Join us for a look at this week's hardware rumor-packed Xbox news!
We're also giving away a pre-order for DOOM on Xbox One to one lucky commenter! Simply leave a reply and join the discussion for a chance to win.
Every week, I summarize some of the biggest rumors and talking points in one handy post every weekend. You can also rely on this weekly column to catch up on all the latest Xbox One game releases.
Welcome to the latest edition of This Week in Xbox One News.
New hardware rumors gather steam
Much of the biggest Xbox news this week fell on the hardware side, starting with the explosive revelation that Sony appears to be working on a PS4.5 with upgraded hardware specs. I wrote up some thoughts on what this could mean for the Xbox One in aa piece earlier in the week. Either way, it certainly seems as though the current console generation could be far shorter than the previous as both the Xbox One and PS4 hit the upper limits of their hardware capabilities.
The Verge also reported that Microsoft is testing a collection of different hardware configurations for a future Xbox console, with some that even include upgradable parts. Phil Spencer previously mentioned that he doesn't want Xbox gamers to miss out on the latest hardware innovations, but also said he wasn't a fan of the "Xbox One and a half," that would see a small, smartphone-like upgrades on a faster release cycle.
AMD also hinted to investors that they were working on custom chips for three future video game consoles, presumably being the PS4.5, Nintendo's 'NX' and a new Xbox from Microsoft. AMD stated that not all of these consoles would be released in 2016, which could indicate that the next Xbox SKU will simply be a slimmed down design revision, rather than featuring massively altered internals unlike Sony's PS4 'Neo'. At the very least, the next Xbox could feature an upgraded Wi-Fi chip as hinted by leaks from the Brazilian ratings board.
'Slim' or not, the prospect of new Xbox hardware is exciting, especially given that Microsoft has also set an end date for Xbox 360 manufacturing. Microsoft will be hosting an E3 keynote this June, where we'll find out the truth about the future of Xbox.
Major Nelson discusses Kinect, cloud streaming, E3 plans
Speaking of E3, Xbox's Major Nelson discussed some of Microsoft's plans for its big conference on a live edition of his podcast at PAX East (via DualShockers).
On the topic of Kinect, Major Nelson said the company still has some "cool stuff" planned for the sensor, citing Cortana as an example. Cortana integration will bring natural language commands and all of her existing features to the console this summer, along with the Windows 10 Anniversary update.
Interestingly, Major Nelson also said he wanted to convince Microsoft to enable a beta test for over-the-internet Xbox One game streaming. Presently, you can only stream games within your home network, and Major Nelson said that the reason for this is the bandwidth problems could create an avalanche of unnecessary Xbox Live support requests. These comments coincide with the fact that Microsoft has partnered with a Square Enix service in China to deliver a cloud-streamed version of Final Fantasy XIII to Xbox One consoles to a closed group of testers. Hopefully, Microsoft will consider a broader streaming approach as global internet speeds continue to improve.
On E3, Major Nelson confirmed that, like last year, Microsoft will have two days of live shows, and that it will also, vaguely, feature "cool stuff."
We'll find all about that "cool stuff" on June 13th, 2016 during Microsoft's E3 keynote.
Giveaway – DOOM Digital Pre-Order for Xbox One!
This week we're giving away a pre-order code for the digital Xbox One version of DOOM. Bethesda revealed DOOM during last year's E3 festivities, and the studio is hell-bent on taking the franchise back to its action-packed roots. DOOM ditches the survival-horror overtones of its predecessor to deliver something with far faster pacing while turning the violence dial up to 666.
DOOM will also feature a multiplayer mode inspired by classic arena shooters of the 90s, and a fully comprehensive modding platform called DOOM SnapMap, which allows players to make custom game modes and maps for sharing with the community. Simply leave a comment and join the discussion for a chance to win!
Please, ensure you have a valid email address attached to your WindowsCentral.com account for us to contact you if you win! The winner will be announced right here tomorrow. Good luck!
ICYMI - Some of Windows Central's biggest Xbox articles of the week
- On the PlayStation 4.5 'Neo' and what it means for the Xbox One
- Preview: Running across rooftops in the Mirror's Edge Catalyst beta
- 'Book of Demons' hack n' slash revealed, heading to Xbox One and PC exclusively
- Exploring the far reaches of Everspace with Rockfish Games' CEO
- Gfinity's new app lets you create your own Xbox One tournaments for any game
- Gears of War 4 multiplayer trailer gets us pumped for its open beta on April 25
- Microsoft rumored to be testing 'a variety' of Xbox prototypes with upgraded hardware
- Gears of War 4 Beta impressions
- Dirt Rally review: The past master is back
- Beta impressions: Does Battleborn make the case for the first-person MOBA?
New Xbox One game releases for the week ending April 24th, 2016
Rugby Challenge 3 - Sports & Recreation - Home Entertainment Suppliers P/L
"Crouch! Bind! Set! NEW RUGBY SEVENS. Bringing the realism and fast-paced action of seven a side Rugby."
Battle Ages - Strategy & Simulation - 505 Games Srl
"Storm through history and conquer your enemies in this awesome combat strategy game! Progress from the dawn of mankind, build your civilization, and lead it through thousands of years of advancement from the discovery of fire to the invention of the telegraph in exciting PvP combat of epic proportions."
ARCADE GAME SERIES: PAC-MAN - Classics - BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
"First appearing in arcades in 1980, the masterpiece PAC-MAN finally comes to Xbox One! Move PAC-MAN up, down, left, and right to eat all the Pac-Dots, while avoiding the ghosts, to advance to the next stage."
ARCADE GAME SERIES: Ms. PAC-MAN - Classics - BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
"Developed in America and first released in 1981, Ms. PAC-MAN finally comes to Xbox One!"
ARCADE GAME SERIES: GALAGA - Classics - BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
"First appearing in arcades in 1981, the masterpiece GALAGA finally comes to Xbox One! Move the fighter left and right, and destroy the waves of incoming aliens in this space-age shooter."
ARCADE GAME SERIES: DIG DUG - Classics - BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
"With cute pixel-art graphics, vivid colors, rhythmical beats, and distinctive SFX, the beauty is in the details. This latest port comes with scanline and sound settings, and the option to switch between the old and new versions - perfect for devoted diggers!"
ARCADE GAME SERIES 3-in-1 Pack - Classics - BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
"This is a special pack consisting of 3 classic arcade games including PAC-MAN, GALAGA, and DIG DUG! Get 3 games for the price of 2!"
And that's a wrap!
This week I finally managed to get my Division agent decked out in full high-end gear, ahead of my "full experience" Division review. We also have some interesting interviews, reviews and previews coming out of PAX East this week, thanks to our man on the ground, Paul Acevedo, so stay tuned for that!
I'll also be posting some DOOM impressions this week, based on my experiences in the recent beta test. I'm not sure that it truly retreads that old-school arena feel, but I find myself itching to play more. Speaking of which, if you'd like a chance to play DOOM for free, let us know about your gaming week in the comments for a chance to win a pre-order copy for Xbox One!