Microsoft's new Xbox system, still tentatively called Project Scorpio for now, is finally beginning to take shape after a series of news releases that provided a number of key details regarding the device. Despite a reveal all the way back at E3 2016, Project Scorpio's system specs were only unveiled a few months ago, causing many to doubt that the console was making the kind of progress Microsoft expected from it last summer. Now, however, Project Scorpio is cropping up in just enough headlines per week that a big Project Scorpio information dump could be in the cards at this year's E3, and recent comments from key Xbox team members have made that seem even more certain.
At the very least, Microsoft and Xbox have clearly been working on the company's policy regarding Microsoft console parity. After rumors began circulating that Microsoft would force developers working on games for both Xbox One and Project Scorpio to ensure there is frame rate parity in the finished product, Xbox engineering lead Mike Ybarra took to Twitter in order to clarify the actual process. Luckily for fans and developers, development on both consoles will be much less strict, and Ybarra answered a question about the existence of forced frame rate parity policy directly:
No, there isn't. This is up to the developer to choose, for their games, what they want to do. https://t.co/bFW7gcni7d— Mike Ybarra (@XboxQwik) May 19, 2017
That clarification is a big deal, since it means that Project Scorpio games that are also designed for the Xbox One won't be hindered by the gap in technology available on both consoles. Given the rumored price for Project Scorpio, gamers will be paying a fairly hefty price for the next evolution of the Xbox console, and it would have been unfortunate to see Scorpio's power get reigned in by unwieldy corporate policies.
Ybarra wasn't the only one to offer an opinion on frame rate splits between the two machines, however. Microsoft Studios boss Shannon Loftis offered her take on parity not being a requirement and her thought process about multiplayer titles should be a relief for gamers worried about online play being affected by frame rate discrepancies:
These stances are reassuring for those looking to invest in the future of Xbox, and it's likely nice for fans of Microsoft's console to have some solid evidence that Scorpio will not be hindered by its predecessor during game development outside of when multiplayer parity is concerned. That being said, however, it remains to be seen how Project Scorpio ultimately fares once it releases - key Xbox players have said some controversial things about the direction of gaming lately, and that polarizing philosophy could extend to the console's development and presentation as well.
Project Scorpio is set to release during the 2017 holiday season.