Microsoft’s Xbox One console compared to the Sony Playstation 4 is the weaker of the two next-gen giants, and this fact along with the reaction to the console from gamers and the public may have influenced the company’s decision to make a few changes to the shipping hardware, according to rumours circulating on the internet.
The rumors state the following:
- The Xbox One GPU is getting an increase in clock speed;
- The Xbox One DDR3 RAM will increase from 8GB to 12GB; and
- The Xbox One development team is asking for developer feedback on changes they would want to see hardware-wise.
American news hub, The Examiner, reported on the rumours and also approached one of their sources, a hardware developer who is close to the Xbox One project. Quizzed on the rumours and asked for a response, what their source revealed was interesting.
Essentially, my source has confirmed that the increase in GPU clock speed is 100% true, with the increase happening in direct response to the PlayStation 4. The increase has been a reality since before the reveal, as they have “been reacting to Sony ever since the first leaks of both systems.”
This is where things start to stray from the original rumour though. When asked about the increase in RAM (from 8GB to 12GB), the response I obtained was simply “I have heard nothing like that, the development kits have 12GB of RAM, but as far as I know the retail kits are locked in at 8GB.”
If Microsoft is aiming for a clock speed boost to mitigate the performance gulf between the Xbox One and PS4, it may introduce some overheating issues later on if their cooler is not up to scratch (which, judging by the pictures Wired took of the console’s hardware, is highly unlikely). The Examiner’s source also speculated that increasing the amount of RAM available wouldn’t have yielded many benefits.
The source also noted that development is too far gone for a change in specifications now, as most first and third party developers are already working with a specific hardware set in mind. Corroborating this fact, early leaks on NeoGAF of the Xbox One timed exclusive Titanfall revealed that the developers were having trouble finding a use for the 5GB of RAM allocated to the Xbox One for gaming purposes, and adding in even more memory wouldn’t help because they would have no idea how to use it.