Console Generations are Exciting, But “Super Disruptive;” Project Scorpio Aims to Change That, Says Xbox Exec

Fahad Arif
Posted Aug 21, 2016
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Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg recently talked about how the company thinks that incremental increase in hardware power of consoles could mean the time of traditional console generation has come, meaning that the current eighth generation of consoles is quite possibly the last one, at least for Xbox, as the company is preparing to upgrade its Xbox One console with more powerful hardware, rather than replacing it. Another Xbox executive has now shed more light on the topic, explaining how the upcoming upgraded console, codenamed Project Scorpio, is Microsoft’s attempt at “thinking beyond console generations.”

Project Scorpio Will Allow Us to Move “Beyond Console Generations,” Says Albert Penello

The fact that Project Scorpio, or Sony’s PlayStation 4 Neo for that matter, is not the beginning of next generation of consoles, but simply an “upgrade” to the currently existing eighth generation console seems pretty amazing when you consider that this means you won’t have to go through the trouble of completely dumping your old setup to make a shift to the new one, and that is exactly what Microsoft wants you to know.

Console transitions in the past have been exciting for fans, but they have proven to be “super disruptive” for developers and games alike, Xbox executive Albert Penello pointed out while speaking on the latest Inner Circle podcast (via GameSpot). When Xbox One replaced seventh-gen Xbox 360, all the games and peripherals that gamers had bought for use with their consoles over the years were no longer of any use. With Project Scorpio, however, that would not be the case, and that is why Microsoft thinks Scorpio would take us beyond traditional console generations. He said:

“You hear us talking about thinking beyond console generations. It’s not the idea that you don’t want to do consoles anymore or that there’s not going to be more performance [in the future with new systems]. But if you go back and look at console generations, they’re always super exciting when something new comes out, but they’re super disruptive.”

“They’re really hard on developers, because they have to learn how to program on these new machines; they’re really hard on customers, which I think sometimes people forget. You have to give up a lot of stuff. The idea [for Scorpio and the future] is, can we smooth that out, can this be more about a family, can we think beyond, ‘We’re gonna do this one and then stop and then start all over again.'”

Project Scorpio, upon its release next year in the holiday season, will live alongside the currently available Xbox One and Xbox One S consoles. It will offer more hardware power, and deliver the best to both developers and gamers. With three consoles that offer the same content but different experiences, players will have more choice. “It’s really easy for people to think there’s just one customer for consoles and they’re reason for buying is identical across the millions of people. But there isn’t; it’s just not true,” Penello said, clarifying that not everyone buys a console for the same reason.

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More choice will allow people to buy a video game console based on what’s most important to them. It can be anything; games, performance, price, or other factors that do not necessarily affect the decision of other buyers. No matter what it is, “you can’t go wrong,” Penello said, because all this will be within one Xbox family, and all systems will support the same games and peripherals.

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