E3 Microsoft Announces Two New Consoles

Jason Golling

Microsoft has made a puzzling decision this E3 conference, that decision is to announce two different consoles the Xbox One S and Project Scorpio. The first renders the first Xbox One obsolete, and the second renders the other two obsolete. Another reason that this is so puzzling is that in the past the consoles have run at an eight year cycle, however we are only on year four of this cycle.

The Xbox One S takes the same Xbox One console’s power and makes it 40% smaller, and on top of that they put the power brick inside the console so you no longer need to worry about hiding that somewhere. On top of that they will be changing the HDMI slot to allow 4k video (sorry not gaming) and to support HDR (brighter whites and darker blacks for video). That is set to come out in August of 2016 and will cost $299. While the Project Scorpio does come out the following year in 2017 we do not yet know the price or the month of release. Project Scorpio is going to be a beast of a machine, it will be able to do 4k 60fps gaming and on top of that it will be able to do VR. That being said Project Scorpio is massively powerful even when compared to high end PCs.

There are a couple of reasons why they could be doing this and I wanted to start with the worst reason first and move to the better and more hopeful. So the worst way (in my opinion) that this could be handled is if they were to adopt the same development that Apple does with their phones, this means that they would release a new console every year and each time it would turn your current console obsolete and all but worthless. If they were to be doing this they would be charging anyone $300 for a new console every year on top of their $60 a year for Xbox live. So basically they would be milking everyone for as much money as they could get. The reason I don’t think that they would do this is that they are just barely starting to catch up to Sony from the original Xbox One’s release as their sales were far inferior. This would just have more people make the switch to the PlayStation.

Another and more likely scenario is that they are going to fix many of the problems that the Xbox One has had, namely bad graphics, long load screens, and that the console is as large as a VCR, which on modern standards is way to big. So if this were the case it would make sense that Microsoft would release these new consoles in the coming years, however by the sound of it Project Scorpio should cost at least $800 when it does come out so for that reason it does not seem as likely that they are just trying to fix a few issues, however this still seems more likely to happen than the first reason I stated.

Finally the reason that I like the most and think is the most likely. Microsoft could want the Xbox One to be the last console generation ever. This would make sense for a variety of reasons, firstly they keep telling us that the Xbox One is basically a Windows 10 PC, this would mean that, like a PC backwards and forwards compatibility are a prerequisite. So the Xbox One S would be their new entry level/ casual Xbox hardware, while Project Scorpio would be the high end/ Hardcore gamer system. In order to make the games work on both consoles they would have to do the same thing that the PC does and allow the Project Scorpio to play on super beefed up graphics and then the Xbox One and One S would just play the games with worse graphics, but get the same game. If Microsoft were to do this they would change the Xbox One from a console generation into the Xbox platform as a whole. On top of that this would allow people who love great graphics, but don’t feel they know enough about computers to have a high end gaming PC to make it work, to get a system to play on that everything has already been optimized on.

Some look at this and see it as a money grab, I see it as an opportunity for the Xbox to finally rival the PC in graphics and diversity. In the end I think it is likely that they will continue to release a new Xbox every year or two but keep them all in the Xbox One Family.


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