Plain old civilians like us can't buy Xbox One just yet, but some lucky folks who work for Microsoft already have beta units in their homes. Xbox VP Marc Whittenshared that tidbit, among others, with Xbox spokeperson Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb on a recent podcast. Not only do some folks internal to Microsoft have beta kits of final retail units, but many game developers have their hands on final versions of development kits.
Given that last bit, Whitten said that Microsoft increased the Xbox One's GPU clock speed from 800MHz to 853MHz, released its "mono driver" to developers -- a DirectX graphics driver "100% optimized for Xbox One" -- and more and more games are inching closer to "final" every day as a result. Essentially, Whitten's signaling the transition for Xbox One from a model seen only at press briefings to a physical thing you can own and use. Though Whitten kept mum about many other details, he repeatedly reiterated that we'd hear more solid detail at Gamescom in a few weeks. We'll of course be on the ground in Cologne, hounding Whitten and co. for more.
Today's Xbox One news comes just over a week after Microsoft revealed a moreindie-friendly publishing model for its upcoming game console. It was also recently revealed that each Xbox One console acts as debug hardware, allowing developers to run incomplete code on any box -- a concept with major implications. Xbox One arrives this November and, should you be convinced by Microsoft's next-gen game console, it'll cost you $500.
This doesn't surprise me as there was a rumor which pointed to this a while back. Now it makes more sense to hear developers say the boxes are pretty equal, for example John Carmack. I hope they release more specifics about the hardware because we've not heard too much officially. I'm listening to the podcast now to see if there's anymore cool tid bits to add.