Project Scorpio is due to be revealed in less than 24 hours from now and the core gaming community is laying in wait for its unveiling. It has been a long time coming since last year’s announcement at E3 of the machine many now dub ‘a beast’ based on the statements surrounding its marketing. Not much is known at this point other than the fact that it will benefit from at least 6 teraflops of power, making it the most powerful gaming console on the market when it is released. However, there are real questions regarding just how powerful this console will be and what it will actually do. Members of the Gameondaily team have differing expectations about what the console will do and whether it will deliver what many gamers are expecting.
Its strange isn’t it? The PS4 Pro was revealed in such a muted fashion with little to no fanfare but Project Scorpio, from as early as the leaked rumblings regarding its existence even before the E3 announcement last year, has generated so much interest whilst showing off very little. To me that suggest a couple of things. Firstly, a gaming console’s technical prowess and the power within it is supremely important to the gaming community, whether it likes to admit it or not. I would bet you my bottom dollar that Sony would not have revealed the PS4 Pro in such a limp wristed fashion as it did had it not been for the obvious fact that, just on paper, the Scorpio was going to out-class it, even though the latter console was to be released a whole year later. Secondly, it also shows the desperation in which the Xbox fan base is pinning its hopes on this console almost as if it was a complete successor to the somewhat ill-fated Xbox One. Put the two together and you have a perfect storm for hype, apprehension, excitement and all-round internet shit flinging that we are all used to. The reveal is almost upon us but what exactly are the expectations for, what is supposed to be a mid-gen upgraded console?
Not gonna wreck it for Eurogamer, but expect huge, positive surprises on Thursday. Xbox fans will be elated by the findings, I think.
— Jez🦂 (@JezCorden) April 4, 2017
Tweets like the one above have set fans (and haters) in a frenzy. What ‘huge, positive surprises’ could be in store for us? We all know that Project Scorpio is set to defeat its nearest competitor in the power stakes and this alone is enough to cause some Internet drama but to completely outclass it? Now that would be something else. The main clincher regarding whether the Scorpio will be perceived as a true ‘monster’ of a console is dependent on what CPU it will use. If it uses the same Jaguar CPU that’s housed in the now ageing Xbox One console, I really think calling the Scorpio a ‘beast’ is a stretch. Others are bolder in their proclamations and state that it will use the Ryzen which would definitely lend credence to the rumours suggest that this console is a real powerhouse.
Microsoft cannot afford to screw this up. The Scorpio needs to be best in class by some margin to warrant all the massive hype that it has benefited from. Suffering from a distinct lack of exclusive titles, no amount of extra power will make up for the shortcomings in that regard but it will still be a massive boon in the perception of Xbox turning things around. So fuck it! I say it will be a beast! Replete with liquid cooling, 4k native capabilities and a CPU that will make you massage your nipples to the sound of A$AP Ferg- Shabba. Bring it on!
Well I honestly was expecting this reveal to be a little closer to the E3 event but hey who am I to complain if Microsoft want to unveil a console I’m eager to get my grubby mitts on earlier than I expected? With a full 2 months to go to E3 it’s important for Microsoft to garner interest from gamers for their latest machine and more importantly prove to those gamers that they will not give up the generation without a fight. Chances are, there will be no mention of price or maybe even a release date but here’s what I’m hoping from tomorrows reveal:
Console Design. The Xbox One was unveiled to much ridicule from the gaming community, with many stating that it bore more of a resemblance to an 80’s VCR than a high tech video games console. Personally, the look never bothered me, it was the size and weight of the console that was the issue. The Xbox One S on the other hand is what the console should have been all along. Small, slim and something that looked great underneath your TV. Microsoft have hopefully learned from their mistakes and will give us something sleek and stylish.
A large HDD is a must in this day in age. The original Xbox One was released with a paltry 500GB and that got filled up fast. I am one of those funny fellows that likes to have all his games installed for ease of access and with over 300 games and growing I’ve now had to move onto my 2nd external drive which now brings me up to 6TB of storage space. Now I’m not asking for that much space but the minimum should be 2TBs with the option to either easily upgrade the drive or add externals like you do now with the Xbox One. Also, the drives needs to be hybrid HDD’s to help not only with the loading times the games will have but also the consoles functionality.
Different SKU’s-I would like to know if there will be different variants of the Scorpio available to purchase or will they settle for one? I proposed the idea of a controller-less console (for those of us upgrading from the Xbox One and can use our current controllers on the console) to cut down on the RRP to Aaron Greenberg but alas I received no response. I expect we won’t hear anything in regards to this tomorrow but I do expect there to be an entry level Scorpio and one with all the bells and whistles.
First party titles (or lack of them in Microsoft’s case) are key to the success of a new console and it’s something that Phil Spencer has said recently that they intend to address. Now I’m in no way thinking that tomorrow we are going to get this string of 1st party titles that’s going to blow Sony out of the water. Hell I doubt we’ll see anything ground-breaking with E3 coming up, but Microsoft need to show their titles which are touted for this year and in great depth. Crackdown 3 is reportedly going to be shown off and alongside that I would imagine Sea of Thieves will be too. Though is this really enough to showcase a brand new console? Aside from showcasing how current titles will look better (albeit probably moderately), Microsoft need something else to make Xbox gamers salivate. The likeliest candidates would be Forza 7 in all its 4K glory and maybe just maybe another high profile IP that they might sneakily release this year?
Original Xbox backwards compatibility has been teased for a while now and it is my hope that this is one of the surprises in tomorrows reveal. Backward compatibility is something that Microsoft now insists is how all machines will be moving forward and what better way to show this then by allowing Scorpio owners to go back to where it all started just over 15 years ago.
Third party games that support Microsoft’s notion of true 4k gaming are a must. Although they could simply do this with quite a few current games but if they really want to wow potential buyers they need to make an impact and they can only do that with some major 3rd party titles stating that Xbox Scorpio is the console you want to buy your multiplatform games on. How do they do this I hear you ask? It’s simple, dig deep into those pockets and get 3rd party companies to show off their latest and greatest first on Xbox. What if tomorrow we got some short gameplay coverage from the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2? Microsoft could use their good relationship with EA in order to get first coverage of Star Wars Battlefront 2 or better yet the unnamed Star Wars title being worked on by Visceral. Getting these games on board for the unveiling would go a long way to sway potential buyers into day one buyers.
The Scorpio reveal is going to be something very important for Microsoft. The future of Xbox is at stake here and Microsoft cannot afford to bumble around on stage like it has been from the start of this gen then desperately left playing catch up. Microsoft wants Scorpio to mark a turning point in its performance this generation and we shall soon see whether the new machine truly is a beast or one with no teeth at all.
What do you think the Scorpio will turn out to be? Just a marginally more powerful mid gen upgrade from the PS4 PRO or something altogether more powerful. Let us know in the comments below. No registration necessary.