For those of you who weren’t still reeling from yesterday’s political news, you may have heard the announcement from Microsoft last night, as the team finally talked about the hush-hush Xbox Scorpio.
Those who have been Xbox fans over the years, may have been left scratching their heads a bit, as Microsoft seems to have pulled a hard 180 on their previous console marketing. For some time, the company has been touting Xbox as less of a gaming console, and more of a powerful computer that could be placed under one’s television. In fact, when the Xbox One was released, it was debuted as an entertainment machine which just happened to have the capability to play games. It got bundled with the Kinect (which, let’s face it, was less than overwhelming) and had a much larger-than-expected price tag tacked on it. Anyone remember how this went over with gamers? Let me remind you, in case you’ve forgotten. Microsoft basically got slapped down by Sony’s gamer-first marketing, and straightforward appeal to core gamers.
Now, it seems that Microsoft is trying something a bit different with the Scorpio.
The reveal of the Scorpio was done with Digital Foundry, an area where some of the most influential tech giants in the world of gaming perform detailed analysis of hardware capabilities, appealing to folks who pick optimization apart to its smallest details. From what we saw, it’s also clear that the new console is not being designed for casual gamers. It’s relatively large, packs a good bit of power, and it’s clearly aimed at those who are willing to shell out money for up-to-date graphics & games with a lot of flash.
It really seems as though Microsoft was intimidated by Sony’s (clearly) better performance with multi-platform games in this last console iteration. That being the apparent case, it’s a good bet that the Xbox Scorpio team is gearing up to produce a system that will outpace & outperform the PS4 Pro, and probably keep a matching price point. It’s really looking like Microsoft is trying to re-establish themselves with gamers, and bring out the Xbox Scorpio with a clear focus on marketing to gamers.
Those who are interested in the actual specs of the Scorpio may want to take a look at the exclusive look that Eurogamer got at it yesterday. It seems that there was a big push by Microsoft to focus on 4K resolution, more memory and storage space, and faster processing. What this means for game developers remains to be seen, but as XBox executive Mike Ybarra said in a conversation with Digital Foundry’s Rich Leadbetter, The Scorpio is all about “winning the developers back”. The specs on the Scorpio are Microsoft’s attempt to provide game developers with “the right toolset that lets them bring out their games across the whole family of products and let them create the absolute best versions of those games”.
Eurogamer also published a comparison chart between the Scorpio, the Xbox One, and the PS4 Pro. With this information coming to light, it seems that Sony and the teams over at PlayStation might actually have some stiff competition for this console iteration.
Only time will tell whether this move by Microsoft to re-appeal to gamers will pay off. We still have this year’s E3 conference in June to look forward to, and gamers can hope to see more information be revealed then.
What do you think about the Project Scorpio announcement, dear readers? Do you feel like this might be a desperate attempt by Microsoft to regain a gamer customer base, or do you think that the console could actually succeed where the XBox One faltered? Let us know in the comments!