Xbox head Phil Spencer went on record stating that Microsoft wouldn’t make an “incremental update“ version of the Xbox One, seemingly shooting down rumors that the company was working on an Xbox One-and-a-Half to compete with the PlayStation 4 Neo. Rumors persisted that Microsoft was working on something behind the scenes, though, even if there were no definitive details about what it might be.
The latest rumor suggests that we’ll not only see new Xbox hardware coming out, but that we’ll see it sooner rather than later. Both a new Xbox One model and a redesigned Xbox controller are rumored to be part of a major reveal from Microsoft at the upcoming E3 expo in June.
The rumored details of the Xbox One revamp appeared on Paul Thurrott’s website, which in the past has been a fairly reliable source for Microsoft-related leaks and news. Very little was revealed about the controller, other than it will be in a color other than the standard black; it’s unsure whether the color change will be the only difference between the standard controller, or if there will be other less obvious differences such as a built-in microphone for use with Microsoft’s Cortana or slight ergonomic changes. On the console end, however, the rumor suggests that we may see new interactions between the PC and the Xbox One for both exclusive and non-exclusive games that the PlayStation 4 would be unable to easily replicate.
While some have speculated that we will see an Xbox One Slim at E3, the new rumor doesn’t specifically mention a slim redesign of the console. Instead, it mentions only that a hardware announcement is coming. It’s suggested that the redesign might actually be a new version of the Xbox One Elite model, but there’s no details on exactly what differences it would feature from the previous Elite model (which features a 1TB hybrid drive and comes with an Xbox One Elite wireless controller) or whether there could be a slim version as well as the Elite revamp launching at E3.
Rumors like these should always be taken with a grain of salt, of course, though this one isn’t necessarily a stretch. Given all of the Xbox/PC features that Microsoft has unveiled recently, it makes sense that additional features would roll out at E3. Console and controller redesigns aren’t unheard of, either, and a new slim or Elite model would keep Spencer’s comments about “no Xbox One-and-a-Half” true even while the console’s new features would add value to the Xbox ecosystem. Given that the PlayStation 4 Neo will likely debut at E3 as well, this would give Microsoft a solid presentation with some unique features and hardware to tout without having to go up against the PS4Neo in a head-to-head “my new console is better than yours!” contest.
Regardless of the final form any of these rumors take, it’s sure to be an interesting year for gamers. E3 could very well show us the PlayStation 4 Neo and a revamped Xbox One Elite, and Microsoft will likely continue expanding its Xbox/PC ecosystem in the coming months as well. On top of that, a full reveal of the Nintendo NX is expected later this year before its release next March. Now we’ve just got to sit back and see which of the rumors about these consoles actually end up being true.