Project Scorpio, the upgraded Xbox that is projected to come out late next year, got another tease from Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb, the director of programming and main face of Microsoft’s console during an interview he gave at PAX Australia 2016.
In the interview Hryb gave to Gamespot, he said that the Scorpio is all about offering options to the gaming community. “Once we reveal more information about Project Scorpio in the coming months and over the next year, I think it’s about choice,” he said.
“There are certainly people that have the time and the resources to build their own PC, and they want to have the latest graphics card when it comes out. And that’s fine! That’s a great audience, we love those folks! But there are also folks who only have time — maybe like six hours a week — to play games. They’ve got other commitments in their life, they can just pop a game into a console or have it already downloaded and play it immediately. So, I think we’re trying to give people the choice of how and when they want to game.”
This quote seems to be an indication that Microsoft is gearing up to take on PC gaming in terms of quality as well as content. When it was first announced, Project Scorpio was not seen as a direct competitor to the PS4 but rather a more powerful console for the high-end consumer. Offering 4K native resolution, VR capability, and four times the computing power compared to the original Xbox, the Scorpio is set to outshine all console competitors.
The PC market is tougher to take on, but the Scorpio’s promised graphical specs may be up to the task. It also seems that Microsoft may also take on another pillar of PC gaming, Steam. When discussing whether the Scorpio will be a departure from the Xbox, Hryb emphasized that the new console is not the start of a new generation.
“We’re looking at Scorpio as part of the Xbox family. I mean, who defines generations? They used to be defined very clearly by perhaps processor, hardware releases, and the games that were on them. What we’re looking at doing now is something that’s a little more akin to the mobile phone space, where when you upgrade all your content goes with you.”
This would tie in with the development of Xbox Live’s Play Anywhere feature, which supports cross-play between PCs and Microsoft’s console. By expanding its digital storefront in such a way that your games come with you when you upgrade, like Steam does, Redmond is setting itself up to take over a solid chunk of market share, especially since the Scorpio will sell at a reasonable price.
The choice that Hryb mentioned may not be one between consoles, but one where Microsoft takes back PC gaming.
Scorpio will be available holiday 2017.