Rumours of Microsoft’s next console have begun appearing over the internet, with the technology giant expected to release at least two versions of the Xbox over the next two years. It is possible that a new VR ready model of the Xbox is being prepared for a 2017 launch, while a slimmed down Xbox One could be ready for a launch this year.
A report from Kotaku cites sources that say the next generation Xbox is currently being referred to as Scorpio, and will have enough power to support the Oculus Rift. It will apparently be equipped with a GPU capable of supporting 4K video as well.
On the other hand, a smaller Xbox One is supposedly slated for a release at some point this year. The more compact Xbox One will also have a 2TB hard drive, giving it twice the storage capacity of existing Xbox Ones.
Interestingly, the report from Kotaku suggests that Microsoft could be moving to a more incremental release of consoles. This would translate into a faster release of new models instead of the current multi-year life cycle. The incremental release would also see Microsoft be forced to allow more games to become backward and forward compatible across its many planned consoles.
These new consoles would also be part of Microsoft’s plan to bridge the gap between the Xbox and PC gaming. The company has already been pushing for more games to be compatible with both platforms, with the cancelled Fables Legends intended to be the first of these cross-platform games. Of course, gamers already have Rocket League for cross platform play.
Sony Interactive Entertainment is also rumoured to be working on an upgraded version of its PlayStation 4. This new console would similarly support VR, although it PlayStation has its own VR headset that has significantly lower requirements than the Oculus Rift.
Chances are we’ll hear more about this at E3 next month, but we wouldn’t expect much to be said. If anything, it is more likely that only the slimmer Xbox One gets previewed.