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Why Sony and Microsoft already want you to buy a new video game console

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A new round of video game consoles has began last week with the release of Microsoft’s One S. The slim, white hardware is a minor upgrade to the original Xbox One, and the predecessor to next year’s flashier upgrade, codenamed Project Scorpio. Next month, Sony is expected to announce its own update for the PlayStation 4, codenamed Neo. If it feels a little early in a generation of consoles to be talking about dropping cash on the next great thing, you’re right.

But these consoles don’t follow the traditional cycle of new video game hardware, which last around seven years. They’re more iterative. Microsoft’s hardware is built around backwards compatibility with Xbox One, and its expected that PlayStation Neo will play PlayStation 4 games. The new era of game consoles is closer to smartphones: a variety of annually updated hardware with a variety of features that shares same large, ongoing collection of apps.

To talk about the ways these new game consoles are similar and different from the hardware of the past, I invited my friend and colleague Megan Farokhmanesh to the show. Subscribe to What's Tech on iTunes, listen on Spotify, or subscribe via RSS. And be sure to follow us on Twitter. You can also find the entire collection of What's Tech stories right here on the The Verge Dot Com.