Rumor: Microsoft Upgrading Xbox One Specs, Features

Over the weekend, rumors surfaced that the final version of Microsoft's Xbox One will have different hardware specs than what was shown during E3 2013. The console will supposedly see an increase in Radeon GPU core clock speed and installed RAM, bumping the amount up to 12 GB from 8 GB. This latter rumor has since been dismissed by sources close to the console development, reporting that the models are still locked at the lower amount (dev kits have 12 GB).

"The way the RAM is set out in the machine, Microsoft realized they could be more efficient in its use without sacrificing the amount set aside for OS operation. They immediately reacted," an unnamed source told The Examiner. "Physical RAM won't be upped in time for November release as it was too late even during initial reveal, but developers are saying, in terms of efficiency of the RAM and the reported yield problems, Microsoft have made some snappy breakthroughs."

But even if Microsoft decided to cram 12 GB of RAM into the console, it wouldn't be beneficial to current projects, as developers have been creating games and applications based on the current list of specs. However the increase would help the development of games 2014 and beyond "when taking second screen gaming into consideration".

Respawn Entertainment may have been the developer lobbying the push for more RAM in the Xbox One. The studio supposedly said the 5 GB of GDDR3 RAM set aside for gaming was already causing issues in its upcoming blockbuster title Titanfall, but the console's cloud computing aspect makes up for that.

As for the GPU core clock increase, the source said it was in direct response to the PlayStation 4. In fact, it was planned long before the console was revealed in May, as the Xbox One team has been "reacting to Sony ever since the first leaks of both systems." News of the GPU clock bump has been revealed only to first parties who in turn "actively spread disinformation to 3rd parties just before reveal to prevent leaks."

Sources told The Examiner that Microsoft is asking for developer feedback on changes they would want to see on the hardware level. Meanwhile, Xbox One chief product officer Marc Whitten hinted to IGN that the company may bring back a few features that were cut over the whole DRM controversy. The interview arrives after fans launched a petition asking Microsoft to reverse their Xbox One policies.

"This was to be the future of entertainment," the petition says. "A new wave of gaming where you could buy games digitally, then trade, share or sell those digital licenses. Essentially, it was Steam for Xbox. But consumers were uninformed, and railed against it, and it was taken away because Sony took advantage of consumers' uncertainty. We want this back. It can't be all or nothing, there must be a compromise."

Whitten admitted that Microsoft needs to talk more, to get people to understand what the Xbox One is. "The thing that’s really gratifying is that people are excited about the types of features that are possible, and it’s sort of shame on us that we haven’t done as good of a job as we can to make people feel like that’s where we’re headed," he said.

When asked about bringing the Family Sharing feature back to Xbox One, he said that if it's something that people are really excited about and want, then Microsoft will see to it that it finds the right way to bring the feature back.

"We believe really strongly in how you build a great experience on Xbox One for me as an individual, but also for my family," he said. "Family Sharing is a great example of how you do that with content. I think you’re going to see us, both with examples like that and with other things, keep pushing on how that’s something great."

Create a new thread in the US News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
36 comments
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • Ragnar-Kon
    As long as the cooling system and silicon can handle the GPU clock increase, I see no problems with it.

    And Family Sharing would be VERY beneficial to Xbox One and might help it regain some traction it lost at E3. But, I'm sure for a lot of people it is too little too late. As for me? Still haven't decided if I want to jump on the console bandwagon.
    16
  • slomo4sho
    Yay! Rumors!
    14
  • warezme
    "But consumers were uninformed" - In reality it was the total opposite. They were informed, caught wind of XBOX shenanigans and desire to close their system and force always online and revolted against it. If it had not been for Playstation 4 being direct competition and not forcing their "consumers" into that sort of cage and taking advantage of the situation by playing up the fact, MS would have never changed the XBOX.
    11
  • Other Comments
  • thor220
    Very unlikely.

    It takes much more time to create and integrate a new graphics card into the system then what they had to change it. Entire new dev kits would have to be made and it could cause issues with software in the pipeline.
    -7
  • Ragnar-Kon
    As long as the cooling system and silicon can handle the GPU clock increase, I see no problems with it.

    And Family Sharing would be VERY beneficial to Xbox One and might help it regain some traction it lost at E3. But, I'm sure for a lot of people it is too little too late. As for me? Still haven't decided if I want to jump on the console bandwagon.
    16
  • slomo4sho
    Yay! Rumors!
    14