Report claims first Xbox One virtual reality game is coming in 2017

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An unnamed but “major” development studio is working on a virtual reality game for the Xbox One, Ars Technica reports, fueling speculation surrounding a possible hardware revision.

The Xbox One does not currently feature support for virtual reality headsets, but rumors from earlier this week suggest that Microsoft is planning to introduce Oculus Rift compatibility when revised Xbox One hardware hits retail in 2017.

According to Ars Technica’s report, the game in question featured the acronym “VR” in its working title, and is also in development for the PlayStation 4 and PCs. The game is reportedly built with virtual reality headsets in mind, leading Ars to believe that “this isn’t merely a VR-compatible game that happens to have a more traditional Xbox One version.”

Though it did not divulge the name of the game, Ars notes that it is part of “an established, long-running franchise” developed by “a well-known European studio.” The title is expected to be revealed at next month’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles ahead of a multiplatform release in 2017.

Rumors regarding a forthcoming Xbox One hardware upgrade reignited this week when multiple anonymous sources spoke to Kotaku and Polygon about “Scorpio,” the alleged codename for a revised Xbox One console hitting retail in 2017. Reportedly boasting a faster GPU, the Scorpio model “will be over four times more powerful than the current Xbox One,” according to Polygon’s sources.

Anonymous developers additionally claim that Scorpio is “technically capable” of supporting the Oculus Rift VR headset and compatible games. Neither Microsoft nor Oculus responded to requests for details regarding a rumored partnership that would introduce Oculus Rift support for the Xbox One. Acknowledging but not confirming this week’s reports, Xbox division head Phil Spencer indicated that Microsoft’s hardware plans will be unveiled at E3 on June 13.

Rival console manufacturer Sony is also planning a hardware revision for its PlayStation 4, according to anonymously sourced reports. The rumored PlayStation 4 “NEO” model is believed to feature a faster CPU and GPU, along with support for 4K resolutions. To date, Sony has not commented regarding the possibility of upgraded console hardware.

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