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The Xbox Scorpio was inspired by smartphones

3 min read


The Xbox Scorpio is not a suit of golden armour with ultimate attacks that require weekly updates. What it is, is a look at the future of console gaming that relies less on the idea of a generation of hardware iterations and more on being technologically fluid. But why? After all, the current model of having a five year window where you’re guaranteed that every game will run on your chosen platform isn’t exactly a bad one.

But then again, we’re living in a world where upgrades come hard and fast in our daily lives. It’s an idea that is especially prevalent in the smartphone industry, with newer and more powerful models making massive leaps forward every year. And that’s a model that Xbox wants to emulate with Scorpio. “In the phone market, people are more used to upgrading fast and wanting the latest of everything,” Microsoft engineer Mike Ybarra said to The Guardian.

But with phones, your new apps had better work on that phone and the next one. According to what they’re telling us, the consumer expectation is: games and apps had better work even if I upgrade. We’re looking at the console business and asking how do we provide that choice to users? It resonates with them because other devices are doing that.

While the Xbox Scorpio will undoubtedly have the best graphics, it’ll still share the same games with Microsoft’s regular Xbox One consoles and the thinner Xbox One S, to create a compatible family of hardware. Sort of like a family get-together that doesn’t result in you wanting to murder your in-laws. “Compatibility has always been the thing that makes console generations define themselves: when you leave one and got to the next, you give up your games, you usually give up the hardware or throw it in a closet–that’s what we want to remove,” Ybarra said.

We’re focusing more on how do we deliver gaming in a boundless way to our players. We announced three platforms–today’s Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Scorpio. We’re giving gamers the choice to say, ‘I want to invest in these particular games and this particular hardware, and I want those to work going forward, I don’t want to have to worry about giving that up.

I’ve got techno-lust for the Xbox Scorpio right now, even though it’ll be utterly wasted on me due to my lack of owning a 4K TV. The idea of modular hardware isn’t new, but it’s damn fascinating. And I’m keen to see what the Xbox Scorpio can pull off as the worlds first such device for gaming, comments I’m making while PC gamers get ready to hurl axes at my face.

Last Updated: July 13, 2016

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