The biggest show in video games is almost upon us, and the guest of honor this year is Xbox Scorpio, Microsoft's new turbocharged console that's meant to run laps around the PlayStation 4 Pro in service of 4k, 60 FPS gaming. The souped-up console is Microsoft's way of reclaiming territory with the core gamer set, many of whom wound up on PlayStation 4 due to its performance with multiplatform games, lower price and better messaging. PS4 also has a Virtual Reality headset, an area where Xbox Scorpio is also hoping to make some progress. Don't expect much from the new console right away, however. A Microsoft representative recently told Polygon that the company is focusing on Windows PC as its primary "mixed reality" platform for the time being, which covers everything from VR to AR.
“Our primary focus is making our mixed reality experiences a success on Windows 10 PCs,” Alex Kipman, technical fellow at Microsoft, told Polygon. “We believe that right now a Windows PC is the best platform for mixed reality as its open ecosystem and enormous installed base offer the best opportunity for developers, and Windows offers the most choices for consumers.
“Windows has been the birthplace of a variety of technologies, and we believe this will hold for mixed reality too. Given the efforts we have underway on Windows for mixed reality, and our belief that console VR should be wireless, right now we are focused on developing mixed reality experiences for the PC, not on the console.”
Really no other way to take that one. So if you were hoping to pick up a Scorpio this holiday season and fall immediately into some fully virtual worlds, know that you might be waiting a little bit longer while the new medium continues to develop. It's a tricky move: VR needs a lot of work before it can become anything like a mainstream platform, but it's still an important draw for the enthusiast crowd. Even if people aren't spending a lot of time in VR itself, it's nice to know that your machine will be capable of it. To that end, I hope Microsoft at least gives us a timeline on VR integration for Scorpio, which this language would seem to leave the door open to.
We'll hear more soon. Stay tuned for all things E3 and Scorpio.