Just a few days ago we saw Microsoft unveil their super-secretive console. It’s a console that Microsoft has finally eliminated the mystique that was associated with its name. The console, according to Microsoft, aims to be a power house. It aims to be a console that will redefine how we see home console gaming in this current age of gaming. It’s a console that Microsoft seems mindset will change how we see their console life-cycles, and most importantly: it’s their end game.
For years, it was difficult to not encounter someone who backed Microsoft with the Xbox 360. It was a console to be reckoned with due to Sony’s shortcomings with the PlayStation 3. Sony was being devastated not because of a lackluster library, but instead by a console that struggled to maintain a steady pace with the Xbox 360. It was a console that even developers struggled developing with due to its outdated architecture in a comparison to Microsoft’s developer friendly Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 is also a console that, to this day, still has a massive library in comparison thanks to its first party franchises, party chat support, and easily accessible navigation menus.
However, in that note, Sony has made a massive comeback with their PlayStation 4. It is a console that has almost steadily remained selling 2:1 against Microsoft’s Xbox One. the problem with this ratio is the simple fact that Microsoft was in that spot this time around last generation. They were making leaps and bounds against Sony in sales. However, those numbers have changed in recent years as the PlayStation 3 has finally begun to outsell the 360 on the global scale. According to VGChartz, the PlayStation 3 has officially broke the 86.6 million units sold globally while the Xbox 360 sits still at 85.7. This number shows that both consoles sold a lot, they both had a lot of owners, but the Xbox 360 still won in Europe and North America where it sold the strongest.
Xbox Scorpio Tech Specs Announced
the biggest thing about these new consoles is the fact they are meant to be powerful. Nintendo Switch isn’t the heavy hitter that the twin titans are bringing in. Instead Microsoft has opted to go with a customized eight x86 cores that clock in at 2.3GHz. While that sounds certainly sounds slow, Microsoft has made a way for 4K gaming to run at 60FPS by removing some of the tension between the 40 customised compute units of the GPU at 1172MHz.
Other words, this baby is fast, extremely. The Scorpio isn’t going to be shy of showing that with 12GB of GDDR5 ram, which is about standard in high-end PC’s running 4K games. What also makes this sucker even nicer? 325GB/s memory bandwidth allowing for the bottle-necking between the GPU and the CPU to be almost non-existent for those worried about how the Scorpio will handle the choke points, if there are any. The biggest win for this bad girl? That 4K UHD Blu-Ray, which is something Sony opted out of with their PlayStation 4 Pro and opted for with streaming services only (really guys?).
If you want to compare how Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro will hold up against the Project Scorpio, just take a look above to see the tech differences. Just keep in mind, the Scorpio is aimed to run games at a native 4K resolutions with consistent 60 frames per second.
Lets Start Where the Downfall Began for Xbox One
There certainly is an issue with the Xbox One. As a proud owner of the Xbox One Halo 5 Edition, I’m not shy to admit that the console has short comings, and because of those shortcomings I’ve resorted to playing my PlayStation 4 Pro more-so than it. That’s not to say that the Xbox One isn’t a good console. In fact, it’s a great console, and it’s one that Don Mattrick (who was fired from Microsoft) damaged with the unveiling and how he handled its approach. Under Phil Spencer, Xbox has come a long ways with his teams. They’ve worked diligently in bringing the Xbox One back from having both feet in the grave.
When Don Mattrick first revealed Xbox One, there were promises to bring worlds that we’d never imagine existing, to life. That we would see a game that would meld everything we know about gaming and evolve that. Instead, what we saw was a major step backwards with the promises of DRM (digital rights management) that would lock games to a console, kill trade sales, and bring an unfortunate end to those looking to game that live without WiFi. His answer to these issues was Xbox 360, a world that left them int he dark, and unable to continue enjoyment of their franchises.
Because of this a shadow had been cast upon Microsoft’s future. Due to it, more people tuned in to the PlayStation 4, which has since sold millions of units in comparison to Microsoft. While Microsoft recanted many of their initial promises upon launch, the console still struggles with lackluster sales, and a limited exclusive library.
Scorpio Will Have to Deliver Some Outstanding Exclusives and be Affordable
The one thing that is certain is that Project Scorpio is coming in at a bad time for Microsoft. With only a few major exclusives out there and even a few cancelled, Microsoft will struggle to drag in the die-hard fans that are looking for the biggest hitters yet, and those new IPs that Microsoft mentioned having in the Xbox One unveil. Right now, the biggest problem they have is two things: The cost of the console and exclusive games.
To overcome this front, Microsoft will have to deliver it big at E3 2017. They can’t afford more broken promises such as the cancelled titles Scalebound and Fable Heroes, which never saw the light of day. Even with newly released installments for Halo, Gears of War, and Dead Rising; Microsoft has struggled with providing unique experiences and titles that are as provocatively fun as titles such as Horizon: Zero Dawn, which left a huge impression. Microsoft’s biggest uphill fight next to launching a non-exhausted exclusive library will be a competitive pricing on their console.
With the Nintendo Switch costing $300 USD and the PlayStation 4 Pro costing $400, Microsoft has their work cut out for them to stay on the competitive edge. If their console exceeds a competitive marketing with the PlayStation 4 Pro, they could find themselves in trouble, and for their situation; it’s damning if they falter now. They will need to ride on having games out this holiday season along with Scorpio’s launch, but they will need to also offer a competitive trade-in system for fans who want Scorpio. This means allowing the Xbox One to be traded towards the upgrade with a significant value. If they don’t, it could cause more people to lean into Sony’s favor and enjoy the PlayStation 4 Pro even more-so then than they already are now.
It’s just this simple: Microsoft is running out of time. They don’t have the software to back their console. They don’t have near what Sony has at this point. If they plan on coming back, they need to make a major leap in affordability as well as exclusivity. If they don’t, Scorpio is dead in the water before that boat even sets sail.
Lets just hope Microsoft realizes the ball is in their court and they are down to the final moments of the metaphorical shot clock.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.