The next Xbox is going to be upgradeable

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If a recent Microsoft patent is to be believed then there is a possibility that the next Xbox may be closer to a PC than any console before it, including the ability to upgrade the CPU’s and RAM over time.

The patent found by Neogaf is long winded as usual but the key component is as follows

Versions of a multimedia computer system architecture are described which satisfy quality of service (QoS) guarantees for multimedia applications such as game applications while allowing platform resources, hardware resources in particular, to scale up or down over time. Computing resources of the computer system are partitioned into a platform partition and an application partition, each including its own central processing unit (CPU) and, optionally, graphics processing unit (GPU). To enhance scalability of resources up or down, the platform partition includes one or more hardware resources which are only accessible by the multimedia application via a software interface. Additionally, outside the partitions may be other resources shared by the partitions or which provide general purpose computing resources.

Or simply put, the console will have two sections. One will be dedicated to gaming and will be standardised across the board to ensure a baseline that developers can count on and then a second part of the console will have its own CPU, RAM and GPU that can be upgraded or downgraded over time to cater for multimedia applications and the like.

Why Microsoft would want to do this themselves isn’t exactly clear but I’ve been anticipating for some time now that Microsoft will licence the hardware side of the Xbox to other companies and this could be the precursor to that.

So you could go into HiFi Corp and pick up a Samsung Blu-Ray player with Xbox 720 capabilities. It would be able to play ALL Xbox titles and will run the Xbox software in gaming mode but at the same time is a fully functioning Blu-Ray player running Samsung software.

This would ease the hardware development issues that Microsoft isn’t strong at and allow them to concentrate on simply providing the best software and directions for the entertainment device.

What do you think, would this be a good move by Microsoft or would it simply clutter the industry even more?

Last Updated: July 11, 2012

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

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