Last week Microsoft unveiled its answer to the PS4 Pro, and in theory their so-called “4K Xbox One console”, but there are a few concerns regarding the Xbox Scorpio.
You see the Xbox One, as hard as it is to hear, has not done as well as the PS4, and this is thanks to the two factors – a lack of exclusives and its underwhelming power.
Yes, I know that Xbox fanboys are going to try kill me in the comments section, but the truth of the matter is that the Xbox One’s power was a concern from the start.
Everything on the Xbox One is a step lower than the PS4, which has resulted in many games making use of lower resolutions, and adaptive resolution algorithms to produce a sub-standard experience when put side-to-side with PC and PS4.
Many games like Overwatch, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, and even The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt failed to hit 1080p on the console, staying at 900p and 720p instead.
With this issue as well as the lack of Uncharted, Nioh, Persona, Horizon Zero Dawn, and the rest of Sony’s posse, the Xbox One has taken the backseat this generation. Enter the Xbox Scorpio.
With almost double the power of the Xbox One, Microsoft’s “4K Xbox” is pure performance, and rests at the top of the console ladder.
The big question is do gamers need it? Or is this a move to try and put Microsoft on top, or even side-to-side next to the PS4 and PS4 Pro?
The even bigger question is whether the Xbox Scorpio was Microsoft’s original plan, or if they are just trying to keep up.
4K Gaming still not a thing
While the PS4 Pro boasts a 4K gaming experience, its 1080p enhanced mode sees 4K resolution downscaled to 1080p for a sharper image and is one of the console’s best features.
Many people use this, as 4K TVs are just not a thing right now.
PC gamers have an easier way to access 4K, as they could just get a new TV or display and as long as their card can output the power, they can enjoy 4K.
But how many of them actually play in 4K? Well, the latest Steam stats released for March show that 45% of gamers run at 1,920×1,080, 23% at 1,366×786, and a measly 0,78% of PC gamers actually play in 4K.
With Microsoft’s heavy push on 4K with the Scorpio, could they be targeting a demographic that does not even exist yet?
If PC gamers, who can play 4K at any time with a simple hardware upgrade or setting change are not utilizing this feature, then who is using 4K that will make use of the Scorpio?
Gamers, as far as I am aware, have always opted for higher frame rates over resolution, and yes, the Scorpio will provide this to some degree, but will games really push 60FPS at 4K as Microsoft says it will?
Is this the Xbox One’s death?
The feeling I get around all this Scorpio business, is that Microsoft want to get rid of the Xbox One.
With the PS4 and PS4 Pro, Sony immediately made it clear that the consoles would live together in harmony, and they have.
While Microsoft has done the same, the whole lead up to the reveal and specifications announcement kind of makes it feel that the Scorpio is a new device that could live alone as a new Xbox console.
The PS4 Pro’s specs and marketing is something that Sony never really focuses on. A new game comes out and we get the feeling that it slots into the console family without an issue.
The Scorpio however, has had a larger focus on what games will utilize the console to what degree.
All this gives us the impression that we might be technically seduced into buying a Scorpio, for the reason of it being so much more powerful, and enhanced over the Xbox One.
I am sure many Xbox One owners would want to experience Microsoft’s first party line-up, and even third-party games at their fullest potential, but that is not going to happen on the Xbox One, as it has not been that way since launch.
With the Scorpio eliminating any assurance of higher performance across games on Xbox One, do you really think the original console will suddenly start to run games at Full HD?
That is why the Scorpio has been built. It’s the Xbox One we never got.
All this means for us, is that if we want games that run at the same level of quality as PC and PS4, then the Scorpio will be the answer.
Hence me going on about how Microsoft needs the Scorpio more than gamers. They do, they need it to set themselves at least on the same level as everyone else on the playing field.
Is the Scorpio a good or a bad thing?
Is it hard to tell exactly what the future holds for the Xbox Scorpio.
It is not powerful enough to be a next-generation console, but it could nudge us into the next generation of gaming.
The current generation is almost on its fifth year already, so introducing a console that could be close to R10,000 so late in a cycle might have its setbacks for Microsoft.
Then again, given that it has backwards compatibility support for Xbox 360 and that the console will help boost older Xbox One games, it could be the best Xbox console to own.
All I know is that both the PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio have tried to make 4K gaming a thing, the way the PS3 and Xbox 360 made HD gaming must have.
The problem is that 4K gaming is taxing and expensive, both for console makers and consumers.
All this could be arriving to soon, and Microsoft could be putting themselves ahead of their fan base by introducing a console that will have a limited lifespan and kill their Xbox One, all in a desperate attempt to reinstate themselves in the console race.
Do you think the Scorpio will find its footing, or do you think Microsoft should have waited until the next generation? Let us know in the comments and forum.