GDC 2017: Microsoft’s Mixed Reality Content Is Coming To Project Scorpio In 2018

by Jamie Feltham • March 1st, 2017

One of the biggest questions surrounding Microsoft’s mixed reality platform, Windows Holographic, is if it will support the company’s mysterious Project Scorpio. Today, we can confirm it will.

Microsoft is rolling out development kits for the first VR headset made by Acer later this month, but in a blog post announcing that news, it dropped an even juicier detail. It notes that the company is looking to take its platform beyond “mixed reality-ready” desktops and its own MR headset, HoloLens, stating: “Our plan is to bring mixed reality content to the Xbox One family of devices, including Project Scorpio, in 2018.”

ProjectScorpio

The wording is very specific, but it does at the very least confirm that immersive, reality-altering content made for the Windows Holographic platform is on the way to Scorpio, the company’s upgraded take on the Xbox One. The device was announced at last year’s E3 where Head of Xbox Phil Spencer noted it would support “high fidelity VR”, though it remains shrouded in mystery for now.

We spoke to Alex Kipman, Technical Fellow at Microsoft, ahead of this announcement. While he also didn’t specifically state that the headsets would support Scorpio, he did assure that these would be “entertainment” devices, which is why “we added a blurb in the blog that says  we’re also bringing support for our Xbox family of products to these things in 2018 inclusive of Scorpio.”

Furthermore, Microsoft pointed game developers interested in working with its headsets to the [email protected] program, an initiative designed to get indie developers making games for Xbox One and Windows 10.

A Microsoft spokesperson declined to confirm that the headsets would support Scorpio, but did offer the following statement:

Windows Mixed Reality experiences will light up on other devices, including Xbox One, over time. Developers can start crafting their mixed reality gaming experiences this year on the desktop to bring them to Xbox One in 2018. Beyond that, we have nothing else to announce today.

There’s a lot to unpack from these statements. Firstly, Project Scorpio is shaping up to launch in the holiday 2017 period, so it sounds like mixed reality support won’t be included out of the box, instead arriving next year. It’s own VR devices are also set to launch this holiday.

The mention of “Xbox One family” also suggests the original console might support this content too, which wasn’t stated before. In the past Microsoft has said that Scorpio won’t have exclusive games, and suggested its MR devices won’t need a high-powered PC to run.

What we still don’t know is what VR headset will support these consoles. Microsoft’s headsets seem a likely option, but could it go beyond that to also support the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive? We’ll likely have to wait until E3 2017 to find out more, and Microsoft has already set its press conference date for Sunday, June 11th, a day earlier than it usually is.

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  • Kageyama

    I hope MS does the cooling right, so the Scorpio doesn’t end up like the PS4 Pro that sounds like a turbine.

    • Bilal Prince-Ali

      you must have a faulty PS4 Pro… my Pro is silent as hell!!

      • Bundy

        If you google PS4 loud you’ll get a lot of hits. Not sure what the percentage is among all owners though, but he’s not alone.

        • Bobby Griffin

          It videos where you can clean or upgrade your fan. Just keep it ventilated and dust free . It’s amazing that they have dual gpu’s in that small box.

          • Jim Cherry

            It’s not dual gpus it’s a gpu that has twice the compute cores of original Ps4

        • Bilal Prince-Ali

          yeah you do get hits.. of the people complaining but look ACTUALLY click on the posts/threads and see the replies it is OVERWHELMINGLY against the posters experience of having a loud Pro.. im telling you its in the very small minority of players.. ive got 4 friends with Pros and nonw of ours are loud at all.. soo deffo minority here

          • TwoLiterSoda

            That’s due to high school fanboys that fight every single time someone brings up a negative about PS4. My PS pro isn’t silent by any means but it’s also not extremely loud. My slim PS4 is near silent tho.

    • QUIMICOMORTAL

      I own a ps4 pro and its noice its not notticeable!

  • Bobby Griffin

    It’s a great time to be a gamer. As always Sony starts putting out great games around year 3 and the Scorpio is coming. I see myself spending alot of money the next 18 months.

  • PEDROVNONE

    Good News!!! I want a Scorpio and a mixed reality headset nowt!

  • Truthhurts24

    Great news

  • TwoLiterSoda

    Cool here’s hoping MS actually supports it’s VR wholeheartedly unlike what Sony is giving us now.

  • Ted Joseph

    I pre-ordered the Xbox One X. I was hoping that the MR headsets and games would be supported by the X… Will have to Oculus rift until then…