In all honesty, we don’t know a whole lot about Project Scorpio, the newest console from Microsoft. We know it will be powerful, we know it will support 4K resolution, and we know that the console will release this fall, just in time for Christmas.
Beyond that, we don’t know much. We don’t know the price, we don’t even know what the console will look like. Because of that, a lot of this list falls under the realm of speculation simply because Microsoft hasn’t said a whole lot about their new console. While that will all undoubtedly change next month during E3, we at TheGamer have compiled a list of things that are sure to take the world by storm. For all intents and purposes, Microsoft is about to launch the next generation of gaming consoles — and they’re doing it in secret.
We present: 15 Reasons Why Project Scorpio Will Blow Your Mind.
15. 4K Graphics
The standard resolutions for televisions right now is about 1080p, some TVs still sport 720p, but they rarely dip below that. Most new televisions now feature the upgraded 4K resolution so it only makes sense that home consoles would follow suit.
What sets Project Scorpio apart from its nearest rival, the PS4 Pro, which also features 4K graphics, is that Project Scorpio will be able to run games at 60 frames per second while the PS4 Pro can only run games at 30 frames per second. This difference in frame rate should provide for a smoother and more immersive experience. Obviously, this will depend on the game, and even PS4 Pro manages to support a few 4K/60 titles, but Microsoft is gunning for a native experience across the board. Get ready.
14. Next Evolution Of Xbox Live
Xbox Live has been the crown jewel of online console gaming since its launch with the original Xbox so many years ago. It has undergone many changes since then, some good, some bad, but it has consistently provided the most stable and expansive online network for console gamers to enjoy.
With the release of a new system (or upgraded system, depending on how you want to look at it), it only makes sense that Microsoft would roll out the next evolution of Xbox Live with it. What this will look like is anyone’s guess, but Live is something Microsoft has nailed since its release, and I wouldn’t expect the next evolution to be any different.
13. Expanded Play Anywhere
One of the best things Microsoft has rolled out recently for the Xbox is Play Anywhere. For those that are unfamiliar, Play Anywhere enables players to purchase a game on the Xbox console (let’s say, Gears of War 4) and have the ability to download and play the game completely for free on their PC if they so choose.
While there are already several big games which already have this feature, expect Microsoft to roll out an even larger library of Play Anywhere games when their new console launches this fall. Since Xbox One games are being developed with so many different skus in mind, expect better performance for Windows PC as time goes on.
12. Huge Library
When Project Scorpio finally releases it will have one of the deepest console libraries ever. Featuring not only Xbox One games, but all the Xbox 360 games available through backwards compatibility. The Scorpio will have no shortage of games to play. Not only that, but the Xbox One games you already own and love will receive a graphical boost from just playing it on the new console.
Microsoft has already said that the Scorpio won’t have exclusives, but I have a hard time buying this. With a powerful new console, it would make sense they would want people to upgrade to it, and one way to lure people to the new console is exclusives. We probably won’t see these at launch but I would expect them for Year 2 of Scorpio.
11. Gears Of War 5
Gears of War 4 was an interesting game in many ways. It stuck close to what made the original Gears game such a success while introducing us to a whole new cast of characters and delivering a solid, if not all that inspired multiplayer experience.
Look for all that to change with Gears of War 5. The studio that worked on Gears 4, The Coalition, was a development studio put together specifically to make Gears games. They were taking the reigns from original developer Epic and, as such, Gears 4 was a bit of a learning experience. With the added power of Scorpio behind them, look for the developer to take the training wheels off with their latest game. Gears of War 5 is guaranteed to push the envelope.
10. No Kinect
Kinect was a gamble that never paid off for Microsoft. More of a cool idea and neat tech demo than functioning product, it never found the audience Microsoft was hoping for. It did alright on the 360, but the Kinect for Xbox One is all but dead and don’t expect to see it back anytime soon.
This is good for gamers in several ways. Not only will there not be a creepy camera in your living room tracking your every movement, the lack of a Kinect on the Scorpio will free up more processing power. More processing power means better graphics that run smoother. The Kinect may reemerge down the line, but it won’t be with Project Scorpio, and for gamers everywhere, that is a good thing.
9. More Exclusives
Graphics and resolution —and generally how powerful a gaming machine is— doesn’t necessarily make for a great console. Take the Nintendo Wii and Switch. Both are technically ‘underpowered’ compared to their contemporaries. The Wii was a huge success for Nintendo, partly based on its novelty, yes, but also because it had a deep library of exclusive games. While it is still very early in the Switch’s life, it has been a tremendous success so far and a large part of that has to do with the games available for it. The console launched with a new Zelda game and a Mario Kart game not long after.
Microsoft knows it needs to attract more exclusives to the console. They have some great exclusives in their library, but they need to attract third party developers. The Scorpio not only will be more powerful than its rivals, it is reportedly easier to design games for. One easy way to ensure developers work with your system? Make it easy to work with. Which is exactly what Microsoft has done.
