Xbox One is just two years old and it seems Microsoft is already planning an Xbox Two. There are lots of rumors circulating about the upcoming console since Xbox head Phil Spencer had hinted at a new Xbox console back in October last year.
?I fully expect that you?ll see another console from us [?] Our best customers are Xbox console customers, and I want to keep those people engaged both on the Xbox One and anything we might do in the future. I?m 100 percent committed to that.?
?I don?t want to dilute what the Xbox console customer feels. I want to expand what we?re able to do for more customers.?
In his latest speech during the Xbox Spring Showcase event, Spencer indicated that the new Xbox Two may in fact be an Xbox One upgrade. Spencer said that he would like to see an end to the ?fixed console hardware? which is the usual gaming console with the same hardware capabilities that last five or more years before being replaced by a new console. He envisaged a future where consoles are upgraded similar to PCs and smartphones with the latest hardware and software capabilities.
So it is likely that the upcoming Xbox Two, in fact, will be a more powerful console with higher specs in terms of processor and graphics and would allow for year by year upgrades to the console. It remains to be seen how Microsoft plans to allow such hardware upgrades in future consoles which are usually bind together and would require manual opening of the consoles to add higher memory or video card.
Spencer, however, clarified manual upgradation of the console is not what they have planned to do with the new Xbox.
?Am I going to break open my console and start upgrading individual pieces of my console? That?s not our plan. There is something special about what happens with a console. You buy an appliance-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.?
So the likely strategy of Microsoft for the new Xbox Two may be to develop a modular console similar to what we have seen lately in the LG G5 smartphone. It could be possible that the new Xbox Two may allow gamers to replace modules of the console with that of higher hardware capabilities such as the graphic cards and memory. That will be truly an exciting innovation for gamers and bring Xbox closer to the PC gaming which allows users the ability to change their hardware when required.
Additionally, Spencer announced that Microsoft was planning to unify its PC and Xbox One gaming platforms into one ecosystem under the Universal Windows Applications (UWA). He envisioned that next generation consoles will allow ?same games to run backwards and forward compatible? with UWA running on the Universal Windows Platform.
It essentially means the Xbox Two will allow games built for the older consoles to be run on it and additionally newer games could function on older consoles. And UWA would allow same games to be functional on all platforms including mobile, tablets, PCs and gaming consoles.
Spencer also claimed that uniting the Windows 10 PC and Xbox One ecosystems would allow developers to build more games since they wouldn?t have to build different versions of the same game. It would even allow experiences like cross-platform play between different devices, as well as giving publishers the ability to sell a game on one platform that will then be available to consumers on other Windows 10 devices. So it means users could purchase a Halo 5: Guardians game for PC and get it to work on Xbox as well.
Also, expectation is high that Microsoft may plan to add VR capabilities to the new console since Sony is already introducing VR for the new PlayStation 4 consoles starting next year.
Since Microsoft is heavily invested in HoloLens for now, it remains to be seen how it pans out the VR for its Xbox division. Other upgrades to the Xbox Two will likely be 4K gaming resolution and allowing more live streaming of the games.
However, it is better to take all these news with a pinch of salt since there is no concrete information about how Microsoft may actually plan out the new Xbox Two.