Xbox news recap: Project Scorpio more powerful than expected, custom Gamerpics coming soon and more

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Welcome to our weekly Xbox news recap series, where we go over the top stories of the past week in the world of Xbox. Let’s get started.

Project Scorpio a full-blown upgrade to X1

The Xbox One isn’t just being one-upped by the upcoming Project Scorpio – it’s going to be fully upgraded. According to the developer of indie darling “Ori and the Blind Forest,” Scorpio “isn’t just a half-assed upgrade,” but instead a complete step up to the next generation of gaming hardware. It was also confirmed by Xbox boss Phil Spencer that, despite rumors on the contrary, Scorpio will support native 4k.

Custom Gamerpics on the way

A lot of people have been curious as to when custom gamerpics are going to arrive on Xbox, and it seems like their dreams will be coming true pretty soon. In a podcast, Major Nelson spoke about the future of Gamerpics and confirmed that the ability to upload your own is going to be available at some point during the Creators Update – certainly before E3. While some users might abuse this feature, many more will enjoy the freedom it provides on their profile.

Narrator exploit uncovers some secret achievements 

Earlier this week, some Xbox One users found out that, using the narrator feature, you can actually read out the descriptions of achievements that have been hidden away. Usually, secret achievements are kept that way in order to avoid spoiling games – or are there to make it harder to hunt down the achievement on purpose. While the exploit is likely being patched up right now, interested users should try and give it a shot.

Xbox Live has 55 million users, $1 billion made from digital transactions in Q2

The earnings report for the second quarter of fiscal year 2017 is hot off the presses this week, and we got an idea as to just how successful Microsoft has been in promoting the Xbox One, and pushing its new software. As it turns out, Xbox made a huge leap when it comes to the digital sale of games and the adoption of its Xbox Live service.

Q2 showed off an impressive all-time high of $1 billion made off of digital sales alone, and also showed Xbox Live hitting 55 million active users.

Xbox Insider rings based on a meritocracy

The Xbox Insider Program was announced recently as the future of the Xbox Preview, and it’s apparently going to be run much differently than Microsoft’s Windows Insider program, Unlike Windows Insider build rings, you don’t get to choose which ring you’re in. You will be put into the appropriate ring according to how much feedback you provide, this time around.

You can provide feedback and complete “quests” in order to advance through the rings, adding a layer of gamification to the Insider process.

Thanks for joining us. To keep up to date with all the latest Xbox news, keep a close eye on our Xbox One news hub.