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Before the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) even began in Los Angeles on Tuesday, we watched as gaming companies like Electronic Arts and Ubisoft revealed news relating to new game releases and improved eSports presences for their existing games.
As E3 officially opened on Tuesday, Microsoft went beyond the games and announced plans for a new 4K resolution, virtual reality console. With this, Microsoft is covering their bases with all of the emerging yet popular technology that a video game console could support.
At the moment, the console is dubbed “Project Scorpio” and Microsoft will not be releasing it for quite some time—not until the 2017 holiday season. Announcing the Scorpio this early came in part as a response to Sony, which is revamping its PlayStation 4, in addition to unveiling its PlayStation VR.
Microsoft wanted to alert consumers that they are not behind on updates, and that Sony will not have the only gaming systems that are virtual reality and 4K capable. But, Microsoft is not just competing with Sony here. They are crafting one console that can do what two Sony consoles can.
At the moment, the biggest system for virtual reality gaming is the Oculus Rift, created by the most well known name in virtual reality headsets. The Rift hooks up to a PC, and although its implications are for more than gaming, thus far it is best utilized for video games.
Microsoft will be hoping that the implications of Scorpio are beyond that than they are initially revealing. They should be looking to sell the console for less than the Rift so that potentially means more virtual reality in more households.
If this becomes widespread, the systems could do more than gaming and be used for entertainment and broadcasting. Microsoft does have an important partnership with the NFL, so broadcasting games on the Scorpio might not be too far of a reach.