Spencer: We Could Have Shipped A New Xbox This Year, But It Wouldn’t Have Been A True 4K Console
Microsoft was certainly very active on the Xbox hardware front at E3 2016. They didn’t just announce an Xbox One S due in October, featuring HDR/4K video support and 4K upscaling for games, but they even talked about the rumored Project Scorpio.
This is a major hardware revision that will provide roughly four times more power than the current Xbox One, thus enabling high-end VR and native 4K gaming. Microsoft is targeting Holiday 2017 as the release date, but what we didn’t know is that the Xbox division seriously looked at shipping a more powerful console in 2016 before ditching the plan. Here’s what Phil Spencer told Eurogamer:
We could have done a new update this year. We actually looked at it. We went all the way to, we had the spec in front of us, should we ship something that’s less than Scorpio this year, but in truth you can’t do a true 4K console this year. And I just didn’t think anything between what is effectively a 1080p console and the 4K console, like, from a consumer television standpoint there’s nothing in the middle. So let’s go focus on 4K and next year was the right year to do that.
Spencer then expanded on this topic while talking about the hardware specifications of Scorpio. According to him, it wouldn’t have been possible to have a true 4K console with all the necessary hardware in place this year.
Balance in the design of the system is really important. So when you think about the CPU and the GPU that are on the SOC, the optical disc drive and the speed of that, which we haven’t talked about too much, but I’ll just say that, the speed of RAM, all of these things when you’re designing the system, making sure they’re all in balance, so one piece doesn’t get overpowered relative to the other, or you’ve got a lot of GPU but you’re not able to feed all of the assets to it out of the RAM fast enough, all of those things were critical for us when thinking about the design.
All of this is why we picked the design point we did of 4K and the date we did. Like I said, we looked at other designs that might be coming earlier, and we don’t think they really delivered on a full point.
It’s going to be a long road until Holiday 2017 for Xbox One Scorpio. Stay tuned on WCCFtech to keep updated on all the latest.