Project Scorpio: What’s The Point?

Sure, it’s powerful compared to other consoles…

It wasn’t too long ago that Microsoft teased the impending release of a new piece of Xbox hardware, with the project responsible for the creation of the new console iteration going by the name: “Project Scorpio”.

What we learned during the announcement of the new hardware was that Microsoft was aiming to make the most powerful console ever, and that it would reach computing speeds of 6 teraFLOPS, which basically means that the new Xbox would be able to compute 6 trillion floating-point operations per second. Basically, what that means is that the new Xbox will be pretty damn powerful.

But what’s the point of it?

Who Would Buy It?

It isn’t exactly news that there’s been skepticism regarding the new system that Microsoft has been working on after all. In fact, gaming communities were not only skeptical about the claims that Microsoft has made regarding the ability of Project Scorpio to render at 4K resolutions natively (which has been addressed), but they’ve also been wondering who the intended audience of the new hardware is.

I’ve noticed that many folks have been outspoken about the Microsoft’s new hardware, so I figured that I’d help clear things up.

Project Scorpio isn’t about trying to take back market share from the PS4, or to win over PC gamers or PS4 fans. It’s about creating a console that can make gaming at the highest resolutions possible on a console that features plug-and-play functionality. The top percentages of PC gamers obviously aren’t phased by the ability to buy a console that can output at settings possible on a PC, and PS4 fans are going to be more interested in owning a PS4 Pro than whatever Microsoft can make.

Project Scorpio is designed to attract a specialized group of gamers. People who want power, convenience, and low cost. If you already have a 4K capable PC, don’t like Xbox consoles or games, don’t have or won’t buy a 4K display, or just don’t care about graphics, then you aren’t the intended audience.

That’s Perfectly Fine, By The Way

However, for those gamers that are interested in high performance while playing multiplatform games, without feeling the need to worry about PC gaming issues or the cost associated with owning a gaming rig, Project Scorpio looks to be the ultimate answer. It’s about options; about not having to spend exorbitant amounts of money or developing the knowledge to be able to get a 4K capable machine.

Some people just want to get their game on with the least amount of hassle that is possible, while still being able to enjoy crisp graphics.

Project Scorpio Stats
Some impressive specs

It should be said, and understood, that if you aren’t interested in Project Scorpio, that’s okay. The key thing to remember is that Microsoft isn’t making the new Xbox One for you if that’s the case. This is a gaming system for the group of gamers that are either platform agnostic or are hardcore Xbox fans. It’s for the folks that want to be able to take something out of the box, plug it in, and just sit back and enjoy the pretty, tiny pixels and HDR.

What’s better is that this is good for PS4 and Nintendo fans alike as well, since Microsoft’s efforts to create the most powerful console ever might just light a fire under their competition’s butts to make the next generation of consoles even better.

Sony is definitely not going to cede the high ground of graphical fidelity to their rival. The PS5 (or PS4 Pro Plus?) is going to be all the more powerful, with even higher performance than whatever Microsoft can muster. Competition is a good thing. Meanwhile, PC gamers are going to be buying the new processors and graphics cards that are inevitably going to stomp all over the Xbox One and PS4 (for a premium price, of course). Nintendo is going to keep being Nintendo, and will undoubtedly come up with something that is simultaneously ingenious and confusing at the same time.

As a word to those that aren’t interested, just let people enjoy things. Microsoft may have bungled the Xbox One pretty badly at first, but they’ve been turning things around. It’s okay to be excited about Project Scorpio, or at the very least, interested in seeing what Microsoft can do with the Xbox One.

But enough about my thoughts.

What do you think about Project Scorpio? Is it a system built with you in mind, or is it not your thing? Let me know in the comments.

 

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24 thoughts on “Project Scorpio: What’s The Point?

  1. Absolutely agree with most of that. For various reasons I’m mostly favoring PlayStation this generation, but if I didn’t already have the Pro, I’d definitely be considering this.

