Microsoft was the first to ‘reveal’ its upcoming system when it took the veil off of Project Scorpio back in June during its E3 2016 press conference. While all of the information that was given centered around its specs, it can still be considered to be a reveal. Speaking of specs, Microsoft remains confident that the Scorpio will have more than enough power to outperform the newly revealed PS4 Pro.
Sony revealed the new system at a special event recently, after confirming its existence right before this year’s E3. Now being formally revealed, the Pro’s specs were also detailed. The system’s added power produces 4TFLOPS, allows for 4K resolutions, increased framerates and support for HDR. Even with this sleuth of improvements, Microsoft is not overly worried about Sony’s upgraded system.
Albert Penello, the Senior Director of Product Management and Planning at Xbox, recently spoke with IGN. Penello discussed how Microsoft feels about Sony’s new hardware compared to that of the recently released Xbox One S, and of course the upcoming Project Scorpio. According to Penello, the difference between the PS4 Pro and Project Scorpio will be “obvious to customers”:
“I believe that the difference between what we’re going to deliver with Scorpio from a performance perspective and PS4 Pro will be obvious to customers. I believe we have the best value this holiday, and I think we’re going to have the most powerful box next year.”
Penello also brought some heat against the PS4 ‘Slim’:
“I think for $299 the Xbox One S with 4K Blu-Ray, with HDR, with the upgraded controller with Bluetooth, and the new design, I think we’ve got a killer product that beats their PS4 Slim on the low end.”
After that, Penello reiterated the promise that Microsoft made during its E3 2016 presentation — it will be releasing the most powerful console to date:
“I think that for people who care about the absolute maximum in performance, we said at E3 we’re going to be launching the most powerful console ever made. That is still true.We were very confident when we made the announcement. It was kind of a bold thing to say, given the rumors that were out there. And I’m more confident today that we’re going to have the most powerful console ever made.”
Penello also made sure to reiterate that, like the OG PS4 and new PS4 Pro, the Xbox One/Xbox One S and Project Scorpio are considered to be all under one roof, despite the differences in hardware. This means that titles will across the board, although Scorpio players will have added graphical benefits:
“If you go back and watch our launch video, this was one of the key things we stated in the video. We think about [Xbox One and Scorpio] as part of the same family. All of your existing Xbox One games and accessories will work. Your Xbox One games will look better on Scorpio. And I believe we will have a very good story for customers for both upgrading their content and how the cross-compatibility between the two products works. Every game that you’re buying this holiday for Xbox One and Xbox One S is going to work on Scorpio, no problem. Out of the box.”
While most of his words were a bit bullish, Penello had some more positive statements to say about Sony. He talked to IGN about how the two companies are now implementing similar strategies, albeit with a few differences. He then directed his negative statements towards that of console generations, and how Microsoft wants to ascend past them:
“I think it’s very interesting that Sony and us arrived at a very similar strategy. Maybe some differences in execution on the product side, but I think the landscape of technology is changing. I think customers’ expectations are changing. I think that console generations are really, really exciting for people, but super disruptive to developers and to customers. And this idea that we’re thinking beyond console generations doesn’t mean that we’re not going to have exciting, new, more powerful hardware.”
Penello then directed his statements towards the gaming community, stating that consumers will “just have to get used to change:”
“But we look for a continuity of players and content and accessories that’s kind of unprecedented, and I think Scorpio is our first foray into that.“I think you’re going to go through a period in the industry where people just have to get used to change, because this is a new idea. But I like our vision of forward compatibility, I like our vision beyond console generations. I’m very confident that we’re going to deliver customers a great experience on Scorpio and that co-existence of the Xbox One and S and Scorpio at the same time is going to be a really great thing. I’m really excited about it.”
To wrap it up, Penello concluded by talking about how Microsoft hopes to improve the whole gaming industry by making things easier for developers, thus leading to making things easier for consumers. Microsoft hopes to achieve this by means of more powerful hardware, and also by continuing to blur the lines between PC and consoles:
“More and more, developers are having to build content for multiple devices. Making that easier for developers means you get better quality games for customers. So I think it is part of our vision to make it easier for developers to make console and PC games. When you look at our specs for Scorpio at 6 teraflops, our goal was to deliver true 4K games, the same kind of quality you see on PC, available on Xbox. That was our design goal for Scorpio.
So yeah, I think you see some similarities there. I always want to be careful. I’m a console guy myself, and I want to respect that living room, console-like experience, and I want PC gamers to have that great upgradability, customizability experience that they’ve always had. So I think it’s important to respect both platforms while you go through this story.”
Mr. Penello is certainly excited about the Scorpio! Gamers are too, but the system is still quite a ways away. At its E3 2016 press conference, Microsoft announced that the system will not be available until late next year. Meanwhile, Sony’s newly-revealed PS4 Pro will be coming out on November 10th for $399. It should be interesting to see exactly how the two systems stack-up to each other.
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