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FCC filings from Microsoft could suggest that two new versions the Xbox One are on their way

By midian182 · 18 replies
Apr 13, 2016
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  1. While Microsoft’s head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, has been quite vague about whether a new version of the Xbox One will be released later this year – much like Sony’s reported PlayStation 4.5/4K – he has talked about “upgrades” on several occasions. Now, a couple of FCC filings could suggest that two new incarnations of the Xbox One are on their way.

    Uncovered by German NeoGAF forum user “Mike R” on Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission filings, submitted by Microsoft in March, are for wireless radio devices.

    The first filing, a docket for a wireless radio with part number 1683, includes a PDF of ‘User Manual 1525,’ which is the "Xbox One and Kinect Sensor Product Manual" safety sheet that comes with the existing Xbox One. The filing has a confidentially request that expires on June 25, just weeks after E3.

    The second filing, for a dual-band radio designated 1682, include a user manual identical in size (213kB) and with a similar file name to the PDF in the 1683 filing. Its embargo date is just over one month later – July 29.

    There has been a lot of speculation over what the discoveries could be related to, but it does look as if an Xbox One slim edition may be on the cards, as well as another version of the console set to arrive at a later date that will compete with the PlayStation 4.5/4K.

    Microsoft released the Premium version of the Xbox 360 two years after it launched, and followed up with the slim version three years later. It’s coming up to three years since the release of the Xbox One, so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Microsoft will unveil new models, especially with Sony steamrollering ahead in terms of both sales and working on an upgraded PlayStation 4.

    Expect to learn more about Microsoft's plans when E3 kicks off on June 14.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Tibeardius

    Tibeardius TS Booster Posts: 64   +42

    Seems like it'd be valuable to have a system with upgradeable parts. That way you wouldn't have to get an entirely new system to play the latest and greatest games.
  3. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    Except when you no longer only have a single set of hardware to program a game for, Your code is much less efficient and a console no longer has as much advantage over a PC.
    H3llion likes this.
  4. Tibeardius

    Tibeardius TS Booster Posts: 64   +42

    That's the joke. PCMR.
  5. theBest11778

    theBest11778 TS Addict Posts: 298   +127

    Once they announced this gen was x86/x64 in architecture I knew long console cycles were over. Backwards compatibility being the reason. Just like pc newer hardware can play your old games just faster and higher detailed. With Xbox lagging behind PS4 it would make sense for them to change the game.

    Current XBO systems will still play all games, but I see a new system for more money (2-2.5x) the price of the XBO will play them better. 2 or 3 years later do the same thing, and phase out the XBO and turn the Xbox two in to the lowend model. This way gamers with money to spend always have hardware that's more up to date, but get to keep their entire library. This is why MS is why MS is working so hard on 360 compatibility, and presumably Xbox original compatibility as well.

    It's just like pc gaming except all games will work without needing community fixes, and instead of spending $700-$1000 every three years you'll end up paying $400-$500. Obviously the consoles will never be as fast as a pc, but this way they won't be left in the dust either.

    What's good about the situation is MS needs to make up for weak hardware this gen and will probably launch a newer system at a loss like they did with the Xbox 360. For those of you who don't know when the x360 launched for $399 it cost MS over $700 to make the thing, so they absorbed the $300 difference. They got greedy this gen and wanted to make money day one on the hardware sales. I expect the next revision of the Xbox to sell for $400-$500 and cost $700-$800 to make. So basically you get free hardware for your $400. I doubt Sony will do it again as they lost much more than MS did with their PS3s. Sony also is a struggling company and losing 50% +/- per system sale could bleed them dry.

    This is just what I see coming down the pipeline, nothing is confirmed, but it would make sense. I also doubt the Xbox two would launch this year. Polaris will be out (most likely in PS 4k) but Zen won't be out till next year. If MS waits on a Zen/Polaris combo it will be much more powerful than the PS4k, and cost about the same.

