There’s been an assortment of rumors circulating regarding Sony’s plans to release a new PlayStation 4 with increased technical capabilities. Furthermore, the information has come from numerous sources including mainstream publications which gives credence to this theory. Allegedly, the PS4K will feature a GPU with twice the processing power compared to the standard model which runs at a higher clock speed. The CPU could be improved but this would have a marked impact on the retail price. If true, this would be an unprecedented move for the console industry and a significant move away from longer generations.
According to Crave Entertainment, Microsoft could be planning a similar strategy. Here we can see a LinkedIn profile for David Gardner, the visual design lead at Microsoft. Notice the current projects section describing something called the Xbox neXt. To be perfectly clear, this might have nothing to with a 4K variant of the Xbox One and simply refer to dashboard improvements or other innovations. Saying that, its not beyond the realm of possibilities that the Xbox neXt is either Microsoft’s next console or an updated model of the Xbox One.
Even though Phil Spencer originally seemed open to the idea of hardware upgrades, it looks likely that he’s had a change of heart. In an interview with GameInformer, Phil Spencer said:
“If we’re going to move forward, I want to move forward in big numbers.”
“For us, our box is doing well. It performs, it’s reliable, the servers are doing well. If we’re going to go forward with anything, like I said, I want it to be a really substantial change for people – an upgrade.”
Therefore, this quashes the idea that the Xbox neXt is an improved version of the Xbox One. Additionally, the main reason Sony is probably considering a much more powerful PlayStation 4 is due to VR and the hefty requirements involved. On the other hand, Microsoft hasn’t shown much of a keen interest in this technology for the Xbox One. If I had to make any sort of prediction, I’d image the Xbox neXt is Microsoft’s successor to the Xbox One. Also, you have to remember that developement for the next hardware launch begins right after the current model is released to the public.