Further details regarding the upcoming Xbox One Scorpio have been revealed, and as Microsoft previously stated it will officially be the most powerful console ever. But as owners of the original Xbox One have learned over the course of the past 12 months, the quality of a console means diddly squat if it doesn’t have games to play on it.
In an article from Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry, it is revealed that the Scorpio will boast eight custom x86 cores clocked at 2.3GHz, a graphics processor with 40 customized compute units clocked at 1172MHz, performances that reaches Microsoft’s previously touted six teraflops, 12GB of GDDR5 RAM with a memory bandwidth of 326GB/s, a 1TB 2.5-inch hard drive and finally a UHD Blu-ray drive. In layman’s terms, this means that its CPU is 30 times faster than the original Xbox One’s, its GPU is 4.6 times more powerful and it has a whopping 8GB of memory it can utilize outside the 4GB reserved for the system itself.
However, launching a super powerful (and presumably expensive) upgrade to the current Xbox One means nothing if there aren’t any games to play on the system. Though it may be hyperbolic to suggest that there haven’t been any new releases on the Xbox One in recent months, the dearth of exclusives aside from the middling Halo Wars 2 has left Xbox One owners with very little to play, while PS4 owners have received the likes of the excellent Horizon: Zero Dawn, Nier Automata and the recently released Persona 5. Meanwhile, Microsoft unceremoniously canned Scalebound, leaving the Xbox One with no announced notable exclusives throughout the rest of the year outside of Crackdown 3, Rare’s Sea of Thieves and a few others that also have unconfirmed release dates.
Does this mean that Microsoft is saving up all of its major releases for the launch of the Scorpio? Maybe, but doing so is an incredibly risky move. If this is the case, this would suggest that Microsoft is looking for people to avoid investing in an Xbox One or Xbox One S this year altogether, instead hoping that they’ll hold out for the Scorpio ahead of the Holiday. However, this will then mean that the company is completely relying upon the Scorpio to provide a shot of adrenaline in the arm of the Xbox One family, which in turn requires a lot of people to invest in a 4K HDR TV if they want to make the most out of the new system.
While the Xbox One Scorpio may be much more technically impressive than the PS4 Pro, Microsoft’s lack of Xbox One support is disheartening and it’s difficult to see it not affecting the sales of its successor. Though there will undoubtedly be many who will be inveigled into purchasing the Scorpio by virtue of its power alone, for the vast majority it’s difficult to see how they’d opt for the console over the PS4 and its much more expansive library, or even the Switch which has seen Nintendo finally threaten to rekindle the magic of the Wii.
We can’t write the Xbox One Scorpio off yet, and Microsoft could surprise everyone by announcing a solid launch line-up of games for the system that take advantage of its hardware, along with a more robust list of games that it’ll be releasing in the near future. However, from this vantage point it’s difficult to see how Microsoft is going to reinsert its foot in the door, and the Xbox One Scorpio has a bumpy road ahead of it if it wants to rekindle the faith in the Xbox brand after at the tail-end of a desolate year for new releases.