It’s been a good few weeks without hearing anything further regarding Sony’s seemingly absurd plans to release a new iteration of the PS4 later this year, so it comes as no surprise that we’re starting to get more solid facts about Xbox possibly doing the same. Coming from Kotaku once again (who had two different writers corroborate sources independently and arrive at the same story) have seemingly made a startling discovery. Microsoft is also planning their own more powerful Xbox One, and it’s going to tie into VR.
Microsoft already have one hand in the pocket of Oculus, and if these reports are true they could be seriously leap-frogging the PlayStation VR plan. The new more powerful Xbox is reportedly codenamed Scorpio, and is being targeted to be able to support the Oculus Rift at launch. That would mean a massive jump in terms of graphical power, but one that Microsoft isn’t looking to use to make the current Xbox One redundant. Instead, this is simply tying into a more frequent hardware iterative scheme, which Phil Spencer actually hinted at earlier this year. Accoding to the information, Microsoft is aiming to hit 6 Teraflops of computing power. If you compare that with the current PlayStation 4, which sits at 1.8 Teraflops, that’s a pretty significant upgrade.
On top of that, Microsoft is also apparently going to be announcing these plans at E3, along with a new Xbox One model coming out in 2016. This model will feature the same processing internals as the current Xbox One, but in a slimmer package with a suspected larger hard drive. This is the slim version of the console that is about due, and I can certainly see this being fact within a few weeks time.
This all ties into a strategy Microsoft is apparently dubbing “Project Helix”, as they attempt to further merge their PC and console enterprises together. In terms of software, this was meant to kick off with the now cancelled Fable Legends, but Microsoft reportedly have plans to continue with already announced titles such as Sea of Thieves and Halo Wars 2, as well as new instalments in the Halo franchise. Yes, it seems Halo is coming back to PC the next time we see it.
Kotaku also learnt that Microsoft is taking many hints from the way Apple operates, in that they’re aiming for an iterative approach to console hardware from now one. That means smaller but more frequent upgrades, much like the two-year cycles core iPhones iterate through. This is all planning in flux, so don’t expect all of it to hold when Microsoft is finally ready to talk about it.
And when that will be is anyone’s guess. This sounds like far too much to address in one press conference, although it is reported that Microsoft has already briefed third-party developers at an event held last week. We might not have to wait much longer then.
Last Updated: May 26, 2016