8. Halo 6
Have I mentioned console exclusives yet?
Well, no talk about a new Microsoft machine would be complete without a discussion of easily their largest property. Mark my words, Halo 6 will be at E3 this year. No matter what Microsoft claims in the lead up to the show.
What better way to bring in a new console than to show off Chief in all his shiny glory on a more powerful system? Halo 5 divided many fans. They were unhappy Chief wasn’t more prominently featured and upset about the lack of split screen play of any kind. Scorpio and Halo 6 will change all of that. Four-player co-op will return along with the Master Chief in all his glory.
This one seems like a longshot, I’ll admit it. But when tech demos of Microsoft’s HoloLens began to appear online, they were met with almost universal praise. It was something different from everything we had been shown before.
For those who haven’t seen the videos, the HoloLens is called a ‘mixed reality’ device by Microsoft. The user wears a pair of goggles, similar to VR, but instead of your vision being completely taken up by a screen the HoloLens ‘projects’ visuals onto your environment. It looks like something out of Star Trek and the gaming possibilities seem endless. Let’s hope they add this to Project Scorpio at some point.
6. Expanded Focus On Streaming/Recording Gameplay
YouTube and Let’s Play gaming video took off years ago, and some lucky (and hard-working YouTubers) have made millions off the trend. Live streaming games has also gained popularity in recent years with the rise of sites like Twitch offering gamers an easy way to watch their favorite games and gamers live and interact with them.
While the Xbox One already supports Twitch and YouTube streaming, expect a larger focus with Project Scorpio. The more powerful system will make it easier than ever to stream and record gameplay without interruption. As it stands, most of the serious streamers use a PC. Even when they are playing a game on Xbox or PlayStation, they will still run the streaming software through their computers. If Microsoft could somehow incorporate all of that into the Scorpio, it would go a long way in getting streamers to adopt the platform.
5. An Improved Red Dead Redemption 2 Shown Off For Scorpio
Rockstar Games teased us all a while ago when they released a trailer for their latest game, Red Dead Redemption 2. The trailer didn’t show much, other than a diverse and beautiful wild west setting and since that time, and Rockstar has been almost completely silent about the game since.
Rockstar has traditionally been a studio that supports Sony’s console more. The original Grand Theft Auto game came out on the first PlayStation, Grand Theft Auto 3 was a PlayStation 2 exclusive for a long time as well. While this has certainly changed in recent years (RDR 2 has already been confirmed for Xbox, PlayStation, and PC), I expect Microsoft to make a big showing of the new game on their new console much in the way PlayStation shows off the new Call of Duty games on theirs.
4. A New Dashboard
It might not be the sexiest thing in the world, but the Xbox is long overdue for a dashboard overhaul. Microsoft has been making incremental changes to the dashboard ever since it premiered with the launch of the One. I have never been a huge fan of the Xbox One’s dashboard. It feels like I have to go through too many screens to get what I want.
The launch of the Scorpio could change all that. What better time to launch a new dashboard scheme than the release of a new console? Make it easier to see my friends and see who is online, put player achievements at the forefront, and just generally clean up the User Interface. Again, it might not be the most exciting thing in the world, but it is something that is overdue and something that affects every gamer whether they realize it or not.
3. Crackdown 3
Call me crazy, but I think Crackdown 3 is going to be big. Scratch that, not just big, huge. Like console selling kind of game huge. Everything you loved about the first two Crackdowns seems to be back; the huge environments, plenty of collectibles, and the superhero-like abilities.
What’s really different this time, and what sets the game apart from similar titles, is its completely destructible environments. Games like Battlefield might have done it first, but Crackdown looks to up the ante. I’ve always loved blowing holes in walls to get an opponent in Battlefield, however, I’ve never felt quite satiated by the level of destructibility. Crackdown 3 looks like it will fulfill all our wildest destruction dreams.
2. More Customization Options For Scorpio
One of the more surprising aspects of the Xbox this console generation has been how many customizable options there has been for the physical design of your Xbox and controllers. There have been numerous limited editions of the Xbox One itself, from Gears of War to Titanfall and Battlefield 1, almost every big game launch has seen an exclusive Xbox launched with it. And recently, Microsoft rolled out the Xbox Design lab that allows players to design their own Xbox controller.
For the launch of the Scorpio, I would expect Microsoft to continue this trend, only expand it further. Make the console itself customizable, allow players to upload their own designs. The possibilities seem endless and could lead to a lot of really creative designs for both controller and console.
1. A More Expensive System
Why would a more expensive system be a good thing?
I know it may sound crazy, but a more expensive gaming system might be better for gamers in the long run. Think about it, gamers always want more. More games, better hardware, more ways to play. By releasing this beast of a console that will sport the highest tech specs yet seen on a home console, it will not only provide gamers with great graphics, but it will also extend the longevity of the console. And, while consoles will never be able to compete with PCs in terms of graphics, this new —and more expensive— console should allow gamers to play the latest and greatest games close to their highest graphical settings.