Thanks to this year’s E3 event, it looks as though 2017 will be an extremely interesting year if you’re into console gaming and are excited about Virtual reality. The event this year boasted announcements from the biggest gaming companies in the world, with Sony announcing the PlayStation Neo and PlayStation VR Headset. Plus Microsoft shocked the gaming world with the announcement of not one, but two new consoles the Xbox One S and the super powerful Xbox project Scorpio console. Here’s everything I know about all four devices.
Xbox One S – 4K improvements Only
Microsoft had what is being called a phenomenal E3 showing this year and apart from new titles and software the biggest showings where its two new consoles. The first of these consoles is the Xbox One S, which is seen as a reboot of the original Xbox One.
The first thing I learned about this new console, was the fact that it would be 40 percent smaller than the original and come with its power supply neatly tucked away inside its body.
If you’re a dedicated follower of all things Xbox, you will know that this size change marks a change in Microsoft’s abilities to cope with previous overheating and sounds problems demo versions of the Original Xbox One had. The fact that this new console is so much smaller means that somehow Microsoft has overcome those technical issues.
As far as performance of the console is concerned, there are no upgrades to its processor, it does not have more RAM. So, all-in-all it won’t allow you to play games any faster and their graphics will see no improvement. However, what it does offer is an improved 4K High-Def experience. Yes, the original Xbox One is technically capable of supporting 4K video playback, but it is only capable of displaying it at a relatively slow rate of 30Hz.
What the Xbox One S offers, is a much improved 4K experience at a rate of 60Hz, it can playback 4K Blu-ray content and has what is called High Dynamic Range support. This means that it is able to playback 4K content from online streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Plus to aid the console in this regard it has been given an HDMI 2.0a port, which offers full support for full 4K video output.
As for gaming, I am sorry to say that this is no 4K gaming machine, for that you will have to wait for the Xbox Project Scorpio console.
Box Project Scorpio
The big news at this year’s E3 was not the Xbox One S or in fact the PlayStation Neo. Instead, it was the surprise announcement of the Xbox Project Scorpio console. For many people, this had been a console that would remain as rumor only. Not something that would materialize as real at E3!
Microsoft teased the audience at E3 with the console, suggesting that it would pack a huge six teraflops of graphics power into a small but neat looking design. If you did not know, six teraflops is about five times more power than the current Xbox One and an Octa-core CPU.
And whilst Microsoft has no dedicated VR headset of its own, the Xbox Scorpio console will be fully VR compatible, some sources are suggesting that Microsoft will have a tie-up with Facebook and the Oculus Rift to bridge the technology gap, but let’s wait and see. As for storage capacities, we know that the Xbox One S comes with three different options 500GB, 1 Terrabyte, and 2 Terabytes, but as far as the Scorpio is concerned not much /if anything is known about this part of its anatomy.
As for price, there are rumors doing the rounds that suggest this console could come in different variants, what determines the difference is not known. However, you can bet that this device will be hugely powerful, more like a gaming PC in a box than your average console. So with that in mind, it is easy to determine that somewhere around the $1000 mark could be expected.
I have been writing about this console for some time now, yes. most of what I have been saying has come from rumors. However, I and many others were expecting Sony to at least say something about the console at E3. Instead, I discovered more about the console from a post E3 interview the head of Playstation Andrew House had with the BBC than was officially revealed at the show.
It turns out that Sony wants to follow a precise path to announce the PlayStation Neo, just like it has with its VR headset. It wants to build up a sizable amount of titles to launch with the console before officially announcing it. However, what this does reveal is a change in strategy from the Japanese tech giant. In the past, it was always quick to market, even if a console lacked the games to keep the initial purchasers happy.
So what is actually know about the Playstation neo: What I am about to tell you are still rumors, nothing about this is official. According to a recent report from the website Giant Bomb, the PlayStation Neo will have an increase in CPU power over the PS4 this increase is from 1.6Ghz to 2.1Ghz. As for its GPU, this will have an upgrade from 800Mhz to 911Mhz. However, what it won’t have is more RAM instead, Sony is opting to overclock it, which will increase its data transfer rate from 176Gbs to 218Gbs.
In what could be a huge change for the video gaming industry, Sony has marked its territory at E3 with the announcement of the much talked about PlayStation VR headset. At this years exhibit, the Japanese company not only announced the device but also confirmed its release date and also unveiled some games that would be available at launch.
When will it be available? Sony has revealed this to be on October the 13th in the United States, with around 50 titles (presumably games) available by the Christmas holiday period.
As for what those titles will actually be, rumors are suggesting that the PlayStation VR library will consist of games like Capcom’s Resident Evil 7, a Star Wars game, an exclusive Batman game and Final Fantasy XV.
One small thing I must tell you about the PlayStation VR is that it is not a stand-alone product. To use it you will have to have a PlayStation 4 console, which is according to Sony already capable of running advanced High-Def Virtual reality simulations. So, this begs the question, why bother with the PlayStation Neo at all? An answer to this could be that, whilst the PS4 is capable of dealing with VR games in their infancy a more powerful console will be required to make it live up to its potential.