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Rumor: Microsoft Upgrading Xbox One Specs, Features

By - Source: The Examiner | B 36 comments

The GPU core clock has been increased, and Microsoft will likely bring back Family Sharing.

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."

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  • 16 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , July 16, 2013 6:14 AM
    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.
  • 14 Hide
    slomo4sho , July 16, 2013 6:18 AM
    Yay! Rumors!
  • 11 Hide
    warezme , July 16, 2013 6:35 AM
    "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.
Other Comments
  • -7 Hide
    thor220 , July 16, 2013 6:14 AM
    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.
  • 16 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , July 16, 2013 6:14 AM
    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.
  • 14 Hide
    slomo4sho , July 16, 2013 6:18 AM
    Yay! Rumors!
  • -1 Hide
    tomfreak , July 16, 2013 6:27 AM
    I probably more believe in rumor about changing to GDDR5 than this.
  • 8 Hide
    hrhuffnpuff , July 16, 2013 6:31 AM
    Quote:
    Yay! Rumors!


    Actually Rumors is an awesome album from Fleetwood Mac.
  • 11 Hide
    warezme , July 16, 2013 6:35 AM
    "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.
  • -2 Hide
    stingstang , July 16, 2013 6:36 AM
    "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."
    You mean different than the PC running windows 8?
  • -4 Hide
    antilycus , July 16, 2013 6:38 AM
    They will certainly start caring after it's too late and everyone has already purchased the competition. I personally, for the first time iver in my 33 years of living, have NO INTEREST in playing the upcoming generation. I found fun in gaming again thanks to OUYA. It's not powerhouse but if someone actually takes advantage of NVIDIA's TEGRA tech, I can be playing every crytek engine game on that machine, for life, on someone's 300 CPU / GPU core server :)  . Not bad for 100 bones.
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , July 16, 2013 6:56 AM
    Bullshit, because you didn't publish the updated story:
    Quote:
    There has been a bit of controversy surrounding this topic. In an attempt to clarify further, I decided to contact my source based on the idea that the increase in clock speed may have been a confusion with the better utilization of ESRAM that Digital Foundry reported on earlier this month.

    "The bump was supposed to have been planned prior to initial reveal. Any actual changes would have taken place during E3 Week. Effectively, 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.

    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 and gave the impression it was a straight up increase in clock speed; hence the rumor."

    http://www.examiner.com/article/xbox-one-rumors-point-to-a-higher-clock-speed-but-doubtful-on-increase-ram
  • 1 Hide
    toddybody , July 16, 2013 6:59 AM
    I cant imagine they would change HW this late in the release. That said, a clock booste seems totally understandable...though perhaps at the detriment of cooling. This isnt a mid tower box with ample fans.
  • 3 Hide
    whiteodian , July 16, 2013 8:02 AM
    Just buy the same hardware that is in the PS4 and they are good to go!
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 16, 2013 8:23 AM
    Whats the point in bringing back the family plan. When they finally gave some details it turned out to be just a 15min to 1hr demo. Not the full game lending everyone thought it was.
  • 0 Hide
    Bloob , July 16, 2013 8:51 AM
    Seeing how the cooling and air-flow is usually designed with the certain specs in mind (and they failed even that with previous gen), I wonder what color the ring of death will be this time.

    Of course, they might surprise me, and the lifetime of the product is not much affected.
  • -4 Hide
    falchard , July 16, 2013 9:26 AM
    Doubt they can increase the clock since that is dependent on the chip. Considering AMD is sourcing both the PS4, an Xbox One chips. I doubt AMD can clock the Xbox One chip higher than the PS4 considering its a bigger chip. Its just physically impossible to do with such a large chip.
  • -3 Hide
    drbaltazar , July 16, 2013 9:41 AM
    Quote:
    The GPU core clock has been increased, and Microsoft will likely bring back Family Sharing.

    Rumor: Microsoft Upgrading Xbox One Specs, Features : Read more


    On the console front ?it doesn't Mather!surprised?you should be!donnybrook and other similar techno sleeping in ms stable can make any techno avail be it from computing or console blush with shame.why isn't it happening then?because only halo is controlled by ms .and programming a game via donnybrook is very different from programming as usual.as we all know halo might be just one game.yet halo made why Xbox is alive.so if some of what I saw in various techno including donnybrook rub off Xbox one?I don't sweat one minute about Xbox one capability.it will be enough.
  • 2 Hide
    fulle , July 16, 2013 9:42 AM
    @IndignantSkeptic

    I highly doubt Kinect being included with the Xbox One was a decision based on gaming preferences of the female CEO. That sounds absurd, to be honest.

    It has a hell-of-a-lot more to do with the fact that peripherals that are not included with a console have a lot of difficulty gaining traction with 3rd party developers, because they have an initially small install base.

    As far as male vs female gamers? Well, I read an article recently that had survey results showing that 94 percent of teenage girls are now gamers, and others have shown a high percentage of women in their early 20s who play videogames. In my honest opinion, it's an extremely under-served area of the market. There would be NOTHING stupid about including Kinect to appeal to female gamers... but, I still don't think that was a big factor in the decision.
  • -1 Hide
    whiteodian , July 16, 2013 10:02 AM
    @fulle I gotta find me some of these early 20s girl gamers :D 
  • 1 Hide
    hannibal , July 16, 2013 10:06 AM
    Well, well... The Ram ingrease is easy to do, so it is posible. The change fro ddr to gddr at this moment is imposible, so that rumour is not valit. Increase in GPU clockspeed... Maybe, if they can provide enough cooling... If not we will see another ring of death... But it can be done. Later when production get better, it is easier to maintain cool chip and achieve the same frequensy... Maybe they are willing to camble and ingrase clockspeed and hope that in the future they can use cheaper cooling... It all depends on how much heat they are willing to accept inside Xbox.
    So some of these are possible to do even this late in development, but nothing very radical can not be done if they are really going for release in this year... There can not be speed upgrades during the lifespan of the console or they will make program market for old and new consoles and that is allways bad... Thermal upgrades are the normal way of every console genaration.

  • 0 Hide
    heero yuy , July 16, 2013 10:18 AM
    it would be funny if it turns out that sony lied about the ps4 and that's its better than what they said it is just so Microsoft is stuck behind them in terms of power even if MS do some form of upgrade
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