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The internet nearly went up in flames within the gaming sectors over the big rumors spreading about the PlayStation 4.5, also referred to as the PS4K. All the rumors surrounding the half-step console has put eyes on Microsoft to see if they might follow suit. According to Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer, Microsoft will not follow suit with an Xbox 1.5.
Gamespot quoted Phil Spencer from a recent Microsoft Build 2016 event, where he explained that they won't be making any incremental upgrades to the Xbox One in the point-five sectors. If they upgrade it will be significant. Spencer stated the following:
I'm not a big fan of Xbox One and a half. If we're going to move forward, I want to move forward in big numbers, […] For us, our box is doing well. It performs, it's reliable, the servers are doing well. If we’re going to go forward with anything, like I said, I want it to be a really substantial change for people--an upgrade
I think most of all of Phil Spencer's changes and directions for the Xbox brand have been for the better. He had to right a very wronged ship during the Mattrick-era Xbox One where it was known as the DRM Box. Don Mattrick was condescending toward the Xbox fans and specifically turned off a lot of potential customers with the heavy DRM-laden policies that they originally had planned for the Xbox One.
After Don Mattrick departed the company and Phil Spencer stepped in, he was able to turn around the sales, turn around the brand image and actually get people excited about Xbox again.
One of the system's main features that now receives a lot of positive feedback is the backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games, as well as the universally praised Games With Gold program for Xbox Live subscribers.
All of these upgrades and feature implementations have helped completely alter how people see Xbox. Well, for the most part. Most savvy gamers still recognize that the Xbox One is the weaker console between it and the PS4 and that there's no way it can last a decade like the Xbox 360 did.
In a way, a lot of people expected Microsoft to introduce an Xbox 1.5 or some sort of upgrade system due to how weak the hardware is, but the reality is that Microsoft is probably putting resources aside to make a real big step up for a system that will hopefully make trends the way the Xbox 360 did when it first launched back in 2005.
Also, a lot of people across the web are not keen about the PS4.5 or PS4K. Savvy gamers recognize that the system cannot run games at native 4K for anything under $1,500 and most gamers recognize that it seems inconsequential to make a PS4.5 with a barely incremental upgrade over the standard PS4.
If Sony is serious about releasing this half-generation upgrade for the PlayStation 4 they could lose a lot of sales momentum and even confuse potential buyers. Microsoft seems to be playing it right by riding out the generation and looking to make a serious step up when the time comes to unveil their next bit of hardware.
Phil Spencer has played it straight and played it well with the Xbox brand since taking over, and he seems to be on the right path by avoiding a potentially install-base-splitting decision that Sony could be pursuing with the PS4K.