Microsoft has spent millions on Project Scorpio’s media campaign but the most fundamental question still remains unanswered: How much will Xbox Project Scorpio cost?
After several similar requests Microsoft has finally, kind of, answered the question by saying that Project Scorpio is a “Premium Product”.
What does that mean?
It means, as Microsoft clarified earlier, that Project Scorpio will be geared towards the very high-end gamers. Everybody knows what high-end gaming means as far as costs are concerned.
But if you read the comment from Microsoft again you will notice that Microsoft representatives actually said, “very high-end product.”
That should be a dead giveaway that no matter how much money Microsoft demands, it’s still going to be away too much for most gamers who are anticipating Microsoft’s VR ready Project Scorpio.
To be clear, Microsoft has not talked about Xbox Scorpio’s price specifics. As of now, the company has kept a tight lid over potential leakages but if history is anything to go by, Microsoft won’t be able to keep quiet on the matter for long.
In a recent interview, Aaron Greenberg who is the Xbox marketing boss at Microsoft described Microsoft’s Project Scorpio as a “premium product”.
He also told the reporter that Microsoft considered Project Scorpio the most powerful and dynamic of all its other console system. Which can’t be considered to be good news for gamers who bought Xbox One just two years ago.
As mentioned before, the mere fact that Aaron referred to Project Scorpio as a premium product suggests that Microsoft’s latest gaming console would not come cheap.
To be fair to Microsoft; the company is probably justified in calling Project Scorpio “a very high-end product” since it is expected to be, as Aaron put it succinctly in an earlier interview, “the most powerful console ever made.”
In an interview with DualShockers, Greenberg told reporters that when Microsoft thought about coming up with Project Scorpio, the company thought about it being a premium product.
He continued and said that because Microsoft considered Project Scorpio a premium product, gamers should expect the product to cost more than the average console system.
Greenberg further added that phenomenon of spending thousands of dollars of gaming systems should not come as something alien to most PC gamers.
Of course, Greenberg was referring to PC gamers who pay the big bucks to play the latest games on a 4K solution.
It is indeed true that if gamers want to experience the best games available in the market at 4K resolution, then they’ll usually have to shell out upwards of $1500 for a suitable PC gaming rig.
While on the subject of 4K resolution and gaming, Greenberg said that he felt confident and excited about having the opportunity to figure out how to deliver 4K gaming to a larger portion of the gaming community.
Greenberg also spoke about how Microsoft is trying to scale up 4K gaming so that a major portion of the console gaming consumer base is able to enhance their gaming experience without breaking the bank.
These statements along with what Greenberg told reporters in earlier interviews strongly indicate that gamers might be able to pick up Project Scorpio for less than $1000.
Aaron also told reporters that Microsoft would not talk about Project Scorpio’s price at the current moment in time. But the marketing boss did reveal that Microsoft is saving price details related to Project Scorpio for a later date.
The Xbox one, launched in 2013, initially cost $500 which was a $100 more than Sony PlayStation 4’s price at launch.
After enduring disappointing console sale number, and an increase in Sony’s, Microsoft decided to drop Xbox One’s price down to $400. The $400 Xbox One did not include previously bundled Kinect though.
Greenberg also added that Microsoft wanted to let gamers around the world know and understand that Project Scorpio would be a completed new console and it would have a whole new set of unique capabilities.
One of those new, and unique as far as other Microsoft consoles are concerned, capabilities is the virtual reality support.
Current, the only Microsoft console that is expected to be powerful enough to support VR is Project Scorpio.
With that said, Greenberg also stated that the new console system, Project Scorpio, would provide support for older games and controllers that players might have already bought along with consoles such as Xbox One and Xbox One S.
The backward compatibility concept, which has existed in the PC gaming community since the beginning, is definitely one of the attractions of Project Scorpio even though it’s nothing new.
The console gaming industry has never experienced seamless compatibility of newer console systems with older console system games and controllers.
Project Scorpio is expected to be the first console that will allow easy backward compatibility with most older games and controllers from the previous generation of consoles such as Xbox One and Xbox One S.
Console gamers who have been on the scene for quite some time would do well to remember that in the past generation of consoles, such as when the console industry moves from Xbox 360 to Xbox One, games and controllers that were made for the older system were not supported by the new one.
And even though Xbox One backward compatibility program has addressed the issue to a large degree, the backward compatibility feature is still nowhere near as smooth as it is in the PC gaming industry.
Needless to say, that since Microsoft and Sony are each other ferocious rivals, Sony’s Playstation Neo will also support backwards compatibility feature.
Aaron Greenberg also talked about how he and other Microsoft executives have had several meetings where they discussed the company’s plan on how it would slowly release specifications regarding Project Scorpio.
Greenberg seemed to tow the company line when he told reporters that the traditional idea of console generations might be over.
Microsoft had made similar announcements at E3 and since then it has consistently tried to drive home the point that now console gamers would have to buy new consoles similarly like they buy smartphones. That is: a new one every other year.
When DualShockers reporters put forward the same “end of console generation” question to Greenberg said that the future of gaming is without console generations.
Aaron also told DualShockers, “If you put the gamer at the center of everything we do, the content that they own should be able to come with them from device to device.”
But then he further continued and said, “That’s why we’re bringing our games to Xbox Play Anywhere and across PC, which will also be able to come with them from console to console. That’s really part of that vision and we’re really excited to be able to innovate and to do that over the next year.”
As mentioned before, Project Scorpio might be the last of Microsoft’s console generation. It has been widely speculated that after Project Scorpio Microsoft would release newer systems with incremental upgrades rather than a completely new console system after every seven or eight years.
Microsoft has made several statements about how the company is planning to move forward from the traditional console generation era to an era where there would be no seven-year console cycle.
Reports have even suggested that Microsoft has already planned its next product which would come after the launch of Project Scorpio.
Towards the end of the interview with DualShocker, Greenberg said that he felt confident about Microsoft chances of delivering true 4K gaming experiences.
He said that Microsoft had worked hard on its latest Project Scorpio and in essence, Project Scorpio will mark the end of console generation era.
Aaron then continued on and explained that Project Scorpio would have six teraflops of GPU performance and that will give Project Scorpio the “massive amount of power” to support VR capabilities and 4K gaming.
Of course, Microsoft has not shown any games running on Project Scorpio as of this moment. Project Scorpio is slated for a launch in holiday 2017.
Sony, on the other hand, is expected to announce its PlayStation Neo sometime next month at an event in New York City.
There is a distinct possibility that Sony will trump Microsoft in terms of price again and Microsoft will have to bring down its Project Scorpio’s price as was the case with Xbox One.
And then there is the fact that regardless of PlayStation neo’s price, console gamers generally are not inclined towards paying large sums of money for their gaming machines.
Unlike the PC market, console gamers usually go for cheap console systems and then rely on a system or trade and second-hand games in order to further economize their gaming adventure.
Whatever happens, one thing is for sure: console gaming as we know it will come to an end and Microsoft will be at the forefront of that revolution as well.