New reports of the slimmed-down and improved versions of the Xbox One are making rounds online, and it's safe to assume that fans of the console are on the edge of their seats in light of the development.
The first one is presumably the Xbox One Slim that has been the talk of the town for quite a while already, and the second one is a beefed-up version of the Microsoft-branded console codenamed "Scorpio."
Xbox One Slim
Citing "sources familiar with Microsoft's Xbox plans," The Verge says that the Xbox One Slim will have 2 TB worth of storage and a 40 percent smaller form factor than the current hardware. On top of that, it adds that there's a good chance for it to have 4K support for videos.
Meanwhile, Polygon confirmed with its sources that this updated console will be the smallest Xbox to date. What's more, it's expected to have a refreshed controller to boot.
Microsoft is believed to take the wraps off it at the Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3 2016 in June and roll it out sometime in August, but there's no word about the price just yet.
Xbox One Scorpio
Unlike the Xbox One Slim, the Xbox One Scorpio is more focused on powerful hardware components rather than downsizing.
This is arguably Microsoft's attempt to level the playing field with Sony, as the Xbox One has been left behind in terms of frame rates and overall performance compared with the PS4 — exhibit A: Doom PS4 vs. Xbox One.
Now, it's expected to be fitted with a VR-capable GPU, and in line with that are the reports about the Redmond company talking with Oculus to ink a deal, Kotaku says. That makes sense too, as Microsoft will have a contender to stand against the PSVR that way, not to mention that Oculus will have the opportunity to step into the console scene.
Interestingly enough, a source also claims that this upgrade is part of Project Helix, the company's attempt to get Xbox and Windows closer together so that future titles will go live across the two platforms at the same time.
Of course, the big question that remains is, will the Xbox One Scorpio outperform the much-rumored PS4 Neo? According to Polygon, Microsoft is aiming for just that, targeting 6 teraflops. To put that figure in perspective, the PS4 clocks in at approximately 1.84 teraflops, and the PS4 Neo is believed to boost that number by 2.25 times more, clocking in at roughly 4.14 teraflops.
Assuming that these all hold true, the short answer is yes, the Scorpio will beat the Neo by 1.86 teraflops. However, the PS4 Neo is more of an upgrade rather than a replacement, so Sony may have something up its sleeves that'll trump the upcoming 2017 Xbox One.
As for the release date, it should make the headlines in the later part of 2017, and just like the case with the Xbox One Slim, it doesn't have a price tag attached to it yet.
The Bottom Line
If the Xbox One Scorpio will indeed go official in 2017, then the console release cycle appears to be changing. Typically, hardware for such machines are refreshed every five years at the very least — the Xbox One was released back in 2013. Also, the Xbox One Slim doesn't count, as it's essentially an upgrade, but it should be pointed out that 2 TB of storage is nevertheless a big step-up from the 500 GB and 1 TB variants of the Xbox One.
At any rate, news about improved and updated consoles are always welcome. Hit up the comments section below and tell us what you think of the reports.
Photo: Luke Hayfield | Flickr