Xbox boss Phil Spencer reveals Microsoft’s Project Scorpio will sell at a console-level price point and won’t try to compete with higher-end gaming rigs.
Since its announcement at E3 2016, gamers have been clamoring for more information about Microsoft’s Project Scorpio. The super-console is set to release holiday 2017, and looks to shake up the console scene, but there’s still only a few details available at the moment.
One of the most important, yet glaringly missing, details is the price for Project Scorpio. Granted, it’s not set to release for a whole year, so it’s likely Microsoft will continue to keep those details close to the vest, but thanks to a new statement from Xbox’s Phil Spencer, gamers have a better idea what to expect. Speaking with AusGamers, Spencer revealed that Microsoft is looking to keep the price of Project Scorpio in line with previous consoles. Spencer said:
“When you talk to me about Scorpio, the term I use about the architecture isn’t the six teraflops which is obviously what we’ve announced, it’s balance. Really what it is, is you want a platform that is balanced between memory bandwidth, GPU power, you know, your ability to move memory and [an] amount of memory around in many ways is more inhibiting to the performance of your game than absolute teraflops on any one of the individual pieces, and when we designed Scorpio we really thought about this balanced rig that could come together at a price-point.
“Like, I want Scorpio to be at a console price-point, I’m not trying to go and compete with a high-end rig. And because we’re building one spec, we’re able to look at the balance between all the components and make sure that it’s something we really hit that matters to consumers and gamers.”
This is all really good news for gamers on multiple levels. First, with Spencer specifying that Project Scorpio will maintain a console price-point, that means the cost shouldn’t rise above the $499 mark. That was the price of the Xbox One at launch, and while it was $100 more than the PlayStation 4 at launch, it still performed well during its initial sales season.
Another point of celebration is Microsoft’s focus on balance. As Spencer said, the team behind Project Scorpio isn’t looking to compete with high-end rigs, and for good reason. Steam Machines have tried to do that and have struggled significantly. There are too many benefits to PC gamers building their own gaming rigs, or buying pre-packaged gaming machines that can push out a great deal of power for gaming. If Project Scorpio tried to compete with those, it would obviously cost near what other machines cost, but be restricted to Xbox One games and apps.
So the fact that Xbox is looking to balance out Project Scorpio for the console market is good news. That also means that the company is looking to make Project Scorpio its flagship console for many years to come. At console-level pricing, that’s too good of a deal for many gamers to pass up.
Granted, Spencer revealed previously that Xbox isn’t looking to leave behind any Xbox One consoles moving forward, so gamers won’t be expected to upgrade to the new console in order to keep up with new games. Rather, the impressive specs coming with Project Scorpio will allow gamers more opportunities for better graphics, including native 4K gaming, as well as more power for higher frame rates and other benefits. Each of these can be built into games for Project Scorpio without sacrificing the experience for Xbox One and Xbox One S players. Just as most PC games have minimum spec requirements, but allow higher-end rigs to play at higher graphics and frame rates, Project Scorpio will presumptively do the same for console players.
Additionally, the 6 teraflops of computing power will come in handy for virtual reality, which is expanding rapidly in the gaming market. In fact, Spencer recently claimed that Microsoft’s HoloLens is the “final destination” of virtual reality. There’s little doubt Xbox is looking to head that direction with Project Scorpio.
Based on Spencer’s statement on Project Scorpio sticking to console-level pricing, gamers can look forward to a console that’s available for around $400 to $500 next holiday season. Granted, that’s still speculation until the official reveal from Microsoft, but seems to be a solid conclusion based on the information provided so far from Xbox.
What do you think about Spencer’s comments on Project Scorpio’s pricing? Do you expect the price to rise above the $500 mark?
Project Scorpio is set to release holiday 2017.