Microsoft Releases Statement on Xbox neXt Rumor

Yesterday, we reported on a rather interesting development regarding an undisclosed project entitled Xbox neXt. This information was acquired from David Gardner’s LinkedIn profile, the Visual Design Leader at Xbox. Of course, whenever any evidence comes to the forefront, it’s important to not jump to conclusions and wait for official confirmation. This hasn’t taken long and a Microsoft spokesperson told IGN:

“Xbox neXt was an old internal team name for a group that worked on releasing Xbox One and is not related to a future console,”

“We have nothing further to share.”

This clearly debunks any suggestions that the Xbox neXt is a recent phenomenon and Microsoft’s attempt to create an updated Xbox One with enhanced power. Saying that, just because the Xbox neXt refers to an early phase in the Xbox One’s development, it doesn’t mean Microsoft isn’t working on new hardware. Whenever a console is released, research and development starts on designing the next console. Phil Spencer has clarified Microsoft’s intentions to stick with the Xbox One, and release a big update in the form of a brand new system. It’s unlikely that they’ll offer a hardware revision apart from redesigning the fairly clumsy housing and opting for a slimmer frame.

On another note, Sony is apparently producing the PlayStation 4.5K due to the technical demands of virtual reality. The company is really wanting to push PlayStation VR and the current PlayStation 4 isn’t powerful enough. In contrast to this, Microsoft hasn’t really shown any interest in virtual reality technology for this console generation. Perhaps, this is due to the incredible Hololens or they believe it’s going to be a considerable amount of time before VR becomes affordable. Whatever the case, at least Microsoft has clarified the situation in a very clear manner and addressed concerns regarding the Xbox neXt project.

AMD Earnings Call Suggests New Consoles Are Coming in 2016

Even though the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are less than three years old, there’s numerous reports which indicates both console manufacturers could release refreshed models with a higher specification. This is unprecedented for the console industry as the usual business strategy revolves around long hardware lifecycles and encouraging developers to eke out every last inch of performance through optimization. Saying that, the situation in 2016 is quite different due to the rise of mobile and impressive profitability on the PC platform. Furthermore, the current consoles are technically outdated and struggle to maintain 30 frames-per-second at 1920×1080. There’s even been instances where the resolution has been reduced to 720P on the Xbox One which really does showcase the performance problems.

Arguably, Sony is creating a much more powerful version of the PlayStation 4 to coincide with the launch of PlayStation VR. Virtual reality requires a great deal of processing power and the current model will struggle to offer a pleasant user-experience. According to information acquired by Go Nintendo, AMD’s earning call predicts future hardware launches this year and reads:

“In our EESC segment, we had record shipments of our semi-custom SoCs powering the Playstation 4 and Xbox One game consoles,”

“Demand for game consoles looks strong for 2016 and we remain on track to generate additional revenue from new semi-custom business in the second half of 2016.

“Game consoles – we see units going up 2016 to 2015. We’ve also said in the enterprise embedded and semi-custom segment that we will be ramping some new design revenue in the second half of 2016. We have new products being introduced in both the businesses with the new design wins in the second half on the semi-custom side.”

It’s important to remember that this might not be a new Xbox or PlayStation 4, and could refer to Nintendo’s upcoming console, the NX. Whatever the case, I cannot wait to see the announcements during this year and look forward to testing new hardware. Also, if these reports are true, I’m eager to know how console players will react.

Microsoft is Apparently Creating ‘Xbox neXt’

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.