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Is Microsoft about to launch an upgraded Xbox One?

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Rumors of an updated PlayStation 4 have been making the rounds over the past few weeks. Giant Bomb reports that the "PS4.5" is codenamed Neo, and that the refreshed model will include a faster CPU, improved GPU, and higher bandwidth memory. While Sony's console plans are the source of much debate, Microsoft's Xbox chief Phil Spencer dropped hints recently that the company isn't interested in creating an "Xbox One and a half."

"I'm not a big fan of Xbox One and a half. If we're going to move forward, I want to move forward in big numbers," Spencer said, during a roundtable discussion with Gameinformer. "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." Any substantial change could involve VR support or even Microsoft's new HoloLens headset, and hardware improvements would be required. Most reports suggested Spencer's comments shot down any potential for an upgraded Xbox One, but that might not be the case.

A timely NDA

NeoGAF member ekim discovered several filings with the Federal Communications Commission recently that show Microsoft is testing a new Xbox One wireless chip with a new model number. The FCC approves devices like the Xbox One, and it has often revealed new phones ahead of their launch. While there are no photos of the new Xbox One model, external photos and other key details are being kept under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) between Microsoft and the FCC. That agreement (to keep details secret) expires on June 25th, 12 days after Microsoft's Xbox press conference at E3 this year. Anatel, the Brazilian equivalent of the FCC isn't as strict at adhering to NDAs, and has published a photograph of the new Xbox One wireless chipset.

Sources familiar with Microsoft's Xbox plans have revealed to The Verge that the company has been testing a variety of prototype Xbox devices. Some of the prototypes have been tested with upgraded components you'd use to improve the performance of a PC gaming rig. It's not clear if and when Microsoft intends to launch an upgraded Xbox One, but Phil Spencer has already hinted the company will "come out with new hardware capability during a generation" that supports existing and future titles. A new wireless chip could be just a small part of the optional hardware upgrades to the Xbox One that Microsoft is planning.


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