2016:
When you look at the console space, I believe we will see more hardware innovation in the console space than we’ve ever seen. 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.
One thing’s for sure: With Sony’s PlayStation 4 having long ago taken the sales lead over Microsoft’s Xbox One, Microsoft’s in a bind. The company tried dropping the Xbox One’s price below that of the PlayStation 4, which worked for a little while before Sony retook the lead. Sony has otherwise led console sales with its PlayStation 4 month-after-month for much of the life of both game consoles.
The report from Kotaku also notes that the smaller Xbox One is likely to be revealed in the next few weeks at the company’s E3 2016 press conference (an annual trade show for video games in Los Angeles). Which is to say it shouldn’t be too long before we find out how legit this all is.