Even though the current generation of gaming feels like it’s just begun, it looks like we’re about to get new hardware from all three major console makers. It’s an open secret Sony is planning a souped-up PlayStation 4.5 for this year, Nintendo has promised their next full console for March 2017, and now rumors are flying that Microsoft is planning to release two new pieces of hardware over the next year-or-so.
According to Kotaku, we can expect to see a slimmed-down model of the Xbox One in 2016, which is something that has been speculated on for a while. This new version won’t just be smaller, it will also come with more storage space (up to 2TB).
But that’s not all! In 2017, Microsoft is reportedly planning to launch a new Xbox model codenamed Scorpion. This model contains an upgraded GPU, which will make the console capable of supporting VR, specifically the Oculus Rift, which Microsoft will be partnering with. It’s hard to say if Scorpion will be an all-new Xbox, or a PlayStation 4.5 half-step, although that distinction may not mean much any more.
Again, according to Kotaku, Microsoft is planning to get away from the traditional console release cycle. Rather than putting a new machine out every five years or so, Microsoft will release frequent Apple-style upgrades to their hardware. They’re also planning to integrate the PC and Xbox more closely, with all future Microsoft-published games, including Halo, coming out on both platforms.
It’s a lot to take in! Needless to say, this year’s E3, which kicks off on June 12, is going to be a big one. What do you think? Interested in more frequent Xbox upgrades, or is this the end of console gaming as we know it?