Microsoft unveiled their latest two revisions of the Xbox One, (or what I lovingly call the Xboner…I know, old joke, just can’t stop typing it.) the Xbox One S, and Project Scorpio. The Xboner S will feature slightly better processing power and a smaller footprint than the original Xbox One, with the ability to play videos or Ultra HD Blu-Ray in 4K, but it’s not playing games at that new level of visual sweetness. (I’ve never actually seen a 4K monitor or TV…does it look that much better?) Yesterday (June 15, 2016), Mr. Phil Spencer, head of the Xbox division at Microsoft, said that the Scorpio will do nothing for gamers who don’t have a 4K TV, suggesting that the games will essentially look the same, just with an upscale to the higher resolution. He even went so far as to say that if you don’t have a 4K TV, than you should settle on getting an Xbox One S. (Seriously just about typed Xboner there again.)
Today (June 16 2016), he “clarified” his comments, stating that the Scorpio will absolutely have a visual impact on Xbox One games versus the older model console for players on 1080p TVs. In addition to that, the new hotness will be four and a half times more powerful than the original Xbox One. But don’t worry, any games that come out on the Scorpio will be playable on the ol’ Xboner.
Yeah, I don’t buy that.
My guess is that this is one hundred percent a soft generation leap for the console market. Sure, all games on the Scorpio when it is released will also be playable on the Xbox One for NOW, but give it a year or two, and we’ll start seeing Scorpio exclusives. Once households across the world and mass media have started embracing 4K TVs, the Scorpio (and likely the PS4 Neo) will already have an install base with a good number of early adopters, making the launch of the next generation of consoles that much smoother. Then in another year, Scorpio exclusive games will outnumber Xbox One games, and another year after that, no more Xbox One.
Hell, it may even take TWO new consoles to fully move away from the Xbox One. That’s how the cell phone market does it. You still saw people running around using their iPhone 4s when the iPhone 6 was released. Apps still worked between the two pieces of hardware, but more and more, those apps aren’t supported on the older phones.
This may all be old news to the people who have been really following this closely. I just figured I’d write out my thoughts on here. And after writing out most of it, I found that even the head of Xbox Operations, Dave McCarthy, says this will wipe out generational upgrades for console gamers. Everyone is saying consoles are getting closer and closer to PCs have it wrong. Consoles are becoming smart phones.