    Side note neither system will be running games at 4k resolution. They will probably nail down 1080p/60 and will aim for 1440p upscale to 4k. Still if every 3 years revisions like this come out that means actual 4k console gaming is only 3 more years out. With Pascal and Polaris probably being the first PC GPUs capable of decent 4k performance this would put the consoles only a few years behind in terms of technology, and this would benefit everyone.
  6. MHMPr

    MHMPr TS Member Posts: 35   +19

    No, that's crazy, such thing will never exist.
    That's like asking for being able to use whatever resolution you want, or control in-game settings to choose between higher framerates or higher visual quality, or to have access to new technologies as soon as they're released, or being able to modify and add on to the game's content, or being able to use any kind of controller you want, or having backwards compatibility with last gen games or even further, or playing online for free. That's simply not possible.
    Tibeardius likes this.
  7. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 866   +73

    Sounds good to me. I like my Xbox One with its backwards compatible 360 releases (enjoying dark souls at the moment) and its digital delivery systems. I have a large library of games to play, I don't have to worry about finding patches and fixes for older games and the multiplayer is relatively sandboxed so I don't have to worry that someone has a version of their graphics card driver that allows them to see through walls. I know its not perfect but it works for me. I am also happy about the idea that they want to upgrade the hardware so eventually I will be able to play my current games, old 360 games and new games in 4K. So many games given away free as well now - 4 a month for my £30 a year including backwards compatibility games. And a faster xbox will run them all faster. Its a win win. I would move my older xbox into the bedroom if I got a second faster one. That would suit me just fine.
  8. MHMPr

    MHMPr TS Member Posts: 35   +19

    You mean the handful of titles Microsoft was kind enough to make available, instead of having every previous game available by default?
    Nobody does. Do you not know how patches/updates work on Steam? Or, for older games on GOG, you get them already in a state where they are working.
    You don't have older games. At best you have a couple games from last generation MS made available, that's it.
    Drivers don't do that. Also, in the occasion that you do see an exploiter online, it's usually a straightforward process to get them banned. That, if they get past the anti-cheating measures in the first place. The "but there's hackerz!" argument is just grasping at straws.
    You will not be able to play any games on 4K, you can rest assured of that. Unless, of course, you don't mind a 250W, $600 GPU in your console. A sizeable CPU upgrade would be needed as well.
    They are not free games if you had to pay for it. It's not like Origin, for example, which offers actually free games that you don't have to pay a penny for, you only need to have the free account. On top, of course, of the already free-to-play games on PC.

    Anyway, I'm glad it works well for you, but don't try to sugar-coat it. Consoles are already very limited offerings by design and don't offer very good value, and having mid-cycle updates that "strongly compel" you to spend more money gives them even fewer reasons to exist.
  9. theBest11778

    theBest11778 TS Addict Posts: 298   +127

  10. MHMPr

    MHMPr TS Member Posts: 35   +19

    I did just finish Bioshock for the first time ever two weeks ago, on Windows 10, without any patches (got it in a bundle when buying Infinite). I did use a patch to enable 60 FPS animations though, which is something not possible at all on Xbox.
    And if by "Unreal" you mean "Unreal Tournament 3", I was just playing it this morning. Also Windows 10, and also no patches. And since there's no native AA in it, I have the option to activate MLAA on my drivers, or just downsample from 2560x1440 or something like that.
    So I don't know what you're talking about, and I'm not totally sure you do either.
  11. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,469   +1,254


    I've just run all the Unreal games on my Windows 10 computer and the only one that needed a tweak was Unreal Tournament 2004 which was literally a change in an ini file from "true" to "false". I wouldn't call that serious tweaking...

    Bioshock, no issue at all.
    Morrowind, no issue at all.

    Max Payne 1 & 2 are the only games in your list I can't test as I don't have them but after a bit of googling it sounds like they work fine on Windows 10 as well.

    Granted, your right that Microsoft doing the leg work to make it work is easier. But don't try and make it sounds like the PC has some serious difficulty's getting old games to work. Only badly programmed or very old games have issues which community patches fix anyway. (Command and Conquer Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge is a good example).

    Edit: in addition to this, blizzard recently released patches to games over 10 years old. You don't see that on console...
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
  12. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Evangelist Posts: 596   +76

    That's a stupid idea for a games console, fair enough you could upgrade a gpu, but then then you have games devs stuck with which gpus to code for, and then hardware manc are forced to remain with certain form factors for ever. If we followed your idea, we would all be on snes boxes, with limited controllers support, poor memory bandwidths, and slow buses with high voltages... but we would have a fast cpu/gpu so all would be good.

