We already know that Sony is making a big play towards virtual reality (VR) gaming with PlayStation VR, and according to recent rumors, Microsoft won’t be too far behind. Previous reports have suggested that Microsoft will support VR (via perhaps the Oculus Rift) in its upcoming, more powerful version of the Xbox One (codenamed Scorpio).
Further confirmation of this VR-enabled console came from an unlikely source: the official website for E3. A new category entitled “Xbox One Virtual Reality” has been added to the mix. Accompanying this revelation is news that Rebellion, Maximum Games, Readily Information Company and 3D Rudder are registered under the category (both Rebellion and 3D Rudder are deeply entrenched in the VR realm). Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
The appearance of this new VR category for the Xbox One backs up recent speculation that Microsoft will use this year’s E3 to announce its VR aspirations despite the fact that Scorpio hardware won’t ship until late 2017. Microsoft would have likely preferred to wait until next year’s E3 to announce Scorpio, however, the all-but-confirmed PlayStation 4 Neo has forced Microsoft’s hand.
Scorpio should be more than powerful enough to run VR titles with aplomb, as it’s estimated that Microsoft is targeting peak performance of 6 teraflops for the console compared to just 1.32 teraflops for the Xbox One. For comparison, the PlayStation 4 Neo is rumored to have a 4.14 teraflop peak compared to the 1.84 teraflop PlayStation 4.
Scorpio isn’t the only new hardware on tap from Microsoft for E3. The company is also expected to announced a 40 percent slimmer Xbox One with a larger 2TB HDD and two Xbox-branded media streamers.