Previously known as Project Scorpio, Xbox One X is the new name for Microsoft’s Xbox One successor. Or, as the company claims, a mid-generation release. The main highlight of the Xbox One X is that it is the most powerful console in history. From the specs sheet, it isn’t lying. And it’s VR ready. It’s packed with a super-powered version of the AMD chip found in the Xbox One and more RAM than you could shake a stick at.
But Microsoft would need to shift mountains to win over the crowd of Sony loyalists. It is no surprise that the Playstation 4 has a strong foothold in the console market, more so after releasing the PS4 Pro.
4K Support Incoming
However, as Xbox One X is both VR- and 4K-ready and there will be games being made specifically for Scorpio. Microsoft hopes that, with full Windows 10 integration, those VR games will just be PC titles, and 4K games will be souped-up “standard” Xbox One releases.
But it’d be impossible to believe that some developers aren’t jumping aboard just to develop an Xbox One X VR title. The Playstation also has a virtual reality headset bundle which can be attached to the existing PS4. But it has its own limitations including a very hefty price tag which is more than what the console costs.
Moreover, it is looking more like with console-powered wireless, Microsoft would assumedly be looking at streaming technologies similar to those being used by companies like TPCast and DisplayLink, where free users of a physical cord but rely on physical proximity to a transmitter to ensure a seamless connection. This could truly mark the new generation of gaming which is going to be VR oriented for complete immersion of the player in the game being played.
The Oculus Factor
Connected to VR is another new development of Oculus offering a $399 bundle that significantly discounts what one would otherwise pay for the virtual reality headset and its Touch controllers. The bundle starts with the Oculus VR headset, two Touch controllers and two sensors supporting them.
Oculus was bought by Facebook in 2014 has been pushing to bring virtual reality to the masses. The company hopes that the wireless headset will bridge the gap between expensive, high-end VR often used for gaming and the cheap VR headsets that link to smartphones.
Earlier the Oculus Rift was extremely pricy. It was the primary reason VR was lagging behind so heavily in the market. Now with new players such as the HTC Vive, Samsung VR and NVIDIA, the VR push seems to be the way things are moving forward.
Facebook’s upcoming virtual reality headset is expected to sell for as little as $200. This, without the requirement of tethering it to pricy computers or smartphones to operate it. High-end VR headsets, in general, including the HTC Vive ($800), have been struggling due to the steep pricing margins. However as we see the price cuts for Oculus happening, competitors might take note and bring their prices down as well.
During a 2016 conference in San Jose, Calif., Zuckerberg announced Facebook would invest $250 million in companies and developers to create virtual reality content such as movies and video games. This could steer the future of VR gaming to better days.
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