Microsoft may be preparing a new, much more powerful version of their Xbox One games console codenamed ‘Scorpio’ to power the Oculus Rift some reports are suggesting.

As the gaming industry and associated press wind the hype engine up in preparation for one of the biggest gaming events of the year, E3 next month, we’re starting to see some interesting VR related reports. The latest is that the virtual reality plans we all hoped Microsoft were working on, may comprise a smart move to bring their console platform, the Xbox One, to a VR capable performance level with the Oculus Rift as the target headset. It’s also claimed MS are pursuing a partnership with Oculus to supply headsets to go with the new console, said to be released in 2017.

Reported both by Kotaku and Polygon, sources are suggesting that a secret R&D project, codenamed Scorpio, is actually a new console revision that drastically increases the XBox One’s rendering capabilities to allow it to cope with the rigours of VR. The latest figures, based on what seems to be a still evolving platform, suggests that the new target may be an impressive 5-6 Teraflops for Scorpio’s GPU.

See Also: GDC 2014: Sony Announce ‘Project Morpheus’ PS4 VR Headset
See Also: GDC 2014: Sony Announce ‘Project Morpheus’ PS4 VR Headset

Ever since Sony announced at GDC 2014 they would be bringing a native virtual reality platform to their PlayStation 4 console, then called Project Morpheus, now PlayStation VR (PSVR) the VR world has been waiting to see Microsoft’s next move. Whilst initially the software giant may internally have brushed off the threat this may pose to their console user base, the good press and hype surrounding PlayStation VR, due to arrive in October this year, will have left them with little doubt they needed to do something.

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Beefing up the Xbox One’s specification and then cutting a deal with Oculus to target games and/or bundle a version of their hardware with the console would be a smart way to play catch up whilst eliminating the need to reinvent the VR wheel. Sony is also rumoured to be working on a similarly updated new PS4 revision, codenamed Neo (colloquially known as PS4.5) which its rumoured will also bring significant extra grunt to the platform – although the focus of rumours thus far have been on 4k gaming, in line with Sony’s consumer electronics roots.

See Also:  PlayStation VR: What You Do and Don’t Get in the Box
See Also: PlayStation VR: What You Do and Don’t Get in the Box

These are all still just rumours of course, but both sites mentioned cite multiple sources for their assertions and both seem to be gaining legitimacy as we edge closer to E3, due to start in a few weeks. The pressure on Microsoft to provide a response to PS4’s early VR lead is mounting and choosing Oculus, a company built primarily around PC VR technology as a partner makes sense, especially as Xbox one and PCs share a common Windows 10 / Direct X platform base. Announcing all of this at E3 would be the perfect platform, especially of Sony choose the expo as the venue to confirm rumours of PlayStation Neo too.

Road to VR will be present at E3 in LA next month to bring you the latest news from the show floor.

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  • Pete

    About time Microsoft get on the VR wave. They can’t afford to loose any more of their user base to Sony which have been dominating recently.

  • Zobeid

    Microsoft and Facebook/Oculus? There’s a match made in Hell.

    • It makes sense they all work together. Microsoft owns shares in Facebook and Facebook owns Oculus.

    • Texazzpete

      What year is this? 2006?

      Nothing wrong with the Microsoft of today

    • yag

      you forgot to write Micro$oft with a $

  • TaxPayer

    Perfect news for me if its true. I’ll sell my PC and old Xbox one to pay for this.

  • DiGiCT Ltd

    Don’t be too excited, as current situation is that there are not many good games on VR yet, no matter what you buy.
    Developers need much more time to make good stuff as the workflow and requirements for VR are different. Also the UE4 and unity5 are not 100% ready yet, still minor bugs need to be solved.
    All this causes delay on the better titles for VR coming to the market.

    • Sam Illingworth

      Yeah, it’s new. That’s not a reason to not be excited, kinda the opposite!

    • Canin Christell

      Which came first? The chicken or the egg? For the hardware to sell they need the public to know there’s developer buy-in. For developer buy-in they need to know the hardware is selling. The hardware manufacturers took the plunge, and now it’s a waiting game with consumers and developers to see how the other reacts to the new hardware.

      • Sam Illingworth

        It was the egg. Eggs in general obviously existed a long time before chickens evolved, but if you mean chicken egg specifically then I assume two things that weren’t quite chickens made not-quite-chicken love and one of them laid an egg which hatched into the first chicken, with th chicken species begging at the point of conception therefore making it a chicken egg with a chicken inside. The alternative would be a chicken hatching from a non-chicken egg, or mutating later in life.

        I could look this up, but it’s more fun to ponder.

  • Sam Illingworth

    Interesting. This would make the XBox potentially better than the PS4 for VR, since the Rift is a better headset (and Touch are by far better motion controllers). However, it would be a lot more expensive – you’d have to trade in your XBone for a Scorpio while the existing PS4 will power PSVR, plus the Rift costs more than the PSVR (though not *that* given you have to buy the camera for PSVR).

