According to industry sources, Microsoft is preparing to release two new versions of the Xbox One, one of which is capable of using the Oculus Rift headset.

Major news about the Xbox One may have just broken today, according to various sources contacted by Kotaku. The news outlet has reportedly uncovered some impactful news about Microsoft’s plans for the Xbox One, which reveal that the company plans to release two distinctly different new Xbox One models within the next year. If so, these plans could drastically change the face of the console environment as gamers know it.

The first Xbox One unit is reportedly hiding under the codename Scorpio, and will launch sometime in 2017. This is both literally and figuratively the bigger Xbox One announcement, as this model will contain several hardware improvements which will finally allow the Xbox One to use the Oculus Rift, almost a year after the two companies announced a partnership. It was always expected that Microsoft and Oculus would find a way to make the VR headset compatible with consoles, and this could be a huge game-changer that lets Microsoft compete with the PlayStation VR.

The second Xbox One model follows en suite with the previous console generation life cycle: an Xbox One Slim. One of Kotaku’s sources indicated that this version would include a 2TB drive, a much-needed storage space increase with today’s focus on digital downloads over disc-based sales. Several press sources have corroborated that this more-compact unit should be announced at E3 2016, which is now less than a month away. That being said, Microsoft has certainly surprised the media in the past when it comes to large-scale changes.

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These corroborators are the same folks who first broke that Sony was working on an improved PlayStation, the news of which prompted much digging and like-minded discoveries. Though this hasn’t been officially confirmed by Sony either, the news looks promising – though anything unofficial should still be taken with a grain of salt. If both of these are true, however, it looks like the days of consoles with five-to-eight year lifespans are over, as Microsoft and Sony seem to be keen on drastically improving the hardware of their consoles to keep them more competitive with trending technologies.

The news of the Xbox One Scorpio model wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, however, as sources indicated that while the device would be capable of 4K resolution after a supposed GPU upgrade, the I/O rate of the device would stay the same. This means that the console would still be rendering assets at the same speed as previous Xbox One models, which could lead to 4K games coming with longer load times as a result.

What do you think about a more powerful Xbox One capable of using the Oculus Rift, Ranters?

Source: Kotaku