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Report: Microsoft's hardware plans include more powerful Xbox One in 2017

Microsoft's hardware plans include releasing a more affordable Xbox One this year and a more powerful version of the console next year, according to a new report from Kotaku based on unnamed sources.

Microsoft's hardware plans include releasing a more affordable Xbox One this year and a more powerful version of the console next year, according to a new report from Kotaku based on multiple unnamed sources.

Developers should note that some of those sources claim Microsoft's plans for a more powerful version of the Xbox One in 2017, codenamed "Scorpio", include an improved GPU that could improve the console's ability to render games at higher resolutions or on a virtual reality headset.

Pursuant to that latter possibility, Kotaku claims Microsoft is seeking to deepen its extant partnership with Oculus.

These reports are much akin to those that emerged a few months ago about Sony's potential plans to release a more powerful version of the PlayStation 4, codenamed "Neo."

Game enthusiast hub Giant Bomb later obtained purported developer documentation for the "Neo", which included details about how the console would improve upon the PlayStation 4's GPU, clock speeds and memory bandwidth in an effort to better support higher resolutions and framerates.  

Like Sony, Microsoft has yet to either confirm or deny these reports of its plans to release a more powerful version of its console. However, at Microsoft's Build developer conference earlier this year Xbox chief Phil Spencer downplayed rumors of an improved "Xbox One And A Half" console in the works, noting that "if we're going to go forward with anything...I want it to be a really substantial change for people -- an upgrade."

According to Kotaku, Microsoft intends to release hardware more frequently going forward and more deeply enmesh its Xbox and Windows platforms, which would be well in line with Spencer's publicly-stated plans to "decouple our software platform from the hardware platform on which it runs."

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