Microsoft Xbox Once Console at Gamescom 2013.
The Xbox One console, controller and (now defunct) Kinect motion sensor. Reuters

Microsoft is reportedly eyeing a hardware upgrade for the Xbox One, and is in the process of "testing a variety of prototype Xbox devices", with upgraded hardware capable of improving the performance of existing and upcoming games.

The Verge's report that Microsoft is looking into releasing an improved Xbox One comes not long after the latest report regarding Sony's own hardware upgrade for the PS4 – which is so far unannounced, yet has still been the subject of multiple reports.

Citing sources "familiar with Microsoft's Xbox plans", The Verge report states that "some of the prototypes have been tested with upgraded components you'd use to improve the performance of a PC gaming rig."

The report comes after Xbox boss Phil Spencer revealed the firms plans to make Xbox a more open platform with closer ties to PC gaming through Windows 10 and making an Xbox platform more upgradeable and iterative. He said that the company would "come out with new hardware capability during a generation".

However, speaking to Game Informer in April, Spencer said: "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. 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."

The "PS4.5" is being touted as a console upgrade that will support better visual fidelity for gaming as well as 4K support for streaming and Ultra HD Blu Ray discs. It is also believed that the extra processing power is being included to support the PlayStation VR virtual reality headset.

While Microsoft has no VR headset of its own, it does have the augmented reality HoloLens headset, and it is known to have a working relationship with Oculus Rift.

Nothing about a new Xbox One or PS4 has been officially revealed by either Microsoft or Sony, with any official word expected around the company's respective press conferences to be held at the E3 trade show in June.

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