A recent leak has indicated that a new version of the XBox One, apparently referred to in Chinese-language development tools as the XBox One Second Generation, may be on its way.
Following on the heels of speculation about the purpose of thinner processors being created, indicating a console with a smaller frame and cooling system, as well as some FCC filings from Microsoft for new versions of established XBox One hardware components, some have suggested that a thin version of Microsoft's newest console could be on the way as soon as E3. Such a release would follow in the footsteps of the XBox 360 and it's later slim incarnation. Sony has likewise been the subject of similar rumors regarding a "PlayStation 4.5".
There have even been suggestions that hardware improvements and expanded backwards compatibility may be included in the new edition. Widely criticized for its lack of compatibility with older XBox 360 games, it's possible that Microsoft would want to improve relations with its core audience by improving this feature in the system's first ever upgrade. Xbox division head Phil Spencer has put forward some ideas regarding the XBox One and its relationship to many fan favorite properties, particularly the Halo series. Speaking to IGN, Spencer said:
“I love the idea of both backward and forward compatibility when you think about future innovations that can happen in the hardware space. And frankly us decoupling, to some extent, how a game runs on a platform and the hardware itself, allows that hardware to move within a generation and the games to stay with you longer. We’re very motivated by that inside of Xbox right now.”
Considering that the XBox was originally a means to run Windows' DirectX software on a console, and the narrowing gap between console systems and small PCs, it may be the case that Microsoft is looking forward to a future with games less bound to one machine for all eternity. Hopefully, E3 will clarify these rumors in time.