Xbox announces VR-focused console Project Scorpio

Xbox has announced a console that it claims will be the most powerful ever built, putting virtual reality support alongside 4K gaming at the core of its capabilities.

Project Scorpio, which was announced as Xbox’s ‘and finally’ product at the end of its E3 keynote presentation today, will be released in mid 2017 offering full backwards compatability.

“When it ships next year we believe it will be the most powerful console ever built,” said Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, adding that Scorpio would offer over six teraflops of power..

”This is the console to lead gaming into true 4k and high-fidelity VR.”

A VR version of Fallout 4 has also been announced for the console.

Xbox is continuing support for the Xbox One and its newly announced compact variant, the Xbox One S, making Project Scorpio the premium offering in its line-up.

The company is also pushing a more integrated approach with Windows 10, announcing Xbox Play Anywhere, where games can be purchased once and played across PC and Xbox.


Despite saying that the console will offer “true 4k gaming and high fidelity VR”, Spencer did not make any mention of headsets. Last year Xbox heavily pushed its partnership with Oculus, so it is possible that Xbox will primarily support the Rift, however it may be that Scorpio will support a Microsoft-designed model.

The tech heavyweight has announced an AR headset, Hololens, but currently remains silent on VR. It may be that Microsoft is planning its own rival to the Rift, which will be supported across Windows 10 and Xbox to encourage wider adoption.

However, while less present, Oculus did make an appearance at Xbox’s conference, in the form of CTO John Carmack. The legendary developer had a brief but bizarre cameo during the Minecraft segment, wearing a Gear VR and hobbling around the stage apparently marvelling at the game’s Gear VR edition.

Owners of the regular Xbox One will be pleased to hear that cross-platform and backwards compatibility is fully supported.

“All Xbox games and accessories will play on all three – no one gets left behind,” said Spencer. “Today makes the beginning of gaming for the generations.”

This approach has already drawn approval from industry figures.

“I think it’s good for the industry where there’s new hardware and you can do new things, but the games you played before aren’t forgotten,” said Todd Howard, director and executive producer at Bethesda Game Studios, in an interview on YouTube’s Live at E3 stream.

Wishing you a futuristic Christmas and a fantastic New Year from team Factor

Factor is taking a break for the Christmas season, but we’ll be returning in January for more futuristic news and features.

Until then, check out our stunning new digital magazine, which is free to read on any device for your future fix.

From the issues of today, to the future of tomorrow and beyond, there’s something for everyone, from flying cars and Richard Stallman on privacy to life in the 22nd century and the space colonies of the future human race. There’s even a look at the Christmas dinners of the future.

And if you’re still looking for presents, check out of bumper futuristic gift guide for ideas to suit every budget.

Merry Christmas, and see you in 2018!

FCC votes to repeal net neutrality rules

On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal the so-called net neutrality regulations that prohibited broadband providers from blocking websites or charging for higher-quality service on certain content. The FCC’s net neutrality rules were originally passed in 2015.

Doctors say Haemophilia A trial results are "mind-blowing"

Doctors say the results of a gene therapy trial into haemophilia A, whose suffers don't produce a protein needed to stop bleeding, are "mind-blowing". Thirteen patients given the gene therapy at Barts Health NHS Trust are now off treatment with 11 producing near-normal levels of the protein.

Source: BBC

Scientists use stem cells to make paralysed rat walk again

Scientists have used stem cells from an adult human's mouth to induce spinal cord regeneration in a rat. This effectively created a pathway circumventing the injured area so that instructions from the brain could reach the rest of the body, curing the animal that was previously totally paralysed.

NASA uses AI to find new exoplanet

Researchers have announced the discovery of an eighth planet orbiting the star Kepler-90. The discovery of Kepler 90i was made when researchers on the Kepler planet-hunting telescope teamed up with artificial intelligence specialists at Google to analyse data collected by the space-based observatory.

AI engine AlphaZero's win will "scramble" chess world

Having beaten the world's the highest-rated chess engine Stockfish, world champion chess player Viswanathan Anand believes the AI programme AlphaZero will change the way humans play the game. "We've got a clean start and the implications are very interesting," said Anand.

Source: ESPN

Following criticism, animal shelter fires security robot

A San Francisco animal adoption agency will immediately stop using a controversial security robot. The move comes after the San Francisco SPCA had been criticised for its deployment of a Knightscope K9 to mitigate vandalism and the presence of homeless people at its Mission District office.

Source: Ars Technica