While we know that at least Sony and Nintendo will be facing off soon with the PS4 NEO and the Nintendo NX, we haven't heard much about Microsoft's plans. However, according to reports, a “variety” of new Xbox prototypes are currently being tested, some of which do have upgraded internal hardware for higher performance.
This information comes from The Verge, claiming to have sources inside of Microsoft who are familiar with future plans for the Xbox console. Obviously having a prototype doesn't guarantee a final product but Microsoft is testing out a ‘modular' system for Xbox, which would allow for future hardware upgrades similarly to a PC.
Microsoft's Phil Spencer originally began talking about an upgraded Xbox One a short while ago but after a mixed reaction, he went back on some of those comments. His most recent stance is that he is not a big fan of “Xbox One and a half” but given all of the news surrounding the PS4 NEO, it wouldn't be surprising to see Microsoft change its mind.
Right now, it is currently believed that the Xbox One has sold around 18 million units world-wide, almost exactly half that of the PS4. This could partially be attributed to the performance gap between the two consoles, which will only widen once the NEO launches so it would make sense for Microsoft to beef up its hardware to stay competitive.
KitGuru Says: While mid-generation upgrades aren't something that console gamers are typically used to, it does seem to be the way that this generation is going. How do you guys feel about plans for a mid-generation console refresh? Should console life spans be sped up?