Rumored ‘Scorpio’ Xbox improves graphics and adds VR support
There’s a newer, better Xbox One coming in 2017 that will make your games look sharper and run faster. Maybe.
The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both launched in 2013. We recently heard rumors about Sony planning a beefy upgrade to the PS4 hardware — the sort that would change the way your games perform — and now a new rumor suggests that Microsoft is on the same road.
Sony’s rumored “Neo” project — which has been bestowed with the nicknames “PS4.5” and “PS4K” — is effectively a souped-up PS4. That means an improved CPU and GPU, and increased memory bandwidth.
The Sony rumor makes it clear that Neo is an upgrade rather than a replacement. Games that work on one will also work on the other; that’s said to be a Sony requirement.
Now we have this Microsoft rumor, via Kotaku, that says virtually the same thing. There’s a new, slimmer Xbox One that will be announced at E3 in June, but it’ll be followed in 2017 by a console upgrade, supposedly codenamed “Scorpio.”
The big guts-level upgrade for this new Xbox One is said to be a beefed-up graphics card (GPU) with enough horsepower to support a VR headset. Microsoft is reportedly working to strike a deal with Oculus.
This would a sensible move for both parties. If you’re Microsoft, an Oculus Rift plugged into an Xbox is the PlayStation VR competitor the company would like to have. And for Oculus, the Xbox is potentially the Rift’s entry point into the console space.
The hardware upgrade reportedly ties into a broader Microsoft strategy that aims to bring the Xbox and Windows ecosystems closer together, with simultaneous game releases for both.
Scorpio is also (again, reportedly) meant to kick off a new approach to the console cycle for Microsoft.
Traditionally, console gaming hardware generations last for a minimum of five years. The revised approach would embrace something closer to mobile hardware release cycles, where new handsets and tablets are released yearly.
The 2016 Xbox One refresh, meanwhile, is more of a form factor update, slimming down the size of the console. Though one Kotaku source suggests that it will include a 2TB hard drive, a significant upgrade over the 500GB and 1TB models that are currently available.
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