Penello: I Love and Don’t Want To Break Console Gaming; I Don’t Want A New Console Every Year
Microsoft executives have previously hinted that Project Scorpio, now known as Xbox One X and due for release on November 7th, could mean a shift in the traditional console generation model. This led gamers to wonder whether Microsoft was planning to release enhanced consoles every two or three years, instead of the usual bigger gap between five and six years.
Speaking to Wired during E3 2017, Xbox senior director of product management and planning Albert Penello assured that he doesn't really want to break console gaming as is and he wouldn't fancy switching system every year or so, either.
We had to think really hard, because obviously I didn't know the PS4 Pro existed when the team got together and started conceiving of Xbox One X, but I know what we thought about.
We're on eight console generations since 1977 – or you can go back further to '74 when the Magnavox Odyssey came out – and it's always worked one way. We're introducing a new way and we have really got to think through every part, from the developer, to the customer, to naming, to messaging and how we tell the story and make sure that we respect what's awesome about consoles when we introduce this idea.
That's why I like to talk about things like the ports on the back of the box – it's a silly point but it's a testament to how much care we put in. All the ports are in the same place [on X as on S] and use the same cables, so that if you're going to upgrade, you just reach in back, swap cables, and I've upgraded. We're not doing different packages or names and we didn't do a new controller – those were all very thoughtful things about trying to ease customers into this new idea.
I don't want to break consoles, I love console gaming. I don't want to go to a new console system every year either, I don't think anybody wants to do that, but who knows what kind of new technologies people are going to think up.
Penello's words can be taken as a sign that Microsoft understands how the public is not yet ready to abandon the traditional console gaming model. We could still have another toe-to-toe fight between Sony and Microsoft in a few years, then, with Sony's Shawn Layden confirming yesterday to German site Golem.de how they're planning a PlayStation 5 instead of following the "smartphone upgrade" model.