Phil Spencer Teases Xbox One Hardware Upgrades

Windows 10 Xbox One
Xbox head Phil Spencer has hinted at the future of the Xbox One, suggesting the console will receive hardware upgrades to boost performance like a PC.

Speaking during a Microsoft press event last week which was attended by Polygon, Spencer teased the end of Redmond’s interest in consoles which remain technically static until the release of the next generation system.

“Consoles lock the hardware and the software platforms together at the beginning of the generation. Then you ride the generation out for seven or so years, while other ecosystems are getting better, faster, stronger,” Spencer said. “And then you wait for the next big step function.

“When you look at the console space, I believe we will see more hardware innovation in the console space than we’ve ever seen. You’ll actually see us come out with new hardware capability during a generation allowing the same games to run backward and forward compatible because we have a Universal Windows Application running on top of the Universal Windows Platform that allows us to focus more and more on hardware innovation without invalidating the games that run on that platform.

“We can effectively feel a little bit more like we see on PC, where I can still go back and run my old Doom and Quake games that I used to play years ago but I can still see the best 4K games come out and my library is always with me. Hardware innovation continues while the software innovation is able to take advantage and I don’t have to jump a generation and lose everything that I played on before.”

While there have been criticisms of Microsoft’s Universal Windows Apps games and other software, Spencer said the company will improve them over time and plans to bring UWA to Xbox One in the near future.

Microsoft has long touted the possibility of bringing together games and apps that are compatible with both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 devices but suggesting that the Xbox One will be around for many years and supported via hardware updates would be revolutionary in terms of console life-cycles.

Speaking to Game Informer, Spencer ruled out VR integration with Xbox One as Sony is doing with PlayStation VR and PS4. He did say that Microsoft supports Oculus, Vive, and Valve as they push VR on Windows, however, and said they are monitoring the space as they develop HoloLens and other VR applications.

Earlier today, Sony confirmed that the next major PS4 update, 3.5, will bring remote play to Windows PC and Mac, allowing you to play your PS4 games on those systems.