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Microsoft reiterates 'no one left behind' message regarding Scorpio and games

With the announcement of Project Scorpio and the immense graphical power it promises, there was a lingering fear that developers could decide to focus solely on the new console, freezing out owners of the current consoles.

In our interview with Xbox Services GM, Dave McCarthy, we got what appears to be a definitive answer on the matter. And it's good news for current owners and future buyers of the Xbox One S.

Will there be a range that developers will take advantage of in Scorpio? Absolutely, but again, that's going to be a developer choice. But, on our devices, all of your games are going to work. Period.We made that promise today: those games will work across the whole line-up. They have to work across the whole line-up.

It seems pretty emphatic, so right now we have no trouble in taking his word for it. It's also not that hard to believe, either. PC developers currently target a wide range of frame rates and resolutions, all the way up to 4K. The difference in what you can get comes down to your own hardware, not the game you're playing.

While there are going to be things in Scorpio that developers can target and take advantage of, the key information is that those of us on the existing console won't be left behind. The Xbox One ecosystem is broadening and becoming a little less linear and a little more like the PC space. That's not a bad thing, at all, so long as everyone gets to play.

One of the key messages from E3 this year is "play anywhere" and "play without boundaries." Scorpio it seems is just another piece in that puzzle.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

107 Comments
  • I do wonder if this is part of the new universal play anywhere aspect of games... In theory they could run on mobile up and enable features or quality based on platform hardware.
  • Hopefully so. That's exactly what happens on PC already. Not going to see AAA console titles on the phone any time soon, but there's a great opportunity you'd think to pull ID@Xbox stuff in.
  • Will the adapter for the kinect make it work also with pc?
  • Assume so. There's already an adapter for PC, I'd hope it's basically the same one.
  • Richard, do you know if the Xbox One S will achieve more consistent framerates in existing and new games compared to the original? Another article suggests it can provide enhanced visuals/performance in new games. I'm interested in whether it's just for new games that specifically take advantage, or if it's like if I swap out a GTX 960 that was getting 30FPS, and then putting in a GTX 970 which could achieve 60FPS at the same visual settings. If it will work like that the S is a lot more interesting - I'm thinking less about visuals as that wouldn't just suddenly improve in an existing game and more about framerate consistency. For example if Battlefield 1 runs at (up to) 60FPS on both the OG and S model, will it maintain that 60FPS better on the S model due to the slightly improved hardware? On a PC swapping the GPU could achieve that, but Xbox One games so far are built to work on 1 hardware config. ​P.S Also not expecting a game locked at 30FPS game to suddenly run at 60FPS either, that was just an example of how a GPU change in a PC can give you a higher and/or more consistent framerate.
  • No official word on hardware yet, we have reached out though. Sadly actual performance we'll have to wait and see until we get it in for review.
  • If we're speculating, the original XboxOne SOC had 2 of the 16 GPU CUs disabled for better yields. It's quite possible that the One S has one or both of those extra CUs enabled for modest performance gains, maybe another 10% GPU power available. With this statement from MS, this could be the beginning of this new era of Console gaming. Scorpio will just be a considerably more powerful setup.
  • Unless there is another bottleneck in the system to begin with.
  • Those articles are probably not referring to "speed performance", but more the HDR down hdmi 2.0a which will make the graphics look more lush. HDR helps OLED that already has better blacks than LCD or Plasma get more natural looking and smoother visuals. The place where this will benefit the most is 4K content / movies/TV with HDR enables like some movies on Netflix 
  • If I had to guess, I'd wager you'd see no noticeable gains in games, but the UI might be slightly snappier. Like when you press the home button, it might be near-instant instead of the 1-3 second wait now.
  • Continuum plus a Surface Book style external GPU... Boom a console in your pocket. Maybe Surface Phone will include XBox360 game play ability on external monitor via Continuum, when docked to include access to external GPU... Yes, because enterprise really wants people playing XBox games at work. OK, maybe this is not going to happen.
  • Well, they got GTA San Andreas working on Lumia... All that's/was missing to make it playable is a controller, apparently that's fixed...
  • the situation is this: on Scorpio you will have 60FPS and stable FPS with HDR and other GPU intense features ON on the old X One you will have lower resolution, lower FPS and low grade effects compared to Scorpio. Is it good for US games? Nope, its not. They (Sony and Micro) will release new, expensive consoles every 2/3y. and the players will buy it. Yes, of course all games will be compatible with older consoles but gamers want the newest technology, not the old one but the new one will cost a lot of money and the PC market will be the same. New consoles = new CPU/GPU for the PC more money for Intel/AMD/Nvidia
  • Lol pappalrdo you really think with all that power we will need another new console in 2-3 years? No, I highly doubt it. 4k gaming at 60fps will be good for most gamers for years to come.
  • I wouldn't say it's bad for US games either as it does bring some benefits too, like all games working as you upgrade and most if not all games working if you decide to stay with the original Xbox One.
    I do imagine at some point, after a few upgrades, they'll start cutting off systems, but then again they might just let you play at horrible performance hoping you'll upgrade.
  • Xbox will become an app eventually. OEMs like Asus, Alienware will be free to release their own versions of the xbox console. PC's if they meet the minimum requirement can also launch the xbox app and become an xbox. This is where Windows 10 gives them an advantage. So now you have people playing the same games, having multiplayer access to everyone, but some will get higher fidelity and extra features like ambient occlusion and other things. But games will be developed for the reference to run at a certain frame rate and then they will add additional stuff on top of them for those that can handle it. Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's Lumia 950xl
  • If the new console has PC level of detail (max details) at at least 1080p I could even consider switching to console gaming. But they need to push out at least a new console every 2-3 years.  I would love to only have console and phone+continuum at home.
  • All windows phone 8\8.1 devices will have windows 10 period!
  • "All Lumia Denim" was the official word and only 630/635/530 were cut from that. My 920 still says Cyan after all firmware updates on 8.1, so yeah, I'm quite happy it even got 10586 with that old S4. Sent from Bikini Bottom via my ShellPhone 920
  • "We plan to upgrade all Windows Phone 8 devices to Windows 10 in the future :)" - 13 Nov 2014
