Since the first time Project Scorpio was announced, it seemed like the Xbox platform was becoming more multi-faceted and going from one generation to something that is going to transcend traditional hardware refreshes. Phil Spencer shed a bit more light on this during a recent interview, stating that gaming hardware needs to be multi-generational because many of its games are.
Titles like GTA, Destiny, and Call of Duty were cited as games that succeeded across multiple generations and their goal is to make sure that their goal is to make things easier for developers to figure out the best way to get games out to as many people as possible.
They aim to make moving up to the Scorpio easy for developers and says that the hardware itself should allow games to scale up and compared launching a game on an Xbox platform akin to a PC – where the game would just scale for the different hardware levels. Realistically, a Scorpio version would seem to be like the game would be running on Ultra or 4K settings – while the Xbox One version would be akin to medium to maybe high depending on the game. This allows as many people as possible to enjoy the core game while rewarding players with the higher-end hardware with a richer experience.
Microsoft’s first-party games are already being prepared with the future in mind – as Halo 5 has dynamic resolution scaling, while Gears of War and the Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon sub-series are all being designed to be scaled up to better use the more powerful hardware. This is the first time that Microsoft has undertaken what would normally be a mid-generational hardware change. They did it to a smaller degree with the Xbox 360, eventually releasing one with a more stable chipset and a couple of redesigns. The Xbox One S unlocks a small bit of more horsepower and allows the Xbox One to play 4K Blu-Ray discs – but doesn’t offer up major changes beyond that and being a bit smaller.
Microsoft has been a good mix of forthcoming and vague when it comes to Project Scorpio – and time will tell if its expected holiday launch works out well or fails to catch on. If the price is kept at a reasonable level, then Microsoft could have a huge hit on its hands.