Later this year, Microsoft will launch their newest addition to the Xbox family: the still-unnamed “Project Scorpio” or “Xbox Scorpio.” It is being advertised as the most powerful console ever, a title that the PS4 Pro is currently holding. Based on Digital Foundry’s reveal of the console’s final specs, it appears Xbox Scorpio is set to steal that title in a big way.
Of course, hardware power alone won’t be enough for Xbox Scorpio to leapfrog over the competition and sit at the top of the console food chain. There are other factors that will determine its success. Including technical performance, here are three things that Microsoft needs to pass with flying colors to guarantee Xbox’s return to glory.
We won’t get into all the numbers and technical info that Digital Foundry reported. You probably don’t need another 2000-word article explaining what makes Xbox Scorpio run. The bottom line is: Xbox Scorpio is a beast. It’s not as powerful as a super expensive high-end gaming PC, but it’s definitely more powerful than PS4 Pro.
Microsoft has yet to show us any real game demos that showcases Xbox Scorpio’s vaunted hardware specs. But they did show Digital Foundry that it’s capable of running Forza Motorsport at native 4K and 60 fps using only 60-70 percent of its GPU. Windows Central also shared a number of images highlighting the output difference between Xbox One and Xbox Scorpio.
Based on those samples, it looks like Microsoft is right on track. But they need to make sure that Xbox Scorpio will be able to hold up and consistently run games at max or near-max settings. The PS4 Pro has been having trouble doing this in some games, with gamers noticing drops in framerates and an overall slower performance.
Needless to say, the graphical difference between Xbox Scorpio and PS4 Pro is key to the former’s claim to being the most powerful console ever. Basically, Xbox Scorpio needs to blow its rival out of the water and make PS4 Pro owners seriously consider switching consoles. Or at least PS4 Pro owners who value graphics more than anything else. The graphical difference should be more than noticeable.
Again, from what we’ve seen so far, Xbox Scorpio looks very promising. Hopefully, Microsoft can give us an excellent look at the console’s real graphical capabilities at E3 2017, where they’re set to hold the official reveal.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past four months, you’re probably aware that Sony is currently on beast mode with must-play exclusives Horizon Zero Dawn, Nioh, and of course, Persona 5, an early frontrunner for Game of the Year.
And there’s Nier: Automata as well, which isn’t available to Xbox One owners. Sony also has The Last of Us Part II, God of War, and a new Spider-Man game in the pipeline.
On Nintendo Switch, there’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild currently making gamers swoon, and then we have new Mario and Fire Emblem games on the horizon. There’s also the rumored “Pokemon Stars,” the supposedly third version of the Nintendo 3DS games Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon. We all know how much of a draw Pokemon games are. Oh yeah, there’s Xenoblade Chronicles 2, too.
Microsoft needs to produce an excellent lineup of exclusive games to complement Xbox Scorpio’s hardware dominance over the PS4 and Switch. The lack of truly excellent exclusives is one of the reasons why the Xbox One has struggled competing with the PS4. This is a critical area for Microsoft.
They can’t simply bank on Xbox Scorpio’s better graphics to keep the competition at bay. Halo, Forza, and Gears of War games won’t be enough to convince would-be buyers to not look the other way. Perhaps the only noteworthy exclusives coming to Xbox One (and by extension, Xbox Scorpio) this year are Crackdown 3 and Sea of Thieves. Microsoft should really address this discrepancy in exclusives, especially in 2018. Otherwise, Xbox Scorpio might suffer the same fate as the Xbox One.
Microsoft has yet to reveal the launch price of Xbox Scorpio. Digital Foundry estimates the console to be priced at $499, based on what they’ve seen and heard about it. Pricey isn’t it? But what else did you expect after seeing the console’s specs? Microsoft has said that Xbox Scorpio is a “premium” product, so naturally, it should come with an equally premium price.
But $499 for a gaming system? Microsoft should consider lowering it to a price only slightly higher than the PS4 Pro, its chief rival this coming holiday season. Both Sony and Nintendo can easily offer discounts to their respective consoles in an attempt to cut into Microsoft’s grand plans. So they can’t afford to slap Xbox Scorpio with anything higher than $500.
Remember the launch price of the PS3 and the Kinect-included launch package of the Xbox One? Those two sold for $599 and $499, respectively. Though both also came in “cheaper” packages priced at $499 (PS3 with 20GB HDD) and $399 (Xbox One without Kinect). Long story short, many didn’t like those hefty numbers, causing both Sony and Microsoft to further lower the price.
Microsoft needs to get the Xbox Scorpio price right. If they can’t lower it to near the price of the PS4 Pro, they should at least keep it at $500 and not a penny more. Unless, of course, they can blow us away with drool-worthy exclusives that can make us forget about the price tag.
Hopefully, Microsoft gets it right in all three aforementioned points. Because the current generation of consoles has been lopsided long enough. Nintendo already did their part, with the Switch racing off to become the company’s fastest-selling home console ever.
Yes, we’re grouping the Switch with the eighth generation consoles instead of the Nintendo Wii U. Technically, it’s a ninth generation console, but things are blurry now with the PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio being mid-generation upgrades.
It’s now Microsoft’s turn. For their sake, let’s hope they deliver with the Xbox Scorpio. E3 2017 can’t come soon enough.
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