  • "We plan." They tried. Performance wasn't similar enough across devices
  • Exactly. They said, "it is our ambition." It was not emphatic like this. It wasn't "This is happening PERIOD". Microsoft foresaw that some devices may have trouble which is why they said "hope" and "try". Not the same this time.
  • And they did PLAN TO. They never said they will, by all means, do it.
  • The pretzels you fanboys make to defend this crap are quite impressive.
  • Well, you quoted something that proves you wrong all by yourself, it's not their fault.
  • Fanboy #1 says it was only "All Lumia Denim" I prove they said all WP8 devices. Fanboys #2 and #3 come in to move the goalposts and start arguing semantics that have nothing to do with the original comment.
  • Well the ORIGINAL comment is about "they broken a promise with phones so they'll break this promise too", but planning is not promising at all, not semantics just reality.
  • Did I reply to the ORIGINAL comment or to the comment claiming they old said Denim devices would get it?
  • Did they reply to your comment or to what comment? You faulted them for not following the comment history from fanboy comment #1, so do they need to comment on the whole history or just your post or only from the comment you decide is right to prove your point? :p :p (yes I'm at work and bored and it's funny to play this game)
  • Lol. Me: Cites the official promise.
    Lord Method Man: Fanbooooy! This infidel won't accept that an unofficial ambition failed to materialize! Off with his head! :okay: Sent from Bikini Bottom via my ShellPhone 950 XL
  • And the ways you haters will ignore what was actually said and create new stories to support your made up fantasy land.
  • Even my 720 has Denim.
  • It really doesn't. Tell me what features did it get with "Denim" that did not come with 8.1 GDR 1...
    None. Not even a firmware upgrade like Cyan. There's an Extras+Infos update that fakes the name of the firmware version, but it's plain old Cyan and you can see it after a hard reset (firmware is preserved). Sent from Bikini Bottom via my ShellPhone 950 XL
  • Lol, I see what you did there but this in a different story all together. The foundation in hardware is already there and now the software will finish the puzzle
  • And XB1 WILL have DVR capabilities. Sorry but MS has to claw it's way out of the lying hole it's dug itself into.
  • TBH, both parties have lied regarding the capabilities of these units but that's beside then point, DVR has simply been less prioritised because users want other things. I personally feel that this statement holds true because of what they have achieved with BC and Windows 10 as a whole.
  • I think so but I wonder is it just me or did anybody else anything on the Kinect device because I think Microsoft ditched it's sad though is a really good device for the xbox
  • It's my guess that Microsoft is assuming nobody wants to hear about Kinect at the moment, but It's also my guess that Kinect is about to make a big comeback in conjunction with VR on the Scorpio... Think about it, flying a VR X-wing, sticking up your middle finger at that Tie-fighter pilot... How else is that going to work than with Kinect... Ok, probably not the best example I could have come up with, but you get it, right?
  • PSVR needs the PS4 Camera so you could well be on to something there.
  • I think MS' implementation of reality manipulation will be a combination of HoloTech(or VR), Illumiroom and Kinect.
  • This is my guess too. There will have to be some sort of sensor/camera that picks up the orientation of the headset (and controls, if that becomes a thing). Sounds like the perfect job for a Kinect sensor. I like the Kinect on the Xbox One, but I certainly don't use it to it's full potential due to room space limitations. It's great for voice commands and I've used it as a Skype camera numerous times. I haven't really used the motion controls since the controller is usually sitting right next to me.
  • I think that's a perfect example. I hope someone gives you credit when the first game comes out that supports digit-flipping the enemy as a taunt. Rumor has it that was Darth Vader's signature move to unsettle the rebels, but they cut it from the movies to make them more family friendly.
  • You can use the Kinect with the One S and you can get a free adapter if you already own one.
  • Does it work also with pc?
  • I still think it's a good idea to keep your Kinect if you have one - I've been trying Cortana in the current preview and the microphones in the Kinect work well here (Could be Placebo but seems even better than before) - The One S does have the IR Blaster built in, which is a nice touch for those who don't have Kinect, so really the only point of it now is an always on Mic for when you don't have a headset connected, still perfect for when you are just watching video or TV and want to go controllerless.
  • Also still great for Skype calls from the living room couch on your big screen
  • Yes I almost forgot about Skype on Xbox One - It will be great if we get the UWP Skype app on Xbox One eventually too.
  • Not been too interested until more recently. It's a great but if hardware. Could do some really fun games.
  • If you don't use it much on Xbox people could always grab the PC Adapter for it and use it for Windows Hello if they have a desktop PC (It's too bulky to take around with your laptop obviously), I still see the benefit of having the microphones always available, I don't wear a headset when I'm chilling out watching some Netflix
  • listen, the next 5years will be about VR only why would they care about Kinect?
  • I think some of the confusion came from some female MS rep who was unsure but said she believes that devs can release Scorpio-only games if they choose to http://www.gamespot.com/articles/some-games-could-be-exclusive-to-new-xb...
  • Well, obviously VR games are not going to work on anything but the Scorpio...
  • VR is a different kettle of fish entirely.
  • Of course but that could be where the confusion originated...
  • Did you read the article? Because VR wasn't mentioned. In fact aside from Minecraft and stating Scorpio will be capable of VR, Microsoft hasn't mentioned VR at E3. So I don't know why you and tons of other people in these comments keep bringing it up when we don't know anything about it aside from assumptions based on Microsoft's current relationship with Oculus.
  • No, I had not read the article until just now... Apparently this "female MS rep" is not just a customer support agent... Even though I believe Microsoft still strives for "One Microsoft" it is still a very large organisation made up of many people... This lady, according to the article, was pressed for an answer... I think probably best to just wait and see and not make a big deal out of something that's probably nothing. So what if somebody decides to make a game that runs only on Scorpio and so what if then somebody should say that's not allowed... Blah blah blah, who cares?
  • Let leave it to the developer's because that worked so well for Windows phone! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Xbox game developers are not phone app developers.
  • But you are still taking about leaving it solely to developers in a niche market. MS did away with it's game studios so if this doesn't sell well who's going to develop for it?
  • I never could understand why this wasn't the case when I made the move to consoles from PCs.
  • One year from now: "We think is better for developers and gamers if the Xbox One S is discontinued and we just keep the Scorpio.. FATALITY!!!"
     
