Microsoft is cultivating a behind-the-scenes slate of games for Project Scorpio, its upcoming Xbox One console upgrade, Xbox division head Phil Spencer confirmed this week.
Responding to a Twitter question regarding whether developers are working on Project Scorpio-compatible games, Spencer claimed that development teams are currently tackling Project Scorpio “hardware, platform and games” ahead of the upgrade’s planned 2017 launch.
Microsoft previously announced Project Scorpio at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in June, noting that the Xbox One successor will feature eight CPU cores and a six teraflop GPU. The hardware represents a significant upgrade compared to existing Xbox One and Xbox One S consoles, and will be capable of pushing more than 320 gigabytes of memory bandwidth per second.
Microsoft emphasized that Project Scorpio will not replace current Xbox One models, but will instead coexist alongside legacy hardware, with support for all previously released Xbox One games, controllers, and accessories. Games designed for Project Scorpio will feature improved performance, along with support for 4K resolutions.
Project Scorpio will also pave the way for “high-fidelity VR” on Xbox One, according to Microsoft. Insider sources hinted that Microsoft is pursuing a partnership with VR headset maker Oculus in order to introduce Oculus Rift support for the Xbox One.
Aaron Greenberg, head of Xbox games marketing, confirmed that Project Scorpio will not host any exclusives, however, suggesting that future Xbox One games must feature compatibility with all console models.
A similar upgrade for Sony’s PlayStation 4, code-named “Neo,” also binds developers to existing PlayStation 4 hardware. While PlayStation 4 games may offer increased frame rates and other technical improvements when powered by PlayStation Neo, leaked documents reveal that Sony prohibits developers from making Neo-specific games or introducing major gameplay features that require the hardware upgrade.
Microsoft targets a holiday 2017 launch for Project Scorpio.