    If you want upgradable tech then the pc is the only viable solution.
  13. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Evangelist Posts: 596   +76

    To be fair You could play @ 4K with medium to high details at 30Hz/30FPS. With many games already capped at 30 this may not be such an issue, it just needs some more grunt to push the resolution up. Also then it comes down to how well the game is coded, and for consoles with strict hardware requirements this is a hell of a lot better than PCs. I currently game @ 4K but only rarely cause I don't like gaming at less than 144hz and we are far from being able to do this. Even though I have 980ti sli It can't handle this (infact the DP can't either). And to be fair with my expensive tv upscaled 1080P @4k is pretty bloody close to native 4k without the performance hit.
  14. MHMPr

    MHMPr TS Member Posts: 35   +19

    Yeah, that's true. To clarify, when I say "4K" I mean "4K at the highest settings", because basically any console or PC with a discrete GPU can play games at 4K resolution if the settings are lowered enough.
    That being said, I'm not sure lowering settings to achieve 4K rendering would be a good choice for consoles. They'd be better off sticking with 1080p and using more advanced graphical features, which would provide a higher improvement in visual quality, especially when most people sit too far to notice precise details to begin with. "4K" is a pointless goal in that circunstance.
    On PC that's not an issue since the user can change settings and resolutions at will, so each person can pick whatever they prefer.
  15. Tibeardius

    Tibeardius TS Booster Posts: 64   +42

    You missed the joke.
  16. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Evangelist Posts: 596   +76

    Sarcasm doesn't travel well over the internet lol :D

    They could do something similar to DSR (Dynamic super resolution) pretty sure this has less of a hardware requirement than native 4K and produces a pretty good result whilst still maintaining high to ultra detail settings. Remember box Microsoft and Sony are not sigh of upscaling contents. A lot of the 360 content was upscaled from 720p and some of the Sony stuff was taken from 920p! (not sure though if the ps4 and xbone do much upscaling)
    Tibeardius likes this.
  17. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,645   +304

    You still have an order of magnitude or more advantage over PC in terms of hardware configurations. Yes, at some point you'd have to ditch older hardware or adapt to it, but considering, say, 3 generations of AMD products, is still way better than considering 5 generations of both AMD and NVIDIA, each with several levels of performance and memory bandwidth.
  18. MHMPr

    MHMPr TS Member Posts: 35   +19

    DSR is the opposite of what you're thinking, it's rendering the game at an even higher resolution and downsampling it to a lower one, like rendering at 2560x1440 and displaying at 1920x1080. It's more demanding than rendering at the resolution the image is being downsampled to. DSR to 4K would be rendering at 5K or 8K or something like that, then resizing the image to 4K for displaying.
    If you mean upscaling (the opposite, render at a lower resolution and stretch the image to fill a larger area), sure, but that offers little improvement over the original image. 1080p upscaled to 4K is not really particularly better than native 1080p, at best you can apply some sharpening filters that may improve edge contrast but doesn't actually add any detail to the image.
    To illustrate, here is Skyrim rendered at 1080p 4x MSAA and resized to 4K (no filters): http://I.imgur.com/H5lxPMY.jpg
    Here is the same image resized to 4K with a high-pass filter and unsharp mask in Photoshop so simulate upscaling: http://I.imgur.com/S1gYKYo.jpg
    And here is Skyrim rendered natively at 4K 4x MSAA: http://I.imgur.com/ANZ57HW.jpg
    Zoom in to view the images 1:1. While upscaling does look better than simple resizing, it comes nowhere near the quality of native rendering.
  19. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 866   +73

    Well didn't think anything I wrote was controversial but the internet never fails to disappoint.

    I've had to patch and mess around with plenty of my steam games. I have 500 and have had a steam account since I bought my half life 2 disk. I work as a computer tech and not having options to improve or change fsaa and the hundred other options means I don't spend my evenings tweaking configs to get the best out of my system instead of playing games.

    There aren't loads of backward compatible games. They seem to be writing a custom app for each game to tweak settings and get them running, otherwise they wouldn't be improving how individual games run. But I've been playing dark souls which I bought for £3 and I can't complain. It picked up my cloud save from the 360 and worked seamlessly.

    I said in the same sentence that Xbox live cost me £30 a year (actually nearer £20 as I shop around for membership keys). For that I get to use a sandboxed multiplayer network and 48 games a year.

    4K isn't going to be available with the next iteration of the Xbox one - I read the article before I posted and thought you might have assumed as much. If the next version just does 1080p I'd be happy. No need to upscale from 1440p when 4K TVs do their own comparable upscaling anyway. But I do look forward to playing in 4K with my Xbox library sometime in the future as they bring out more powerful iterations and don't force me to bin my library.

    Anyway, take it or leave it. I like PC gaming and did nothing else for years but console gaming is where I am now comfortable.

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