XBOX is taking the first big step in the “hardware revolution” with Project Scorpio. Announced and confirmed at Monday’s E3 Briefing, XBOX Chief Phil Spencer said the next major update to the Microsoft console family will be available in the fall of 2017.
About 45 minutes before the big reveal to end their stage show, the team also unveiled (and confirmed the rumors) the XBOX One S; a slimmed down and more powerful XBOX One that will be available this summer. Many questions have surfaced through social media and other outlets about the mixed messaging and what this means for the current-gen of consoles. Spencer had a sit down with WIRED recently to clear the air and reassure gamers that everything is under control.
Consumer expectation is that, if you wanted to, you could go buy a new cell phone every year. I don’t want to get into that mode with a console… I see the next inflection point as 4K, and I want to make sure we have a console there to support that, and Scorpio will do that. We’re not on a hardware tick-tock that says I need to put out a console every two years or every one year to get people to upgrade. That’s not the console model.
4K is a huge part of what seems to be the next push in gaming and display fidelity in general. The “XBOne S” is also prepped for 4K resolution, and that console will be out much earlier. Rumors are still swirling that the unannounced but confirmed Playstation Neo (not shown at E3 this year) will be a similar console and upgrade with 4K capability.
As for Project Scorpio, Spencer cleared the air on gamer’s concerns on the E3 stage, but what happens to all the great XBOX One games you already own? Doesn’t it seem as though this is a fundamental upgrade needed to continue gaming, much like the PC market?
We’re going to have versions of those games that will work on Xbox One and Xbox One S, as well as supporting Scorpio.
Ok, phew! Well, that’s all settled for now I suppose. It all seems great, XBOX and Project Scorpio are already touting the console as “the world’s most powerful console.” The specifications on it sound fantastic; with 6-TFLOPS of GPU power, VR-ready, and the 4K display capabilities give it a real monster spec sheet. It remains to be seen if a move like this will split the market of XBOX gamers, or if the four to five-year mark on consoles (despite not leaving the XBOne behind) will feel perfectly fine.
The XBOX Play Anywhere program is a great example of how the team is attempting to grow their market by including cross-buy games with PC players. Any game bought on one platform can be played on the other for no extra cost, fantastic.
As mentioned earlier, Playstation decided not to show their Neo console iteration at E3. It could be because it wasn’t ready, or it could be a reaction to XBOX’s Project Scorpio and S consoles including older games and peripherals when released. It’s possible PlayStation’s console didn’t have the same inclusive capabilities.
Judging by the roar of the crowd when Phil Spencer announced the 2017 console and it’s current capabilities, Project Scorpio may be going in the direction gamers really do want.