All updates for the Xbox One will be taking place in the cloud. As I have said before, the Xbox One is far more powerful than anyone realizes, but I have to contend with arguing this point with people who are unfamiliar with GPU’s in the cloud.
My Prediction: This could be the first time I’m conspicuously wrong about a prediction. I think it is all media hype that “Xbox Two” – or anything related to new hardware – is coming out from Microsoft. Rather, I believe the new updates for Xbox One will come from the current system. The entire point of VDI or desktop-as-a-service is saving an organization from having to purchase new onsite hardware to evolve with update applications. Imagine if your desktop was in the cloud just like your Facebook profile is; you’d be able to access this on any device. Everything could be updated without having to update the hardware (or at least you will stretch the longevity of that hardware).
The Xbox One will be capable of playing 4k games at some point. The PS4 will not. That is a personal prediction on my part. Read the article by Richard Chirgwin – Microsoft pitches Azure at HPC, visualisation loads – to learn how Microsoft is placing GPUs into Azure. The Xbox One has already shown us the demo of Crackdown 3, already an example of an onsite box doing more work than it was intended. With GPUs in the cloud, all Xbox One owners will literally have the ability to turn on a more powerful “Xbox Two” if they’re willing to pay for the higher graphics. I mentioned how this would work in my article – The Evolution of Xbox One:
Those who have played Halo: The Master Chief Collection (or Halo 2, the anniversary edition) know they can manually switch between old and new graphics. The game allows this instantaneously, and with the click of a button the game transforms to either classic or modern graphics. Fluctuation between these options requires no load time.
Microsoft will offer a more evolved system that will cost money and users will think they deserve it for free. If Microsoft is updating Azure, and if Xbox One users will essentially be getting an Xbox-as-a-Service, there is no reason for them to not require payment for it. If you choose to pay for it, your Xbox One will produce higher end graphics. It’s as simple as that.
In any case, I’m very excited to see how people become misled with this idea that Microsoft is shipping out a new box. Consider how much more effective it is for Microsoft to install GPUs in Azure and transmit your “new” Xbox Two, as a service, without having to go through the high cost logistics of making new hardware.
The only company that will need to create new hardware is Sony.