Upgrading instead of replacing
Last week Microsoft held its Xbox Spring Showcase and the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, dropped some hints about the Xbox One’s future.
“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,” Spencer said, insinuating that the Xbox One will have some kind of hardware upgradability — please not Kinect 3.
In an interview with Polygon, Phil pointed out Microsoft isn’t the only ones planning something like this, saying, “Sony is doing this with VR and adding VR capabilities mid-cycle to the PlayStation 4, and they are doing that by adding another box.” He also noted that Xbox One would not be adding a VR headset to the console: “We’re not really focused right now on adding a VR device to Xbox One.”
It sounds like Microsoft is planning to essentially create a platform so games can be released across both PC and Xbox One with relative ease, as well as offer players a way to upgrade its console to have better specs and graphics.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and take a guess that this will be done in the same way that newer Alienware laptops can be beefed up, by adding an external enclosure that houses a desktop graphics card that is connected via USB. Seems like a simple solution considering the Xbox One has a few USB 3.0 ports and is already running a modified version of Windows 10; all that would be needed is Nvidia or AMD to create drivers for it. Considering how poorly the PC port of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is running on AMD hardware, my money is on Nvidia being the exclusive partner. Again, just speculating.