E3 is shaping up to be full of surprises for Microsoft and Xbox One. Rumors always run amok before such a prestigious event, and this year it's not any different. Recently we reported that Microsoft might be intending to release a small streaming device as well as a potential Xbox One console. Now we have something slightly more concrete.
ArsTechnica exclusively confirmed today that there will be an announcement of an Xbox One virtual reality game at E3. What's more, it will be releasing in 2017. The site can't share much more due to agreements with the developer, except that is a "new VR game set in the universe of an established long-running franchise." However, the information has been provided to them by a "well-known" European developer and it has been confirmed by their public relations representative as well.
If that's not enough to tickle your taste buds and whet your appetite for the new virtual experience, the "VR" game is planned to be shown on either PC or PS4 platforms during the E3 conference. The representatives did confirm that the Xbox One version was planned, however, it will not make an appearance on that console during the event.
It's not necessarily surprising that Microsoft has been plotting virtual reality video games. In fact, the earlier rumors have all but confirmed the prospect of a new Xbox One gaming console to hit the markets in 2017. Codenamed as Scorpio, the project is said to have a more powerful GPU than the current console and should be able to support the Oculus Rift.
It's surprising that Oculus Rift might be working with consoles, though. Originally, co-founder Palmer Luckey said that consoles were just too limited to support Oculus Rift's capabilities. Consoles are limited to a specific set of specifications until the 'next gen' comes around years later. PC gaming, on the other hand, is much more flexible and in Luckey's eyes "the jump we're going to see in the next four to five years is going to be massive" for virtual reality.
But that was in 2013, and this is now. With Microsoft revving up to take on Sony's PlayStation VR launching in October, it seems the long-awaited collaboration between Oculus and Xbox is just on the cusp.