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Xbox 1.5 to Be Revealed Next Year, Xbox Mini to Be Announced at E3 2016: Report

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Xbox 1.5 to Be Revealed Next Year, Xbox Mini to Be Announced at E3 2016: Report
Highlights
  • The Xbox 1.5 with revised internals will be skipping E3 2016.
  • Instead Microsoft will announce two new streaming devices.
  • A smaller Xbox One is on the cards as well.

According to Windows insider Brad Sams, who late last month leaked information confirming the existence of a new Xbox One revision and a revamped controller, there's a lot more you can expect at E3 2016 from the Redmond-based company.

During his weekly podcast he revealed that Microsoft's E3 2016 will showcase what he called "Xbox Mini" which he claims is "real" but is "not sure what form it is going to take." Others have stated it will be 40 percent lighter.

(Also see: Xbox 1.5 May Not Play Games in 4K; Next Halo to Be on Windows 10 PC)

As for the new iteration of the Xbox One sporting improved internals like the oftrumoured PS4 Neo, Sams believes that it won't be mimicking 4K visuals for games.

"The Xbox 1.5 is probably going to do 4K video but not gaming," he said claiming that he doesn't see Microsoft changing too much to maintain compatibility across games and that the Xbox 1.5 will be announced in 2017.

There will also be two streaming devices. The first will be built along the lines of the Chromecast and priced at around $100. The other will be "like the Apple TV", possibly integrating with Windows 10 apps and supporting lightweight games. It could be priced between $150 and $175. These will help Microsoft target and hopefully win back the living room. While the Xbox One exists to do the same, its bulky form factor does make it problematic for many a cordcutter that the company is targeting.

Sams then went on to confirm what documents regarding the Xbox One's roadmap revealed in 2012.

"What if Xbox just becomes software?" he asked rhetorically. "If your system [PC] meets the specs, your PC can be an Xbox. Don't get me wrong Microsoft will still build a dedicated box. But eventually it becomes software."

The reason for this is to transition Xbox into a platform, allowing the company to merge its Windows and Xbox expertise. Expect more functionality between PC and Xbox One akin to Rocket League announcing that Steam and Xbox One gamers can play together. Furthermore, he states that PC gaming will have a "big push" as well. Could we see more Microsoft first-party Xbox One games hitting the PC? Possibly so. In addition to this, the firm is looking at bringing the Xbox interface to Windows 10 although it is "probably Redstone 2 related." The Redstone 2 update to Windows 10 is expected early next year.

Sams has a decent enough track record, calling out the Xbox Elite Controller being in production long before Microsoft announced it at E3 2015. With E3 weeks away, it will be interesting to see how much of this rings true.

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Rishi Alwani Rishi writes about video games and tech. Legend has it he bleeds pixels. More
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