If you thought Microsoft announcing one console was a big deal, you probably werent' expecting them to announce two.
Earlier today, alongside announcing the new Xbox One S at its E3 briefing, the Redmond giant also unveiled Project Scorpio, another new Xbox coming in 2017 that rivals the upcoming PlayStation Neo, with the goal of taking the crown for most powerful gaming console. What's peculiar about today's announcement is its timing, however. It doesn't make much sense for Microsoft to announce their next console alongside their current console, does it?
Well, in an interview with Shannon Loftis, Head of Microsoft Studio Publishing, that question, along with many others has been answered. According to Loftis, Microsoft announced Project Scorpio today to let developers know that this machine is coming next year, and inspire them to create new games with the added power of Scorpio:
"We announced [Scorpio] today because we wanted to give developers a heads up that this machine is coming in 2017, and see what they are inspired to create with all this power and capability. It's out there, people know about it. It is the most powerful console that we've ever made."
Loftis continued, adding that Scorpio is the next step in the Xbox One console family, meaning games developed for Xbox One will work on the original Xbox One, Xbox One S and Project Scorpio:
"It is the next step after the [Xbox One S] this fall, in the entire Xbox One console family journey. So games that are playing beautifully right now on Xbox One are going to continue to play beautifully on Xbox One S and Project Scorpio. "
When asked about performance, Loftis mentioned that Project Scorpio will output true, native 4K, rather than up-sampling pixels. Furthermore, Scorpio brings really high fidelity VR support, allowing developers to go all out on VR gaming:
"The power of the graphic rendering means we can render true native 4K, so instead of up-sampling pixels ... developers right now that are developing 4K assets for PC, you can have that great PC experience on your console on your TV. The other thing that this power is capable of is really high fidelity VR."
For those wondering how games released this year will look on Scorpio when it comes out in the fall next year, Loftis says developers are welcome release their games sooner and implement dynamic scaling, meaning games will just automatically look better on Scorpio:
"Game developers that are writing games now, if they want to ship a game sooner, if they enable dynamic scaling the game will just look automatically better on Scorpio."
It's likely we won't hear about Project Scorpio again until next years E3 briefing, where we assume the console will be ready for unveiling properly. Today's unveiling was more of a teaser for gamers, as Microsoft didn't even provide us with a look at what the console might look like. Developers are now getting ready to develop games for Scorpio, and will easily outdo the upcoming PlayStation Neo, making it the most powerful gaming console on the market.