Xbox Scorpio is Microsoft’s most powerful sequel to the Xbox One, and on Thursday the company revealed a lot about the console’s specs. All that’s missing is an official name, a release date and even a price. Yet we now know that the Xbox Scorpio’s hardware can apparently keep up with, or even surpass, the Nvidia GTX GeForce 1070 GPU in performance at 4K resolution, at 60 frames per second – the benchmark for gaming.
This comes at a time when Xbox is lagging behind in sales compared to Sony’s Playstation, and recently the Japanese company released a hardware update for the PS4, the PS4 Pro. Can Microsoft make up lost ground with the Scorpio update? While spec makers will have a field day with what Xbox Scorpio has to offer, there appears to be little benefit to gamers. Here’s why.
Xbox Scorpio specs and features announced
Xbox Scorpio games have not been demoed
Rather than showing off a brand new game, Microsoft selected and orchestrated its Xbox Scorpio reveal with Forza 6 – a two-year-old title for the Xbox One. Rumors of demos for games such as Call of Duty: World War 2 and Red Dead Redemption 2 have not materialized.
The fact is that the console is suffering on the exclusives front, and although Xbox head Phil Spencer has said that we’ll hear about more Xbox games at E3 2017, that doesn’t inspire confidence that the company based in Redmond deliberately chose not to show. out of a new game. This is especially concerning after the PR nightmare that was the cancellation of Scalebound.
Xbox Scorpio won’t need a 4K TV
Xbox Scorpio won’t bring developers back
The most interesting point in a reveal full of specs and technical jargon was Microsoft’s admission that it had lost developers.
“The team looked at developers and the relationship we have with developers,” Mike Ybarra, corporate vice president of Xbox and Windows, told Digital Foundry. “With the Xbox 360, we had the best platform for developers, (with the Xbox One), we kind of lost it in two years, so we asked how do we regain the mind share of those developers ?”
Ybarra’s logic is simple. Get developers to make great games and that brings back consumers too. But raw power, while nice, isn’t exactly the end game for many developers – just ask Blizzard that. You don’t need much to run Overwatch or Diablo 3; even a MacBook Air will do the trick when the gameplay works.
The Xbox Scorpio is up against a platform that is now expected to have 60 million people. In fact, it’s even up against the Nintendo Switch in terms of priority for those with substantial resources like Square Enix who prioritize the Switch over the Scorpio.
All of this means that if you were hoping for all-new experiences on Xbox Scorpio, you might want to keep your expectations in check.
The Nintendo Switch will be more targeted than the Xbox Scorpio for Square Enix
Xbox Scorpio price will be expensive
Ybarra said earlier that the Xbox Scorpio was aimed at “that premium customer, the gamer who expects the absolute best versions of games.”
This is an additional problem, because this “premium” experience will not come cheap. With the Xbox Scorpio rumored to cost $499 (around Rs. 32,200), it would be more expensive than the PS4 Pro – Sony’s optimized PS4 variant. While the PS4 Pro costs $399 (Rs. 38,990 in India), it was launched a few months ago in November, and all Sony has to do is drop the price to widen the gap.
Xbox Scorpio Price, Release Date, Games and Specs – Everything We Know
PC gaming exists
Although Microsoft is positioning the Xbox Scorpio as an extremely powerful console, if you absolutely must have the best gaming experience possible without compromise, will the Xbox Scorpio be on your wish list when PC gaming takes the crown? Even mid-tier hardware tends to perform better than the PS4 Pro in games such as Mass Effect: Andromeda, The Witcher 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Grand Theft Auto V to name a few .
Even Japan’s notoriously disinterested PC publishers – like Konami – did well with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Methods used by Xbox Scorpio and some PS4 Pro games like Shadow of Mordor, such as supersampling, are simply normal in a multitude of PC titles.
Plus, with Steam and GOG improving their services and curation as well as regular discounts on games, there’s no reason for existing PC gamers to switch either.
Xbox Scorpio will be priced higher than PS4 Pro: report
Your friends are not on Xbox One
The PS4 significantly outperforms the Xbox One in all regions. Both consoles have been around since 2013. The social aspect of owning a console is hard to ignore. After all, it gives you a large pool of people to trade games with, while also making multiplayer games better if the people you play with are your friends.
All of this makes you more likely to buy a console that your friends own. And there’s a good chance they’ll be on PS4, due to the console’s popularity. This makes it even harder to review the Xbox Scorpio, even though it’s a good console in its own right.
As it stands, Microsoft may have built the most powerful console ever, but that hasn’t yet provided enough of a reason for anyone to consider it at this point. If so, we could see big price drops on the Xbox One S, which might be worth checking out instead.
What do you think of the Xbox Scorpio reveal? Let us know via the comments.
We discussed Xbox Scorpio in this week’s episode of Transition. You can subscribe to Transition via iTunes or RSS or simply listen to this episode by hitting the play button below.