The Xbox One will not support modular upgrades in future, despite reports that this might be the case following statements made by Xbox head Phil Spencer recently.
“Am I going to break open my console and start upgrading individual pieces of my console? That’s not our plan,” Spencer explained during the latest Major Nelson podcast. “There is something special about what happens with a console. You buy an appliance-like device; you plug it into your TV; it works when you plug it in. It’s not like I’m going to ship a screwdriver set with every console that comes out.”
Despite this, Microsoft still plans to take advantage of hardware advancements in future, Spencer said.
“What I’m saying is as hardware innovations happen we want to be able to embrace those in the console space,” he added. “And make those available and maybe not have to wait seven or eight years for things to happen. But right now, we’re not announcing hardware.”
Based on these comments, it now seems that Microsoft plans to adopt an Apple-like approach to Xbox systems, with regular iterations boasting marginally improved technology. Spencer has previously discussed games being both backward and forward compatible, as is the case for most App Store games.
Part of the appeal of consoles is that they are relatively simple and everyone is on a level playing field. Microsoft’s approach may ultimately confuse casual consumers or it might be just what the console market needs. What do you think of the company’s plans?