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Rumour: Microsoft to Announce New Hardware at E3 2016?

It's that time of year when the gaming industry begins to turn its attention to what might be announced at this year's E3 conference and news coming out of the Microsoft camp seems to suggest that the company will be announcing a new hardware device and a new Xbox One controller.

According to Microsoft blogger Brad Sams, sources inside of the company claim that the new controller, which will ship with the Xbox One will be similar to the current standard design but will be a new colour, most likely white.

In terms of the hardware, Sams hypothesises that the new console device will be a new Elite console to serve as an upgrade the recently released Elite bundle, which contains an Xbox One controller with 1TB of hybrid storage and an Elite controller. While Microsoft have undoubtedly taken note of the all-but-confirmed "PlayStation 4K", it's unlikely that this announcement will be a rival to that potential new console.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently stated that Xbox players should not expect an Xbox 1.5, explaining:

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.

Also, rumours out of China state that the new console has been in production for a month or so, so it could launch in relatively short order.

In addition to the hardware announcements, it is believed that Microsoft will use their E3 press briefing to discuss their efforts in integrating the Xbox One and Windows 10 more deeply. The company have been exploring new interactions between the PC and Xbox One, intending to further extend the capabilities between the two, for instance, with game streaming.

Time will tell if these announcements come to fruition but it's clear that Microsoft are planning big things for E3 as they continue to evolve the Xbox One and its capabilities.

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