When the Xbox One released, Microsoft confirmed that it would have a ten year life cycle. While that may have been the plan in the beginning, many of the original features that would support such a long life had to be scraped prior to the launch because people either didn't want them, or the availability of internet wasn't there for people to utilize those features even if they wanted to. Microsoft had big plans for cloud technology and for a system that grew over time despite the the hardware being static and unchanged.
When we say a ten year life span, we're talking about the time that Microsoft will continue to support the system, but that doesn't have to be the amount of time they wait until they release another system. There's nothing in the fine print that says they have to wait, especially if the system they current have out is taking on water like a sinking ship. The Xbox One is by no means a failure, but it's not winning either. Let's take a look at some factors that could result in the Xbox 2 being released as soon as 2018.
3 Factors That Could Hasten the Arrival of the Xbox 2
Today we're looking at some hard facts about the Xbox One and about Microsoft as a company that show why the Xbox 2 needs to happen sooner than later, and why it will. We don't need to rub salt in the wound, but as it stands, the PS4 is still outselling the Xbox One at a rate of almost two-to-one. Putting those numbers aside, let's look at some other facts.
1. The Tech Was Several Years Old Out of the Gate
It sounds ridiculous, but the tech they put in the Xbox One wasn't cutting edge, especially if you are a PC owner. The Xbox One uses GDDR 3 memory, which is something that has been widely available for several years, and is used typically in low-end PC builds. On the other hand, the PS4 uses GDDR5 memory, which is something you find in middle to high-end PC builds. Microsoft chose the older variation with an eSRAM module that can only handle 32MB of data at a time.
Yes, this lowered the price of the console, but it also showed that Microsoft may not have intended to keep this console as their prize horse for the next ten years. They had to know that technology would surpass this hardware, and it's most likely that they've prepared for it or are currently doing so.
2. New Graphics Technologies Are Already Emerging
A new technique called "tracing" has been showing itself, and it's revolutionizing how we handle things like lighting in video games. The way light itself casts shadows, moves through dust, illuminates skin, all of these things are far more accurate when using this method. In a broad sense, it would take several Xbox One consoles to power this new type of processing. Even now, we haven't reached the point where 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second gameplay are the standard. If these things are negotiable now, what does that say for the future?
3. Microsoft Is No Stranger to Newer and Better Versions of Their Hardware
Many of Microsoft's products receive constant upgrades and refreshes. The Surface tablets for example have had over three new versions in less than two years. For the Xbox One, it's most likely that it will need to be replaced after five years in 2018. Even this gap is huge though for PC gamers or for people who use smartphones where the new versions are out almost on a yearly basis.
One of the reasons that the Xbox One was so far behind in terms of hardware was because it needed to power the Kinect. Microsoft showed a lot of support for the device leading up to the release of the system, but now we see the system sold without the Kinect at a discounted price. The lack of the sensor does give the system a small power boost, but not enough to close the widening gap in power.
Then of course, you have the rising use of 4K resolution which none of the current consoles support. The simple fact of the matter is that this generation cannot keep pace with the rising technology, and with the Xbox One not selling like it should, Microsoft needs to start thinking about the future, and how to meet these challenges head on while still supporting the console that they released for the ten years they promised.
Sooner, or Later?
The Xbox One had some big ideas that had to be left on the cutting room floor. This means that next time around Microsoft has to do things differently with Xbox 2. Beyond these policy changes, Microsoft also opted to use hardware that isn't cutting edge by any means in comparison to other types of modern technology.
What do you think though? Should Microsoft hasten the arrival of the Xbox 2? Will these factors become more of an issue going forward until the next system is released? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!