Netflix hints at Xbox One, PlayStation 4 redesigns

February 3, 2015 // 12:24 p.m.

Tags: #4k #ces-2015 #neil-hunt #netflix #playsation-4 #ps4 #ps4-slim #ultra-hd #xbox-one #xbox-one-slim

Further evidence of planned hardware refreshes for both Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One has emerged, courtesy of video streaming specialist Netflix.

Previously, Samsung has hinted that its new high-density GDDR5 memory modules could find their way into a revised PS4 design, while leaks from AMD suggested that a new 20nm APU could result in an Xbox One Slim release. Both consoles are two years old, which is the point at which previous console generations have seen exactly such a revision - partly to drive increased sales as people demand the new and shiny models, and partly to reduce costs by removing unnecessary components and reducing power draw to allow cheaper power supply use.

Now, Netflix has joined the bandwagon with claims that both Sony and Microsoft are looking to release updated console hardware this year. Following up comments made by chief product officer Neil Hunt at a Consumer Electronics Show press conference next month, Forbes has received confirmation that Netflix is expecting a 'traditional two-year refresh' for both consoles to bring support for Ultra HD video output. While hedged as a 'belief,' Hunt's original comments claimed Sony had outright 'promised' just such an update - lending weight to the previous rumours that the companies would be following their previously-set two-year hardware refresh cycle for their latest consoles.

Exactly what form the refresh will take is not known. A smaller, lower-power APU could mean a 'slim' variant for both the PS4 and the Xbox One with the former also benefiting from a halving of GDDR5 modules and supporting circuitry as indicated by the Samsung announcement. The Xbox One, however, is thought to already have the hardware required to output Ultra HD video content - meaning such support would only need activating in software.

Both Microsoft and Sony have declined to comment on the rumours, indicating that neither companies have 'further details to share at this time.' If the two-year refresh cycle holds, however, announcements will likely be made towards the end of this year.
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