Earlier this week, Microsoft?s head of Xbox Phil Spencer rocked the gaming world when he seemingly detailed plans to introduce upgradeable console hardware some time down the line. Speaking at Xbox?s Spring Keynote address as reported by Polygon, he dropped this bombshell:
“We see on other platforms, whether it be mobile or PC, that you get continuous innovation that you rarely see on console. Consoles lock the hardware and the software platform together at the beginning of the generation. Then you ride the generation out for seven or so years, while other ecosystem are getting better, faster, and stronger. And then you wait for the next big step function.”
He continued saying that, ?You’ll actually see us come out with new hardware capability during a generation allowing the same games to run backward and forward compatible.”
These comments obviously spurred a lot of chatter in the industry, with some believing that a future where console parts could be swapped in and out like a PC could soon be a reality.
However, it now appears that this wasn?t what Spencer had intended when he made those remarks. In a follow up interview on Xbox director of programming Larry ?Major Nelson? Hryb?s podcast, Spencer clarified what he meant by upgradeable hardware.
“Am I going to break open my console and start upgrading individual pieces of my console? That’s not our plan,” Said Spencer to Hryb. “There is something special about what happens with a console. You buy an applicance-like device; you plug it into your TV; it works when you plug it in. It’s not like I’m going to ship a screwdriver set with every console that comes out.”
Instead, Spencer envisions a future where customers don?t have to wait so long to enjoy hardware innovations on their gaming console. How he plans to do this was not made clear.