Microsoft has released news of their next gaming/entertainment system. The new system, Project Scorpio, is planned to be released this holiday season. Gaming fans will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on the next, and reportedly the best, system to be released in this decade. So what does that mean for the Xbox One? Still a fairly new system (released in late 2013), the Xbox One could essentially be wiped off from the face of the gaming community. The concern is that there would then be no purpose left for the Xbox One, the games people spent loads of their money buying being rendered inert. The good news? Developers of the Scorpio are claiming that the console will be an integrated system that allows complete backward compatibility.
Unlike the Xbox One, the Scorpio will have the feature that its predecessor was missing from the start: backward compatibility. The only question is how the developers will carry out this promise of a game-filled future. It’s still uncertain, but I’m hoping for a platform comparable to Steam. This would make backward, and forward, compatibility much easier. A gamer has their Microsoft account, they buy games onto that account, and they install and uninstall those games at the click of a button. This would make sense. There’s also reports that Xbox One users will be able to buy the new games for their old console. But–yes, there’s always a but–like running a new game on an older PC, FPS rates and overall game quality will go down. To me, the Scorpio is sounding a lot like a PC.
A console that acts like a PC isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The only issue is that the Scorpio is going to have to live up to the high expectations people have for a well-designed PC. The gaming community has been waiting for that console that will change everything. But will that be the Scorpio? Will it cross the boundary that hovers between console and PC? Will it be a transformation, not an update? These are questions we must ask because they are important to the future of gaming.
I want to believe that the Scorpio will be more than just an updated system from the Xbox One. Everyone wants to believe that. But a whole new system would make backwards compatibility (and, in the Xbox One’s case, forwards compatibility) difficult. I am hopeful that developers will, you know, develop accordingly to ensure that the Scorpio isn’t constantly catering to previous system’s needs. Instead, this new system has to have the capability of crossing technological boundaries the previous systems could not. The problem may come down to whether the developers feel people want a compatible system for Xbox One users, or a brand spankin’ new console that could change the way we look at video games for years to come. Personally, the latter sounds more promising.