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Microsoft's Grand Gaming Plans: Upgradeable Xbox, Unified Platform

Posted by: , 12:45 AEDT, Fri March 4, 2016

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Games to work on both Windows 10 and Xbox One, while the Xbox One may get hardware upgrades, reveals Xbox boss
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Microsoft Xbox boss Phil Spencer has revealed the company's plans for its gaming division, painting a vision of the future where the Xbox console becomes more like a PC and the PC gaming experience becomes more like the one on consoles.

Speaking at the annual Xbox Spring Showcase, Spencer expanded upon the already in place plans to unify the Windows and Xbox platforms. With game streaming now a possibility on Windows 10 for Xbox One owners, new games created using the Universal Windows Platform can now be ported to work on both the Xbox One and in Windows 10 more easily than ever before.

But it's not just the games that will blur the line between PC and console gaming, the console hardware too may see a radical change to make it more PC like in the future, according to Spencer. The problem, according to Spencer, is that once a console generation is released, it's seven years usually before another hardware upgrade comes along. While slimmer and quieter version of the same console may get released along the way, and developers may be able to unlock more from the console and make the games look and play better, the reality is that unlike PC and mobile gaming, the hardware largely remains static.

"[On PC and mobile] you get a continuous innovation that you rarely see on console. Consoles lock the hardware and the software platforms together at the beginning of the generation. Then you ride the generation out for seven or so years, while other ecosystems are getting better, faster, stronger," says Spencer.

Spencer adds that Microsoft is looking to bring the "capability of hardware iteration" to consoles, suggesting that a more powerful version of the Xbox One may be released in the future, while games will remain compatible across all versions of the console.

Microsoft isn't the only ones thinking about consoles hardware upgrades. Rivals Sony also revealed a similar concept last year that may mean a "Super PS4" that not only adds beefier hardware, also may also add Ultra HD Blu-ray support.


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