    • Canin Christell

      Pretty much my thoughts exactly; I wanted to make a rather direct comparison between the PSVR and this VR push from XBox, but on second glance it seems more contrast than comparison. If these rumors are true, it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

      • Sam Illingworth

        It will. It also depends how well the existing PS4 plays CR games – if it’s not good enough and people feel they really need to upgrade to 4.5 then the price difference will probably be minimal, with the XBone the better hardware. However, I suspect Sony will have the better exclusives. Interesting indeed.

        Wonder how motion sicky Wipeout VR would be. They do say being in something framed like a car helps…

  • rabs

    Given what Oculus said about Apple computers, the Xbox VR better be powerful… Or it’s a downgraded Rift.

    I’ve read articles about MS breaking up the divide between Xbox and PC, that may also be a step in that direction. It could be closer to a “living room PC” than ever (in price and use range).

    Though, I wonder what the Oculus store will become in this context… I doubt it will be included, but we’ll see.

  • DaKangaroo

    Ugh. I’m disappointed. If they wanted to come out with their own VR headset I’d say, ‘OK, sure fine’. But to back the Rift? And only the Rift? If they’re going to support one 3rd party HMD, why not support multiple? Why not support the Vive too? Or implement OSVR support? Why only support 1 headset, and of all the headsets, pick the one which likes to play with platform exclusives.

    • pin-head

      for the same reason, I guess, you can only play xbox games on the xbox.

    • yag

      they simply chose the best headset.

    • Rabbit

      Microsoft sees Valve as competition, owners of Stream, who along with HTC,founded Vive in a partnership..

  • Still Whatever
  • Wow that could be a serious upgrade to the Xbox One’s hardware knowing what the minimum spec is for a PC for the Oculus. Not to sure if the console and oculus price points can meet that of the PS4 and PS VR though.

  • Stallion

    Hi,

    I had a few queries about Xbox and not being a gamer myself, please excuse my ignorance . I need advise as we need to buy about 5 Xboxes for our school’s recreation lounge for about a 100 students ( 21 to 28 years of age ) to play during their class breaks .

    1) Is the Xbox 1 or new version Xbox 1S compatible for VR gaming ? If yes, which are the recommended VR headsets that one should consider buying and compatible with Xbox ? Does it truly give an immersive experience on VR ?

    2 ) Besides, what is the xbox app useful for ? Considering that we have 100 kids sharing 5 Xboxes .

    3) What is the xbox app used for ? Considering we have 100 students sharing 5 xboxes , could they use this for multi player gaming and competitions amongst themselves ? Is a wi fi connection essential for this ?

    4) Is X box live a good option to consider ? Can this be shared by 100 students , i.e how does this really work ?

    5) A lot is said about kinect , but all games can’t be played on kinect ? Which means wireless controllers are an essential component to have for gaming ? are these sturdy to use considering 100 students would exchanging from time to time

    6) Is there a recommended tv size for gaming ?

    7) Does Xbox run on any built in operating system such as Windows ?

    I would be extremely thankful for your responses and advise and looking forward to it .

    • MrC00l1912

      1) Microsoft are looking for a deal with Oculus to allow the new xbox (XboxOne S) to work with the VR headset the Oculus Rift. The Oculus Rift in my personal opinion gives the best VR experience -except for the HTC-VIVE (PC only).

      2) I’m assuming by xbox app you mean the one for your phone and I personally dont use it, it allows you to see who in your friends list is online but apart from that I have never used it before.

      3) The Xbox it self will need WiFi access to download updates, games ect but multiplayer depends on the games you buy for them to use on the console.

      4) Xbox live is an extra that you can buy and put onto a character/account to allow them to play online with other players in multiplayer games, it can be shared on most games by a split-screen feature which allows normally up to 4 people to play the same game with different controllers.

      5) The conect is a great idea for students to be able to play active games, from my memory the games dont really need controlers to choose which game and so on you use your hands to choose. But I use wireless controllers for my Xbox One and they are superb, I used to use a wired controller for my Xbox 360 but it was a hastle untangling the wires ect.

      6) I have had in my time a range of screens from my own tiny screen to my grandma’s old lounge TV haha, for a recreational area where there will be up to 4 people playing I would suggest a 38inch screen (the same as I have) or bigger.

      7) It runs on microsoft I believe but no extra equipment is needed to run it on.

      Sorry for the late reply I was looking for infomation myself and saw your comment and thought I would help out. I have had in my past a Xbox360 and now I have a XboxOne and I can say that it is a good idea to have in a recreation lounge. I am nearly 18 but I would still love the interaction at the age range you have.

      Just an idea you could get the students to fundraise to get their own games so they can decide and get the games they would enjoy. I have a small Youtube channel and would love any support you could give in terms of your students liking my Facebook page or subscribing to my channel. Thank you and I hope I have answered all your questions, if you have any more questions I will try my best to answer them as quickly and as directly as I can. (E-mail below)

      mrcool1912gaming@gmail.com

  • gabkicks

    any updates on this?

  • Mt Allen

    To me the whole VR gimmick is so 25 years ago, remember the crap games that came out for VR in the early 90s? I mean yeah OK 25 years later the technology will have improved but if the games are still crap that means nowt.