A year ago at E3 2016, Microsoft officially announced Project Scorpio, the codename for its upcoming high-end hardware version of its Xbox One game console. At the time, Microsoft said it would be able to “generate premier VR experiences” for console gamers. However, with E3 2017 now less than a week away, Microsoft has confirmed it will not be showing off any VR Xbox One-Project Scorpio games or hardware at the world’s biggest video game trade show.
Project Scorpio, which is currently scheduled to launch in late 2017, will have some beefy hardware inside, including an eight-core custom x86 CPU clocked at 2.3 GHz, a GPU with 40 customized compute units running at 1,172 MHz, and 12 GB of GDDR5 RAM. Microsoft had already indicated it planned to introduce VR games and hardware for Project Scorpio sometime in 2018. But why not demonstrate what the next Xbox One can do for VR fans next week at E3?
In a chat with Polygon, Alex Kipman, technical fellow at Microsoft, stated that the company is currently concentrating on getting its mixed reality hardware platform working well on Windows 10 PCs before it makes that kind of technology available for Xbox One and Project Scorpio users. Microsoft is working with several third-party PC companies such as Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Acer to release mixed reality headsets that will launch sometime in late 2017 for Windows 10 desktops and notebooks.
One thing that Kipman did mention is that Microsoft would like to have its mixed reality headsets work wirelessly with Xbox One and Project Scorpio when they do launch for the consoles. That’s in contrast to the PlayStation VR headset from Sony, which must be connected to a PlayStation 4 console to work.
While Microsoft may be putting most of its VR-mixed reality efforts on Windows 10 at the moment, the fact is that Sony already has a huge lead on Microsoft in the console VR space with the PlayStation VR. Earlier this week, Sony confirmed that it had sold over one million PSVR units since it launched in November 2016, and those numbers will continue to climb. It’s also more than possible that Sony may be working on its own wireless VR headset for the PlayStation 4. As it stands, it looks like Microsoft is going to let Sony have an exclusive foothold on the VR console market for at least another year, if not longer.
Are you disappointed that Microsoft has decided not to show any VR gaming for Xbox One and Project Scorpio at E3 2017 next week? Let us know in the comments.