Sony is bringing out an updated version of the PlayStation 4, the PS4K. That’s pretty much been confirmed by various sources. It’s happening. But what about Microsoft?
There’s far less information surrounding any console refresh Microsoft might have hidden away up its sleeve, but naturally that hasn’t stopped the online echo chambers from throwing around some juicy rumours about a potential Xbox One 'Elite' console.
Here’s everything we know about it so far:
1. It exists. Probably.
As with all rumours, there’s a chance the product in question doesn’t exist, and never will. But that doesn’t appear to be the case here. Xbox chief Phil Spencer himself has heavily hinted at a new Microsoft console by stating that “Microsoft will come out with new hardware capability during a generation allowing the same games to run backward and forward compatible”. You can’t get a much stronger hint than that.
2. More power
It’s pretty well established what we all expect to see from the Sony PS4K – updated AMD internals, with a potentially more powerful processor and more graphical grunt. Microsoft has kept its cards much closer to the chest however, and any Xbox One Elite specs remain elusive, for the time being at least. The only concrete evidence we’ve got so far, is an FCC filing for an updated wireless module with 802.11ac Wi-Fi capabilities, which should help improve network connection and speeds. We’d also be surprised if it didn’t land with UHD Blu-ray capabilities.
3. Stream if you want to go faster
Mr. Spencer has also stated that over the next few months, Microsoft will “be sharing more of [its] plans for gaming on Xbox One, Windows 10 and beyond”. It’s a rather broad statement, but many have speculated that the newer console will have superior Windows 10 live streaming services. Currently it’s possible to stream Xbox One games to a Windows 10 PC in 1080p 60fps, but it needs some unofficial tweaking from users before it can run properly. It’s very likely that a refreshed console will offer these superior streaming options as standard.
Now we’re really reaching for the stars. The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have both made their mark in the VR world, but Microsoft’s Hololens remains an elusive and expensive product, limited only to a handful of rich developers. With the PlayStation VR incoming though, Microsoft could very well decide to release HoloLens to the masses, alongside an updated Xbox One with hardware powerful enough to run it. Given the prototype state of the current HoloLens however, this is wishful thinking more than anything else at this stage.
5. Launch date
We expect to see Microsoft show off the newer console at E3 this year. It will have to, if it wants to at least match Sony’s predicted PS4K thunder. It will also need to hit shelves by the end of the year, if it wants to go to-to-toe with Sony’s upcoming console refresh.