After today’s Xbox Project Scorpio hardware debut, questions regarding the followup to the upcoming console’s release date are louder than ever. While the official word from Microsoft is still “Holiday 2017,” speedy production is reportedly positioning the console for a launch as soon as six months from now. That’s not to say the console will launch absolutely launch in October, but rather that Microsoft apparently has some room to maneuver, positioning Project Scorpio’s launch strategically.
Today was not an unveiling of Project Scorpio like some were speculating. In fact, much of what was revealed had previously been revealed in 2016 or ferreted out by industry experts familiar with the situation. Microsoft stayed committed to their 6 teraflops of GPU power, the rumored Jaguar CPU architecture remains, and while only a single 4K screenshot from Forza Motorsport 7 was shown the new Xbox is certainly capable of delivering “True 4K.” There’s no reason not to believe Microsoft when they say “Holiday 2017,” so a mid-November launch at the latest is realistic.
However, today’s Eurogamer/Digital Foundry hardware spotlight repeated some rumors. Here’s what Eurogamer had to say about the platform’s release window:
“Scorpio is seemingly running ahead of schedule, to the point where we’re likely six months away from release at least, and we’ve already seen impressive software running beautifully on production silicon.”
Just to take a moment to consider Microsoft’s options regarding when to launch Project Scorpio, it seems unlikely that they will launch prior to November. A November launch guarantees holiday advertising buzz, not to mention it’d work out the best for potential launch titles like Crackdown 3 and Forza Motorsport 7. Attach rates for game sales are always highest during a console’s launch, and higher still during the holidays.
Still, if one considers a September or October launch, there are absolutely benefits. For one, it’d launch closer to the release of big third-party titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Star Wars Battlefront 2, which going by their publishers’ history are both likely to be out in October. Forza is also typically a September launch. And considering Project Scorpio’s main draw is its powerhouse hardware, meaning games are going to look better on Scorpio then on other consoles, capitalizing on those huge third-party launches could be paramount.
Whether it’s in six months or eight months Microsoft’s Xbox One follow-up, Project Scorpio, will launch later this year.