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Microsoft powers up Project Scorpio as 4K console gaming era nears

Prepare for immersion

Video gaming hardware looks to be taking the next big step forward with Microsoft’s Project Scorpio. Brit site Digital Foundry crossed the pond to check out an early but pretty much production-ready Scorpio setup in Redmond, where they saw Forza Motorsport gaming action running at full 4K resolution and at a locked 60 frames a second – and they say the system wasn’t tapped out doing it, either.

The Scorpio console is packing some serious heat, with a pumped-up AMD Jaguar 8-core 2.3 gigahertz processor, 12gb of high-speed RAM, a hot-rod graphics setup with 40 compute units, a terabyte hard drive and a built-in 4K UHD Blu-ray player for your movie viewing needs. All that hardware has been tuned and tweaked by Microsoft for maximum gaming performance, and the Digital Foundry team came away most impressed. (paywall)

Timeline for release? Microsoft hasn’t been specific yet, but Digital Foundry said it seems like they’re running ahead of schedule on the project, and with past consoles typically hitting the market in November, we’ll agree that it’ll probably be out in time for the holidays.

Cable in your pocket

Guess who’s getting into the cell service business: yep, Comcast. Called Xfinity Mobile, the service will offer users an unlimited data plan for just $65 a month. But, there’s a catch.

The offer will initially only be made available to current Comcast/xfinity customers. How long they’ll stick with that plan isn’t clear, but when it does roll out – and when that will happen isn’t quite clear yet – that’ll be the deal. Xfinity Mobile will use Verizon’s cell network, so coverage won’t be a problem. Phone offerings will include Apple iPhones, Samsung Galaxy models and some LG handsets to start. And we’d expect lots of streaming options as well.

Apple OLED for everyone!

Quick rumor roundup for the iPhone 8, also known now as the iPhone Edition. Apple has signed a two-year deal with arch-rival Samsung to supply curved OLED screens for the new iPhone Edition.

Why two years? Because that might be how long it will take to make the 92 million screens Apple has requested, according to multiple sources. And what kind of curvature are we taking about? So far, that’s not exactly known, but the display will likely curl around the edges of the phone rather than arc across the length of the device.

Also, it’s still not really clear exactly how many new iPhones will debut this year. Could be two, three, and perhaps even four, if a rumored new 5-inch model also makes it to production. But 92 million OLED screens? Sounds like Apple is working overtime to meet what could be unprecedented demand. Stay tuned.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.