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article imageMicrosoft says there is no 'Xbox neXt' to rival PlayStation '4.5'

By James Walker     Apr 5, 2016 in Entertainment
Rumours of Microsoft planning an upgraded "Xbox One and a half" have recently stepped up amid widespread reports of Sony intending to launch a high-performance "PlayStation 4K" later in the year. Microsoft's Xbox chief has denied the rumours though.
Recent reports have shone a light onto Sony's future plans for the PlayStation 4. It is now thought to be planning a "PlayStation 4.5" or "4K" for launch later in the year. The console will be an upgraded PS4 with improved internals and support for 4K gaming, a substantial mid-life refresh that breaks from the company's traditional sales model.
If the rumours are true then it would follow that Microsoft would want to do a similar thing with the Xbox One. The company has even hinted as much in the past few weeks, saying "you'll actually see us come out with new hardware capability during a generation."
In a recent talk, reported by Gamespot, Xbox chief Phil Spencer appeared to downplay the comments though. Discussing the speculation surrounding an "Xbox 1.5" or "Xbox neXt," Spencer said "I'm not a big fan of Xbox One and a half. If we're going to move forward, I want to move forward in big numbers."
The rumours of an improved Xbox One existing internally at Microsoft have recently gained traction in the wake of gaming news site Kokatu's report on the PlayStation 4.5. A reference to "Xbox neXt" was spotted on the LinkedIn profile of Microsoft employee David Gardner, seemingly confirming the company is working on a rival to the PS4K.
Those reports have since been thrown out by Microsoft which revealed the truth of "Xbox neXt." The name is actually an old internal team name referencing a group that worked on the release of the current Xbox One, completely unrelated to any future model. Microsoft told IGN "We have nothing to share" regarding the fan speculation.
Spencer suggested Xbox One isn't yet in need of a mid-life refresh. "For us, our box is doing well," he said to the assembled press after Microsoft's //BUILD/ 2016 developer's conference last week. "It performs, it's reliable, the servers are doing well. If we're going to go forward with anything, like I said, I want it to be a really substantial change for people - an upgrade."
The comments on reliability may not sit well with some fans. The Xbox One is known to beless powerful than the PlayStation 4. In recent weeks, Microsoft's online Xbox Live network has experienced several unscheduled outages. Although the issues have since been largely resolved, Microsoft has previously admitted it may have to start a discussion about compensating players for the server downtime.
Spencer doesn't appear to be ruling out the possibility of an upgraded Xbox One launching before any next-generation console is rolled out. Instead, he appears committed to only unveiling something that is a true "upgrade."
Needless to say, the rumours of refreshed games consoles from Sony and Microsoft are currently nothing more than unconfirmed reports and speculation. What is clear is that neither the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 is currently capable of supporting 4K games though, a weakness the companies may want to overcome to avoid being completely overshadowed by the increasing capabilities of PC hardware.
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