    I mean, I haven’t ruled it out yet obviously, but I’ma have to come up with the mother of all nagging/justification campaigns to stand any kind of chance now I’ve already gone Pro, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t wait for this, even if I don’t plan on buying vr games and many 4K games, even playing something like Dragon Age or Mass Effect on this will be amazingly smooth. Fallout 4 had many moments that lagged on the XBOne, even ME:A blows down frame rates in certain areas on a base model. To be able to play those games and future games at a smoother rate, and seeing what is more program error than system capabilities will be a nice exchange.
    The fact that it still includes the Xbox One generation as part of its self is the most appealing thing about this console to me. The Xbox One S was just a slight upgrade that I didn’t see justification in buying, I mean I would have this holiday season probably, but now it makes more sense to get something that will last for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Just let people enjoy things” – great advice! It’s easy to knock something you aren’t interested in, but I think what folks forget is that no one is making them buy this. If you don’t want it, fine – someone else will. Let them have their fun. Personally, I have no interest in the Scorpio, but I have friends who will love it, so good for them!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My stance has softened a bit over the last few years. I used to be very defensive over my gaming habits, but I’ve learned that preferences are universal.

      I do wish that more people were a little more understanding of that. I’d love to see more people give this a chance, but it seems like folks are trying to talk themselves out of it by criticizing it needlessly.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t think this machine is aimed at me. I’d need something that would demonstrate all that power it has and there doesn’t seem to be much coming along with it. So long as the games coming out on the original machine don’t suffer then I’m sure I’ll be fine. It’s another one that I’ll keep an eye on with interest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read an article on Gamasutra that seemed to indicate that Microsoft is designing the new console to automatically boost the performance of any games that are played on it. It sounds like patches might not even be necessary in most cases. Still waiting on more information though.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I honestly might buy the Scorpio but only after a few years of it being out on the market. You could say I am platform agnostic. I actually started out gaming on PC playing strategy games like the very first Homeworld and Command & Conquer. But then having to keep paying so much money to get the best graphics cards and the best processors became too expensive for me. So now I am a console gamer. And I have to save up 3 months salary to buy thew ps4 pro.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t plan to but one, and that may go for PS4 and PS4 Pro simply because I’m too heavily invested in my PC at the moment for hardware and games. I do see the appeal of something like Project Scorpio and even PS4 Pro. The idea of having a small relatively inexpensive and powerful box be very plug and play is highly appealing. As much as I love my PC, I just upgraded my video card at the end of last year, and Eve the PS4 Pro comes pretty much on par with my PC. As much as I love my PC, I have some headaches where my Steam Controller won’t always play nice with certain games.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your situation seems like the common element among the folks at aren’t interested in the new Xbox. Having a significant investment in a powerful PC would be a big reason to not buy into a new platform.

      As a side note, what’s your thoughts on the Steam controller? Do the touchpads work well?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. touch pad works really good to replicate mouse movements very well. I also find it’s motion controls are very well tuned and can be customized to a very high degree to not only allow you to use the right touch pad as a mouse, but also do small adjustments using motion. I find for FPS’s it makes finding head shots way easier and actually helps you fight recoil if you move against the recoil properly, it’s quite surprising how well it can work.

        what it doesn’t do well is mimicking analog sticks. It has a setting that does mouse like joystick, which essentially tries to make analog stick feel like a mouse, but I find it’s very hard to use and not smooth at all.

