We’re now several months into the year-long wait for Xbox Two/Project Scorpio. How is Microsoft going to keep us all interested, and more importantly, excited about the new console? Information is a good start, and thankfully we have some after Phil Spencer sat down with NZGamer for an interview.
During this interview he talked about some of the big questions we all have about Xbox 2 (Project Scorpio), and, while he didn’t provide solid answers, he gave us a lot to talk about. So, let’s talk!
Phil Spencer Doesn’t Want You To Worry About Project Scorpio’s (Xbox 2) Price
When we talk about this new console being “the most powerful console ever built” that immediately brings to mind some concerns around pricing. During the interview, it was mentioned that this system has more RAM, a bigger processor, and a massively strong GPU to facilitate true native 4K gaming and high-fidelity VR.
How does all this amped up hardware factor into the cost of the console? To answer this, Phil Spencer pointed to the pricing model of the Xbox One S, saying:
"So you can see the price of the S today. When we designed both of these, which we kind of designed it in parallel, we thought about the price performance of what we wanted to hit with the Scorpio. So that we would have a good price continuum, so people wouldn’t look at these two things as so disconnected because of the price delta."
In other words, Microsoft set the stage with the Xbox One S prices to nudge people in the right direction for the price of the Xbox 2 (Project Scorpio). He said that you will see this new system as a premium product, but nothing more than that. He went so far as to say: “I wouldn’t get people worried that this thing is going to be unlike any console price you’ve ever seen. We didn’t design it that way.”
He also pointed to the tiered pricing options with the Xbox One S in terms of hard drive size. The same model could be used with Scorpio, according to Phil Spencer. So, it’s safe to say that Xbox 2 (Project Scorpio) won’t blow us out of the water with its price, and it will most likely offer several models or bundles to give people pricing choices.
All good news, but one thing that will define the price is inclusion of a 4K UHD Blu-Ray drive, something the PS4 Pro lacks.
4K Blu-Ray: Is it a Must For Xbox 2 (Project Scorpio)?
Thus far, the biggest difference between Sony and Microsoft's offerings, is the support for 4K Blu-Rays. Sony decided to focus on streaming 4K content on the PS4 Pro, and this most certainly cut costs, but what about countries with poor internet?
Right out of the gate in the interview, the interviewer mentions the lack of reliable internet is places like Australia and New Zealand where they are located. This puts a damper on streaming 4K content, which would require a strong connection.
Phil Spencer took this opportunity to remind everyone that they had the same thinking, and that’s why the Xbox One S has a 4K Blu-Ray drive. Here’s his response in detail:
"I do think about markets where bandwidth capabilities and caps, and cost is prohibitive. So, we wanted to make the decision that there would be physical media. I think for us, games and the native rendering of 4K games is going to be important for Scorpio, which obviously alleviates any kind of need to stream."
When asked about the 4K drive in Xbox Two (Project Scorpio), Phil Spencer reminded us that he never confirmed that. Of course, he did say that people responded well to the drive in Xbox One S, so it’s something that want to continue to provide in the future.
What price are you expecting with Xbox Two (Project Scorpio)? Does the 4K drive represent a “make or break” scenario for your purchasing decision? Let us know in the comments!