Xbox Scorpio is Inspired by Smartphone Business Model

By | 3 months ago 

Microsoft engineer Mike Ybarra reveals that the company found inspiration for the upcoming Xbox Project Scorpio by taking a look at the smartphone business model.

Through the development of Project Scorpio, Microsoft is looking to unleash a behemoth onto the market. The beefed-up Xbox is apparently going to be 4.5 times more powerful than the current Xbox One, bringing with it 4K video and upgraded visuals for even current Xbox One games. However, Microsoft’s business model behind the Scorpio has actually come from a much smaller source – the smartphone.

Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra discussed the reasonings behind the creation of Project Scorpio in an interview with The Guardian. The Microsoft engineer explained that the world of the smart phone, where technological upgrades come thick and fast but applications often need to be compatible across multiple generations, proved hugely influential to Microsoft. According to Ybarra, phone users are “used to upgrading fast and wanting the latest of everything,” but with the expectation that “apps had better work on that phone and the next one.”

With Scorpio, Microsoft is aiming to bring this model into the home console business. “We’re looking at the console business and asking how do we provide that choice to users,” said Ybarra. “It resonates with them because other devices are doing that.”

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The release of upgraded consoles halfway through a generation had left some gamers concerned that the generational cycle was coming to an end, or that the current Xbox One hardware on the market would soon be defunct. However, Ybarra has stated that the company is committed to making sure “every single game and every single accessory works across all of those platforms,” reiterating that “one game will run on the entire family of devices.” Microsoft had previously stated that Scorpio would not shorten console life cycles, and this promise would be dependent on a lack of exclusivity for the upgraded Xbox.

Through the development of the Scorpio, Microsoft is apparently trying to remove the finite cut-off of compatibility for devices once hardware improvements have been released – at least, according to Ybarra. The engineer stated that Microsoft is “focusing more on how do we deliver gaming in a boundless way to our players,” citing the current Xbox One, Project Scorpio, and the Xbox One S as different ways for gamers to use Xbox without major restrictions.

Of course, some may remain concerned about exactly what the future holds for gaming should the smart phone business model prove successful. Staying on top of the hardware game is always a tricky business for console creators, and both the PlayStation Neo and Scorpio will need to walk a fine line between being intriguing enough for gamers to be interested in upgrading, and a viable and affordable option to create as well. With Scorpio currently set for a holiday 2017 release, Microsoft still has a bit of time to iron out the details.

Source: The Guardian