Xbox Project Scorpio Expectations? I Have a Few

Posted on June 11, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Xbox One with 35 Comments

Xbox Project Scorpio Expectations? I Have a Few

Does the Project Scorpio dev kit hint at the design of the actual console?

As an unabashed fan of Xbox One, I’m looking forward to tonight’s “Project Scorpio” reveal. And like any Xbox fan, I have some expectations.

The most important, perhaps, is that Microsoft fully reveal this new console tonight and not leave any unanswered questions. The only thing we should be wondering about—and debating—after today is how well the new console will do in the market.

I expect Microsoft to make its case, decisively, for why “Project Scorpio” will be better than the PlayStation 4 Pro across the board. And that part of being better is that this console actually provides 4K gaming capabilities. Which would be a key differentiator with the PlayStation 4 Pro. Which does not.

I expect Scorpio to be an Xbox One. By which I mean that it will look, operate, and feel like the Xbox One S, which will remain in the market alongside it. Just as a powerful workstation-class PC is still also obviously a PC, so should Scorpio very obviously be an Xbox One.

I expect Scorpio to play all Xbox One and backward compatible Xbox 360 games, and for it to actually improve the experience of both. By which I mean faster load times and in some cases even better graphics. I’d love to see—but do not expect—some current releases updated for Scorpio for improved visuals.

I expect Scorpio to be competitive on pricing. Which in this case means within the confines of its competition (PS4 Pro), compared to the Xbox One S, and given the high-end nature of its components. The PS4 Pro costs $400, by the way.

I expect Scorpio’s final branding not to be lame. One rumor suggests that the name may be Xbox One 10 S. That name is lame. It had freaking better not be Xbox One 10 S.

Mostly, I expect that I’ll be buying at least two of these consoles between now and the end of 2017. Assuming, that is, that Microsoft can keep them in stock. I expect that they may have problems with that.

See you tonight.


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Comments (35)

35 responses to “Xbox Project Scorpio Expectations? I Have a Few”

  1. Darmok N Jalad

    Surface Xbox? :p

    My guess is this will just be called Xbox Pro or Xbox One Pro.

    It would be cool if MS somehow made it where old titles saw performance or quality improvements automatically. With the way Xbox One was designed, it's possible they knew these sort of upgrades would be coming. As it is, they've already used software updates to reallocate more resources to games.

    Lastly, rumor has it PS4 Pro will see a price drop. I wonder if Sony will do so just before this announcement?

    • SvenJ

      In reply to Darmok N Jalad: I expect just before the actual release. You might get some that wouldn't buy a PS4, anticipating this, but it's still months away. Those who wait for it, were probably already waiting

  2. Jules Wombat

    Without any VR/AR or embedded Kinnect Vision capability out of the gate, it will be dead in the water if priced over $450. Xbox Scorpio will need to knock it out of the park on performance and price if it wants to avoid being toast against the already available PS pro. We also need to know the noise level.

    BTW it had better be a better design than that image above, which is hideous bulk to be left in the lounge.

    • PeteB

      In reply to Jules Wombat:

      Price confirmed by early leaks as $499

      It's DOA.

      • Jester

        In reply to PeteB:

        You do realize this is intended for hardcore gamers who want 4k resolution. They still have the One S for everyone else, which you can usually find cheaper than the base PS4.

      • cawoodstock

        In reply to PeteB:

        I think this misses the increasing draw of premium tech at premium prices. And with the One S available, there is one for everyone.

    • Darmok N Jalad

      In reply to Jules Wombat:

      That is a developer console, so they add extra hardware for debugging.

      As for the comment about this being for hardcore gamers, I don't know if I understand. If that means people wanting the best picture quality and frame rates, then that is PC-gaming territory. Scorpio will very likely be using Jaguar-based CPU cores, which is not going to push the limits of anything. If "hardcore" means people who like to game, to me that means playing lots of content. Hopefully the message MS brings with Scorpio in one that encourages developers to bring content to Xbox. If it doesn't, then hardcore gamers won't care about it.

  3. Waethorn

    Another lie!

    "this console actually provides 4K gaming capabilities. Which would be a key differentiator with the PlayStation 4 Pro. Which does not."

    • EraseYourself

      In reply to Waethorn:

      The developers are using a technique called checkerboarding. So, he isn't lying.

      • Waethorn

        In reply to EraseYourself:

        No, not all of them. The GPU is fully capable of rendering in proper 4K resolution, albeit at a lower compute rate than the new Xbox, meaning polygon and texture computations may restrict what a dev can do with it at a given resolution to hit a framerate target. Some games are Native 4K.

  4. PeteB

    "And that part of being better is that this console actually provides 4K gaming capabilities. Which would be a key differentiator with the PlayStation 4 Pro. Which does not."

    PS4 Pro doesn't provide 4K gaming capabilities? I guess I must've hallucinated playing Horizon Zero Dawn in glorious 4K HDR then.

    Talk about FUD, Paul.

    • Darmok N Jalad

      In reply to PeteB:

      I've also been playing that game, but on boring ol' 1080. I do have HDR enabled, as I have a 4K set, but I've been waiting for the 4K console dust to settle. If PS4 Pro has a price drop, I'll probably get one.

