Microsoft’s Project Scorpio was announced earlier this year at E3, and since then has been in the news – mostly speculation – about all the things it would do differently. Interestingly, it’s meant to be a mid-generation upgrade, rather than a brand-new console – it will still be able to run Xbox One games.
It was easy to assume – or speculate – that Project Scorpio would cost more than the current Microsoft offerings – Xbox One and Xbox One S – but it was never really confirmed, until now.
In an interview with LevelUp, the Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, confirmed that Project Scorpio would ‘obviously’ cost more than Xbox One S. The Xbox One S sells for $300.
“Scorpio will be a premium console; it will cost more than S obviously – that’s how we’re building it. We haven’t announced price points for Scorpio yet, but I want to make sure that the investments we’re putting into the product of Scorpio meets the demands of the higher end customer, and that will be a higher price.”
Spencer continues, revealing an interesting detail about the console market – customers are not looking for just one product, but a range of different products at different price points.
“There is not one product that our customers come in and buy. Some people come in and buy the 500 GB Xbox One S, many people now are now buying our original Xbox One consoles that are a very good price. There is no one product that you look at and say, ‘this is the product that defines how you are doing in that market’, it’s really the breadth of all the products you have at all the price points. For us, when we think about Scorpio, it’s for a higher-end customer who demands the most they can get out of a console, and we built a console to meet that demand.”
There’s one interesting bit about that statement – the choice of buying something high-end, and low-end; this choice is often attributed to the freedom of a PC, allowing you to have price points spanning from $400 to over $1500.
Consoles haven’t been flexible with this idea before – there has always been one console, which everyone designed their games for. It’s interesting to note that this is now transforming into giving customers more options and choices.
It is, of course, speculation to assume that the original Xbox One will continue to sell after Project Scorpio’s release – but if it does, it would be interesting to see how the industry adapts to it.
Sony is also playing around with similar ideas – the PS4 Pro is a minor upgrade for the PS4, with support for Sony’s new VR headset. The PS4 Pro costs $400 – one-hundred more than Xbox One S – but delivers better performance.
That’s not a worry for Microsoft – it has stated earlier that Project Scorpio will have a substantial increase in performance when compared with PS4 Pro, and will even support native 4K.
Microsoft is expected to release Project Scorpio (with a proper name for it) by the end of next year; there are no confirmed reports about the pricing. Hopefully, we will hear more about Project Scorpio at E3 in 2017.