Multiple sources unearth plans to launch exclusives – including Halo – across Xbox One and PC, with more regular hardware revisions set to shake up five-year console cycle

More powerful Xbox One reportedly planned for 2017, including Oculus Rift and 4K support

PlayStation isn’t the only platform holder planning to boost the hardware power of its console, it seems, as reports flood in that the Xbox One is also set for a performance bump.

Multiple anonymous sources speaking to Kotaku revealed that next year’s model, codenamed ‘Scorpio’, will boast a more powerful GPU.

Meanwhile, Polygon separately corroborated the details, adding that the new console would run roughly four times faster than the current Xbox One – targeting speeds of six teraflops versus the current box’s 1.32 teraflops.

By way of comparison, the PS4 runs a slightly higher rate of 1.84 teraflops, with the proposed PS4 ‘Neo’ aiming for 4.14 teraflops.

Like the PS4 Neo, the new Xbox One is also said to include 4K support for both video and games, with the latter likely to be upscaled from 1080p. However, the I/O transfer speed is reportedly set to stay the same, potentially raising concerns over longer loading times for higher-fidelity titles.

Building on a relationship between Microsoft and Oculus that saw the Xbox One controller bundled with the Rift VR headset, the sources also stated that the Xbox One Scorpio is designed to support output to the Rift.

Another new machine, planned by the end of this year, is expected in a more compact chassis, approximately 40 per cent smaller, according to The Verge – making it the smallest Xbox yet. This separate console would not feature the same hardware upgrade as the Scorpio, but will include a bigger 2TB hard drive.

There will also be changes to the way games are handled for the new boxes, as they arrive alongside a new strategy known as ‘Project Helix’.

The plan is to finally unite Microsoft’s games presence on Xbox and Windows, with exclusives – such as future Halo instalments and the upcoming Insomniac game Sea of Thieves – arriving on both platforms and potentially featuring cross-platform features, much like the now cancelled Lionhead effort Fable Legends.

Kotaku adds that regular hardware revisions are likely to become a common occurrence, as Microsoft looks to speed up the traditional five-year console cycle and release games that are backwards compatible with Windows 10 and a skew of Xbox models.

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