        The big problem I encounter is when I want to use the right touch pad as a mouse, but the rest of the gamepad as a controller. This causes games to react differently. For example in Mass Effect Andromeda, if I open the map with this configuration, I cannot zoom in and out using my right pad because it’s mapped to the mouse. What I can do is hit a button that switches is to analog stick mode, for just using maps. I have this same problem in shadows of mordor as well. As versatile as it is, it’s not practical because 99% of the games are not designed for such customizations of the steam controller and are in fact expected either strictly key board/mouse or traditional game pad.

        it would be nice if developers would account for the steam controller as part of PC gaming and make their games work with it better, but i never see that happening except for games like counter strike and such. It’s still a neat device. With enough dedication, games like diablo 3, starcraft 2 and may MMOs can be played from your couch, even if they aren’t optimal, the fact that it’s possible is very cool.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It really works well, the touchpads are ace to me but I find it hard to actually play FPS games and certain games with it, I barely use it because I find the XBO controller to be more useful and handy and comfortable.

        That’s the one thing I’ve always liked about Xbox, their controllers feel pretty good and are pretty comfortable. ( not the duke ofc.)

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I skipped the PS4 Pro because it didn’t seem like enough of a jump in performance over the base model. Scorpio however seems like a significant increase and I feel I can justify that. That said, despite being a PC and PS4 owner, I’ve stayed with the Xbox One as my primary gaming machine, so this kind of seems aimed directly at me because I’m already invested in their garden.

    I do however feel that if they can market this well, the Scorpio could sway some people over to it. There is a contingent of console gamers that aren’t interested in tinkering with a PC and want a plug and play box that offers the best possible experience. Scorprio sounds like that. Now of course price is going to be a huge sticking point. They can’t come out at $600 because people are just going to scoff at it but if they can hit $500 (or even better $400) I think they’ll have a winner.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. As a person who actually owns a 4K monitor and I’m one of the few that actually can run 4K / 60FPS on my PC, I’m really impressed by it not because it’s powerful but because of the specs, it’s unprecedented in home consoles. As a person who owns an Xbox One, but barely uses it, I might pick this up for exclusive Xbox One games that won’t run on my PC because the Windows Store is complete garbage and MS needs to fix it’s games running on PC, I really want to play RDR2 and Gears 4 on a really good console because the PC ports for Gears 4 is complete garbage and I’m not willing to wait a year for Rockstar to actually bring out a PC release for RDR2, I’m really considering the Scorpio just depends on the price to be honest, and depends if MS is considering new exclusives on the level of Sony’s games, something that great to pull me in.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “As a word to those that aren’t interested, just let people enjoy things.” This right here. I said this as a response on Twitter yesterday, but are console wars still a thing?? Like that was going on thirty years ago when I was still a child. I have friends who are Xbox (Microsoft) people where as I’m more of a PS (Sony) lady. You know what? It means if they have an Xbone, I can go over to their place and have a different system to play. I look at it the same way I look at the ridiculousness of iPhone vs. Android. The phone you have affects my life as much as the console you prefer. Let people enjoy things. This is the motto we need to live by. I hadn’t really heard of Project Scorpio before reading this, but I’m interested in it more for the sake that it’s a gaming system and I’m a gamer. I don’t think I’ll pick one up, but I’d like to hear more about it and what it can do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, you’ll definitely hear about it from me. I’m either going to get one and write about it, or just do like I normally do and spend hours doing tons of research on it.

      Actually, probably both.

      Just so you know, I’ve been just as guilty in the past of taking part in the console wars as a defender of my preferred platform. Now I just want to play games. Console wars are exhausting…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It is so true. Well, the majority of modern console nowadays is so strong already. So what’s the point of project scorpio? We recently have Xbox one S which supports 4K streaming and gaming, then… it is absolutely a redundant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Xbox One S is good for 4K streaming, and the PS4 Pro as well. Where both fall short is in the form of 4K rendering though. While they can display on a 4K TV, both the Xbox One S and PS4 Pro do so by upscaling. Project Scorpio looks to be the only console coming to market that can render natively in 4K.

      Whether that is a meaningful distinction to a consumer is a moot point though. There are a number of people that don’t value what Project Scorpio seems to be about, which is fine. I suppose the question that consumers need to ask themselves is “How much does graphical fidelity matter to me?”

      Like

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