Ever since Xbox chief Phil Spencer forthrightly stated that gamers would eventually see Microsoft “come out with new hardware capability during a generation,” at March’s Xbox Spring Showcase, rumors and circumstantial evidence around the so-called Xbox One and a Half have been the horse that has kept on giving.

Today’s gift comes via a report from The Verge asserting that the always intriguing, occasionally reliable “sources familiar with” Microsoft’s Xbox plans say the console holder has been testing a number of prototype Xbox devices. That’s a pretty nebulous report, as “Xbox devices” could be anything from early versions of an Xbox Two — that would presumably be years away from launch — to a new headset and everything in between.

However, the mysterious rumor-mongers also let slip that some of the prototypes involve the sort of component upgrades that would be used to boost a PC gaming rig’s performance. Those particular tests sound an awful lot like new Xbox consoles, especially given Phil Spencer’s statement from February’s Xbox Spring Showcase that “there’s no reason why consoles can’t ride that same [incremental PC upgrade] curve.”

Of course, Spencer tried to put the kibosh on the rampant speculation that followed, clarifying — or perhaps muddling is the more appropriate term — his comments by saying he was “not a big fan of Xbox One and a Half.”

That was before a pair of FCC filings hinted at the possible existence of not just one but two new Xbox One models and retailer GameStop revealed to investors that it was expecting new consoles in the “near future.”

Though absolutely nothing has been confirmed in the way of a new Xbox console, Microsoft could see such a move as necessary in order to keep up with the Joneses. The Joneses in this case being Nintendo’s NX console, the existence of which has actually been confirmed by Nintendo itself, and Sony’s heavily rumored PlayStation 4.5.

Source: The Verge