I might have embellished the shushing part a bit, but you get the point.
This is a pretty big fall for new console launches, with both Microsoft and Sony releasing new versions of their respective Generation 8 consoles. The Sony refresh is by far the most significant, as the Playstation 4 Pro seems to be their take on a more powerful, more “modern” next generation console. Microsoft on the other hand has a bit of a half measure on its hand with this Fall’s Xbox One S, a smaller, more compact version of the Xbox One, but still virtually the same console. No, for their actual refresh, they have next year’s Xbox Scorpio just waiting in the wings.
Briefly (and I mean briefly) teased at their E3 press conference this year, Microsoft is talking a pretty big game with the Xbox Scorpio, already declaring it the most powerful console of all time, and a step above Sony’s similar Playstation 4 Pro. All that big talk of 4K gaming capabilities and 60 FPS and what have you is impressive, and certainly gets gamers talking. But for a big portion of console audiences, only one thing really matters: how much is all of this going to cost?
And to that, Microsoft is being pretty coy. While speaking with NZ Gamer, Xbox head Phil Spencer briefly touched on the launch of the Xbox Scorpio, and specifically how much it could ultimately end up costing. Of course what he actually said was pretty vague, but it basically boils down to this: it won’t be $4000, so just don’t worry your pretty little head about it. Capiche?
Here’s Spencer’s (actual) quote:
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, relative to what we were going to be able to do with the S. 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. So I think you will feel like it’s a premium product, a premium console. And not something, anything more than that. So 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.
It’s nice to see Spencer confirm the Xbox Scorpio as “just” a premium console: most console makers like to talk about their machines as though they are the second coming, so it’s nice to see Spencer be a little more down to earth about what the machine is capable of. Still though, this doesn’t guaranteed anything as far as price is concerned — after all, we’ve “seen” a console cost over $600, and that didn’t work out so well the last time. Both the Xbox One and Playstation 4 have fairly good price points, so I hope that Microsoft doesn’t go too crazy with this one. After all, they are in a very wide second place with Sony, and if the Xbox Scorpio is as powerful as they say it is, it might be their way to clear that gap. But if the asking price is too high…well, you can probably kiss that goodbye.
Of course there’s still a lot to learn about the Scorpio before we should be concerned about the price. We’re likely a ways off from more information, what with the launch of the Xbox S being Microsoft’s main concern at this point. In any case, stay tuned for any breadcrumbs about the console that might float our way. They might just be crumbs…but they are crumbs presented in glorious 4K.
And that makes all the difference.