Xbox head Phil Spencer states that the upcoming Xbox Scorpio will need to be paired with a 4K television for users to get the full impact of the console’s power.
Although Microsoft did showcase a number of games during its E3 2016 presentation, the company seemed to also have a large focus on new hardware. The Xbox One S, a more streamlined version of the current model with a little bit more processing bite in a small body, was announced, along with a price point of $299. However, Microsoft also announced another upgraded version of the Xbox One console, confirming the existence of the Xbox Scorpio – a console with 4K and VR support.
With the announcement of both consoles within such a small amount of time, many gamers were left questioning as to why, exactly, they would be expected to buy the Xbox One S when the Scorpio is set to arrive in the holiday season of 2017. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer, however, has now answered this question. As it turns out, users will be likely to only get the best out of the Scorpio if they own a 4K television.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Spencer was asked a question specifically on this issue. The Xbox head replied by stating that “Scorpio is not going to do anything” for users who still use a 1080p television. “Scorpio is designed as a 4K console, and if you don’t have a 4K TV, the benefit we’ve designed for, you’re not going to see,” explained Spencer. “Clearly, you can buy Scorpio, and if and when you decide you want to buy a 4K television to take advantage of the increased performance, obviously the console will be ready for you.”
The Xbox One S, therefore, is there for any gamers who want to get their hands on the Xbox experience with a highly tempting low price point. Spencer cited the success of the Wii in the last console generation, which managed tremendous sales in spite of a lack of processing power. The Xbox One S may require an adapter for Kinect compatibility, but it is 4K compatible, and this hybrid role between the two versions of the Xbox One may see it finding a wide market of console gamers who do not care as much about performance.
The Scorpio, meanwhile, is an attempt from Microsoft to get in on the 4K revolution earlier than competitors, and initially target those willing to pay a premium price for an improved experience. “Scorpio is for the person who’s got a 4K television, who’s really focused on 4K gaming,” stated Spencer. “It’s going to be a premium price over what we’re selling this one for, and both of them will exist in the market at the same time.” An added bonus could also be found through the Xbox Play Anywhere program, as one might expect that 4K gamers may find a greater parity between PC and Xbox versions of games going forward should they own the Scorpio.
That said, Microsoft has also faced its fair share of criticism over the development of the Scorpio project. There have been allegations that the launch of the console will lead to a shorter console cycle length going forward. Should the Scorpio prove popular, then it will be interesting to see how Microsoft responds.
The Xbox Scorpio is currently set for a holiday 2017 release.