Microsoft Plans To Offer Hardware Upgrades For Xbox One

Microsoft Plans To Offer Hardware Upgrades For Xbox One

Microsoft is working on an ambitious plan to blur the lines between Xbox and PC.

Speaking at a media event in San Francisco last week, Xbox chief Phil Spencer revealed that Microsoft wants to unify Xbox and PC into "a complete gaming ecosystem" utilizing Universal Windows Applications.

The Universal Windows Applications platform is a common development framework that enables its applications to run on all Windows 10 devices, including PC, Xbox, tablets and smartphones.

Microsoft's upcoming Quantum Break is one of the first titles to close the gap between PC and console with its support for cross-play and cross-buy. The game also takes advantage of Windows LIVE platform to unify the friends list across the two platforms.

But that's not the only way Xbox is getting closer to PC. The Xbox chief also revealed that Microsoft may start offering hardware updates for Xbox One at regular intervals.

"We see on other platforms whether it be mobile or PC that you get a continuous innovation that you rarely see on console," he explained. "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. 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."

Spencer's argument is quite interesting, but that hardware rigidness has always been a key selling point for consoles. Console users are used to have their games run without having to worry about hardware requirements or fiddle with quality settings. If Spencer has it his way, this insert-and-play experience might become a thing of the past.