Xbox Project Scorpio is an expensive gamble for Microsoft that could prove a lucrative success or an expensive mistake. Here are 4 things Microsoft must get right.
Xbox Project Scorpio is not aimed at regular gamers. It is a powerhouse machine designed to overpower the PS4 Pro and is being created for hardcore console gamers wanting more from their systems.
The problem is, there are few gamers who are in pursuit of the best graphics and framerates who are console-only gamers; many have a high-end gaming PC to deliver the best that gaming can offer, with consoles for their exclusives. These gamers cannot be the target market if Microsoft wants to earn their money back.
Project Scorpio will need to be priced to make it appealing to more general hardcore gamers who may be willing to spend an extra few hundred dollars for slightly improved graphics. $300 would certainly provide a more favorable deal to the PS4 Pro but that will all be for nothing if it means Scorpio makes a loss.
In our opinion, the absolute maximum price that would be acceptable to general hardcore gamers would be around the £500 point. Whether this is feasible is another matter.
We have already mused about the potential VR capabilities of Project Scorpio, another high-end niche in the gaming industry, but delivering a VR experience akin to the PC offering would certainly increase the interest in Scorpio.
PC gamers currently have to face the very real possibility of spending a few hundred dollars on PC upgrades plus £500 for a VR headset – if Scorpio came with a VR headset, offering a similarly high-quality experience that eclipses the PS4 Pro offer, for a reasonable price, it could be enough to encourage PC gamers to make the purchase.
Project Scorpio needs a decent set of games to launch alongside it. Microsoft has a number of exclusive titles that could set sales records if sold alongside the new system; a new Halo, Crackdown 3, a new Gears of War title and a Forza game to enjoy in VR would be more than a decent start.
It will upset Xbox One owners, but there could be a set of games 100% exclusive to the more powerful Project Scorpio. Slightly less graphically demanding versions could follow sometime down the line for the Xbox One but the impetus should be put on making Project Scorpio a must buy.
Exclusive games are ultimately what sells a console; Microsoft needs to invest heavily in having a set of quality titles unique to the system.
Throw in the best looking version of Red Dead Redemption 2 on a console alongside these exclusives and we’d be talking real money.
Non-Exclusive Games That Look Substantially Better
There will always be a synergy between Project Scorpio and the Xbox One; Project Scorpio is an upgrade but not a new console generation as such. Therefore, it is expected that the two will continue to share games as the PS4 Pro and base PS4 do – the above suggestion of exclusive games for Project Scorpio is unlikely. This creates a problem.
The problem identified by the PS4 Pro is that many gamers simply shrugged when it was released; the games do look better, but for the extra money they would rather buy a few games. The improvement was not significant enough.
Project Scorpio needs to offer an experience that is substantially better than that offered by the Xbox One, PS4 and PS4 Pro.
PC gamers have the option to run their games in low, medium, high and ultra setting. Low is, well…it is what it is. Medium is decent. High is pretty great. Ultra is just incredible. If the Xbox One is the Medium setting and the PS4 Pro is the High setting then Project Scorpio needs to be the flawless Ultra setting. The jump from the Xbox One to Project Scorpio has to be so substantial that it almost becomes compulsory for any true gamer.
What does Xbox Project Scorpio need to get right for you to consider buying it?