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News has been slow and plodding when it comes to information about the Xbox Scorpio. Every once in a while we get a brief tidbit or morsel of information regarding the progress, but nothing substantial. Well, Phil Spencer, the head of the Xbox division, has chimed in with another brief bit of info regarding the development of the 4K game console.
Phil Spencer responded to a comment from a user asking about when we can get a sneak peek of the Xbox Scorpio. Spencer made the brief comment via Twitter, explaining that everything is still under wraps for now as the design team is "doing their 'thing'".
The last big update we've received for the Xbox Scorpio was two months ago, when Phil Spencer revealed that the console would be a "premium console". In terms of what "premium" means we have no idea.
Microsoft's half-gen refresh is scheduled to launch in the holiday season of 2017, but other than some light specs we don't know much about the system. It will apparently run all of the Xbox One software, and also offer gamers 4K gaming capabilities. It's being designed to compete directly with the PS4 Pro, which came out late last year as a way to not only offer 4K gaming, but also help give the VR market a push by offering a more performance palatable alternative to the vanilla PS4.
Microsoft hasn't exactly said whether or not the extra power under the hood of the Xbox Scorpio will be used to benefit a VR component for the Xbox brand, but rumors have swirled that Microsoft may be teaming with Oculus to offer a home console solution for the Rift VR headset on the Xbox platform. It's hard to tell right now if the GPU for the Scorpio would be powerful enough to run VR titles the way the standard PC runs them, but if it can outdo the PS4 Pro that just might be enough for Microsoft to run with.
Microsoft has been mum about the VR aspect, likely seeing how well the PlayStation VR does on the market before committing to anything serious for the Xbox brand. Instead, the focus on the Scorpio has been 4K gaming, which has been a bit of a buzz phrase for Sony and Microsoft. 4K is more of an enthusiast benchmarking target rather than a standardized gaming resolution. Hitting 4K is nice but most gamers are comfortable at 1080p or 1440p at 60fps.
Resolution is only part of the spectrum, though. There's also the software. Scorpio may be packing more power but Microsoft needs to ensure that there's ample software to take advantage of that power. After the recent cancellation of Scalebound, a lot of Xbox fans have shown a wavering of faith in the solidarity of Microsoft's commitment to first and second party outings. So far they've been relying mostly on Gears of War, annual Forza outings and Halo to compensate for exclusives.
There's still a lot of mystery surrounding the Scorpio regarding both hardware and software, so we'll see how it all turns out leading up to E3 this year.