Xbox Scorpio: Are its 4K chops masking a change of VR heart?

Microsoft has finally revealed most of the hardware going into its Project Scorpio console. Digital Foundry was shown the hardware exclusively and has come away broadly impressed. While there are still some questions—what exactly are those processor cores?—we have a pretty solid idea of what will make the machine go and what it’ll be capable of.

But as of press time, it’s missing one of the things we expected. When Scorpio was first announced at E3 last year, Microsoft didn’t just rattle off a list of specs—the 8-core CPU, 6 TFLOPS of GPU compute power and 320GB of memory bandwidth that were confirmed today. Xbox division chief Phil Spencer also made a bold proclamation at the time: “The next-step change for gamers and developers must deliver true 4K gaming and high-fidelity VR.”

VR, you say? Microsoft was never entirely clear about what those VR capabilities would be. The company has, or at least had, some kind of working relationship with Oculus—and Facebook’s VR headset shipped with Xbox controllers—but since Scorpio’s initial reveal, Microsoft has launched its own VR initiative that’ll use a new range of headsets made by companies including Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Acer. These headsets won’t use the Oculus APIs, nor will they use Valve’s SteamVR, as used on the HTC Vive. Instead, they’ll use Microsoft’s own developer framework.

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Source:: Arstechnica – Gadgets