Why Microsoft’s ‘Scorpio’ Should Be A Brand New Console, Not An Upgraded Xbox One – Forbes

Credit: Microsoft

Credit: Microsoft

The Nintendo Switch isn’t the only new console coming out in 2017. Microsoft’s powerful ‘Project Scorpio’ is slated for a late 2017 release as well.

The console is expected to be an upgrade to the Xbox One, similar to how the PS4 Pro upgraded Sony’s video game system. However, according to the details Microsoft has released so far, Scorpio will be leaps and bounds more powerful than the vanilla Xbox One, with more horsepower than the PS4 Pro.

Now at least one developer has said that the Scorpio is a ‘full-blown next-gen’ console. Rather than upgrade the Xbox One, I think it’s time Microsoft simply rolled out a brand new console with a brand new name and a fresh lease on life.

I go into detail about this idea in the following video, or you can read my comments below.

Xbox One has always lived in the shadow of its number one competitor, the PlayStation 4. Sony’s system has better looking games, more exclusives and has sold through millions more units. In fact, Microsoft no longer reports the number of Xbox One units sold, whereas we regularly hear of the PS4’s latest sales milestone.

Meanwhile, since its inception the Xbox One has been plagued by controversy. At first, the system was going to have to be online 24/7 and would block the sale of used games. Gamer backlash forced Microsoft to change many of these early policies, but the stink has remained.

Finally, the Xbox One already has two iterations: Vanilla and the Xbox One S, which plays 4K video and upscales games. Adding a third Xbox One sku will be confusing for consumers. Besides, the launch of a brand new console is a big, hype-inducing affair. Couple that launch with some brand new exclusives that really show off the beastly hardware, and Microsoft could suddenly find itself back on top—or at least on the road to recovery.

Compare that to the lackluster launch of the PS4 Pro, a system that doesn’t actually change the basics of the PlayStation 4 experience much and simply adds another more expensive sku to the PS4 lineup. That might work for the market leader, but Microsoft has been playing second fiddle for years. They need the Scorpio to come onto the scene with fanfare, trumpets blaring, and a sweet looking Halo 6.

The logistics of this wouldn’t be that difficult. Make Xbox One games backwards compatible on the Scorpio, but not the other way around. Market the Scorpio as a brand new system and leave all this ‘end of console generations’ nonsense in the dust. There’s no great reason for a company like Microsoft to hew to this theory. It isn’t like phone manufacturers are leaving phone generations behind. Console refreshes are far less exciting and marketable than a brand new launch. And if the Scorpio is as powerful as Microsoft says it is, it deserves its own spot on the shelf rather than being tethered to the Xbox One’s lackluster legacy.

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