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Microsoft Announces $500 Xbox One X at E3, But Keeps Mum on Virtual Reality Features

Variety logo Variety 6/12/2017 Janko Roettgers
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Microsoft officially unveiled its Xbox One X game console at the E3 video game expo in Los Angeles Sunday, but the company kept uncharacteristically mum on a key feature: Virtual reality gaming (VR), one of the mainstays of Sony’s PlayStation 4, wasn’t mentioned at all during the Xbox One X launch event.

Instead, Microsoft decided to focus on highlighting the device’s powerful hardware: The Xbox One X, which was previously known under the code name “Project Scorpio,” features a 172MHz graphics processing engine capable of processing 6 teraflops. In layman’s terms, this makes the Xbox One X 40 percent more powerful than Sony’s Playstation 4 Pro.

All that graphics processing power should make for smooth 4K game play, and Microsoft lauded the ability to upscale 1080p Xbox One games to 4K. The Xbox One X will ship with 1 TB of storage, and an exterior that looks a lot like the Xbox One S, albeit with an even smaller footprint.

In fact, it’s the smallest game console Microsoft ever made — but also one of the most expensive ones: The Xbox One X will sell for $499 when it reaches store shelves on November 7. That’s a whole $100 more than Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro.

And while Sony started to sell its PS VR headset as an accessory to the PlayStation 4 last year, Microsoft kept mum on VR Sunday. That’s despite the fact that Microsoft previously teased “Project Scorpio” as being a key part of its virtual reality strategy.

Microsoft has been working for some time on its own virtual and mixed reality headsets, and recently introduced its own PC-powered VR headsets for developers in partnership with Acer and HP. The company may try to get developers to warm up to the platform first before it ultimately launches a headset powered by its game console.


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