      PZD is an example of MS's real troubles. Sony has brought about new exclusive content, where MS has relied too heavily on Gears, Halo, and Forza to move units. There's nothing wrong with those titles, but if those aren't your type of games, the incentive to get an Xbox isn't very high vs a PS4.

    • EraseYourself

      In reply to PeteB: it's checkboard hence not true 4K. So, he isn't wrong.

  5. MightyGorath

    I'm hoping for (but not holding my breath for) Oculus/Vive support, maybe through OpenVR

  6. Roger Ramjet

    Scorpio will not be priced at $400, at launch.

    It will be either $499 or $449, which are good prices, for the technology package (I believe it wasn't too long ago that higher pricing above $500 was being debated.

    The real baseline test is whether Microsoft can/will bring forward a much better set of game exclusives that approaches the ballpark of what Sony has, and if they do that, then the higher pricing which they must have to provide the tech, is justified for the mass consumer, and if not, it is not.

    Pretty binary. People buy consoles to play games, so it ought to be obvious that you have to compete hard on that and provide them some sort of comparability with the competition (even if you have to fork out cash to developers and get lower economics, because your sales units fell behind. I mean, who do you have to blame for that?). Unfortunately, the vibe so far does not seem that this is a good bet, but one can always hope.

    The VR, and any other potential surprises are upside (reporting is that there will be no VR at launch, but obviously the VR will come in the not to distant future, so I wouldn't sweat that too much)

  7. mebby

    Xbox One XD

  8. Roger Ramjet

    Not a gamer but I very much doubt $400. How will they pay for all the upgraded components and tech vs. PS4Pro, which has already been in the market for sometime and should be enjoying scale & experience economies now? It is most likely $499 as a launch price, $449 is aggressive. At $400, my guess is it will be like launched, and out of stock.

    FWIW, the two very big holes it seems based on reporting will be game exclusives and VR/MR/AR compatibility. They'd better have some management strategy for those, and information on how that will unfold over a not too distant timeframe.

    • Darmok N Jalad

      In reply to Roger Ramjet:

      Sony will likely drop the price of PS4 Pro, which would only further disparage Scorpio if it launches for $500. I think MS can afford to sell it for $400, if they don't mind tight margins. After all, they are selling One S for $250, and that's with a 4K drive. Scorpio is needed to overcome real performance deficiencies and to hopefully bring developers onboard. Making Scorpio exclusive-feeling won't help restore their marketshare deficit.

  9. madthinus

    Xobx One 4K?

  10. Ryster

    So so looking forward to the reveal. As I just mentioned to Brad on twitter, I sold my Xbox One S last week, intentionally so I could get the most for it ahead of tonight's (10pm UK time) reveal. I can live without an Xbox at all until the new one arrives under the tree at Christmas, and make use of the Plex and Netflix apps in my 4K HDR Samsung TV until then, alongside games on my PC.

  11. rameshthanikodi

    dammit Paul, you've done it now, Microsoft is hard at work on settling on naming it the Xbox One 10 S.

  12. WayneRobinson

    Just call it Xbox Scorpio, dammit!

    The announcement is at 7AM Monday morning here in Australia. Luckily it's a public holiday so I can watch it over a leisurely breakfast, instead of the usual panic-stricken, workday one.

    • mebby

      In reply to WayneRobinson: I am sure there would be people who will confuse Xbox One S with Xbox One Scorpio or Xbox Scorpio. "...No. 'S' is not short for 'Scorpio'; they are different products."

  13. Brandonlpierce

    Needs to look like the original Xbox One so I can buy it and my wife will be none the wiser.

  14. MacLiam

    XboXcorpioX 10S NE1 would observe just about every standard of the Microsoft Lamenaming Protocol while providing the value added of an established earworm rhythm.

    NE stands for "Next Effort." in case that is opaque.

  15. nightmare99

    I can see me having to buy one of these for the Mrs, shame we made the call to get a 1080p TV as 4K panels weren't as good a couple of years back.

  16. Narg

    I hope it's called simply "Xbox" Dump the boring branding bit. Label and accept that there should be at least a sub branding to be expected. Like "2017 version" Make SURE that's on the box, best on the label on the bottom, and in the "about" section of the settings, etc.

  17. glenn8878

    Regrets, I have a few. I did it my way.

    • Wish it had VR, maybe later?
    • Wish it can be upgraded to Windows 10. Living Room PC edition.
    • Wish it will have Kinect. Are they phasing it out? Just Dance fans in my household.
    • Wish it had DVR options.
  18. mike2k

    I expect we will here a lot of "plans to include xxxxx" soon after release. And then never see those releases.

  19. Darmok N Jalad

    Care to make a price prediction, on at least what you would consider acceptable? I think $400 is still a good target, though I have doubts. MS has to really make a strong case for it to cost any more than that, like some compelling first party titles that will showcase this new power, or perhaps graphical/performance improvements on old games with no patching required. That's the downside to backward compatibility, people have to want games to look better when they already look pretty good on what they have.

  20. Michael Rivers

    Buying any console at launch is risky. My original launch Xbox One went through three power supplies and as many Kinects, and the Xbox One is considered a reliable console. Some of the Switch controllers we're duds too at the recent launch. It's better to wait at least a few batches in.