  • That is very likely to happen, with the original Xbox One, not so much the S... My guess is that you'll be able to buy the S (budget, no VR, up to $400 depending on SKU) and the Scorpio (all bells and whistles, VR headset/Kinect, somewhere between $700 and $1000) after the Scorpio comes out. The original Xbox One I assume will disappear from stores as soon as stocks are depleted.
  • If you think you will get a Scorpio unit and VR headset and Kinect for under $1000 you must be one of those that think a Hololens will be $500. Not going to happen. Scorpio is designed to run Occulus/HTC level VR, those sets themselves are in the $600-$700 range and need a highend gaming PC. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Jeez. Some of you guys just LOVE being negative.
  • While ulitmately no one is forced to buy anything, I can certainly understand why some might be a bit cynical towards a company like MS when they have made claims in the past, only to say and do otherwise. 
  • According to what MS has done in the past, I'm not being negative, but realistic. And face it, there's no way MS can force developers to port games for both Xbox One S and Scorpio, specially if the last one becomes Microsoft's next-gen flagship console. And even if MS can actually force developers to do that, the game experience will be totally different between both consoles, and gamers will surely prefer the Scorpio's. Also, if you're an XBox One user, can you afford to get the XBox One S now, and then get the Scorpio when it comes out? If you do, God bless your bank account.
  • Does this extend to VR games? Will every game built for VR also have a non-VR version? What if we see some creative use of VR - would they need to release a non-VR version even if it was terrible?
  • VR is different. We don't know how Microsoft is handling VR yet.
  • You mean, "how they plan to handle it," as it isn't out yet. ;)
  • Why are you asking questions that can only be answered with speculation? Everyone seems dead keen to find fault with a pretty obvious strategy.
  • My guess would be that all "VR" games will be playable on a TV.  If you think about it, you are just replacing the right thumbstick that looks around, with sensors attached to a head mounted display.   It's all just first person games.  You still can't physically walk around in VR without a controller of some kind.
  • To quote Shipwreck from the Cagcast:
    "No one left behind."
    "They're totally going to leave everyone behind."
  • Those bold statements surrounding output may haunt them. But, I can't wait for Scorpio. I think we will finally have the edge over PS4/4•5 owners. I get a lot of stick at work for it. One guy bought a new ps4 a few months ago, his face dropped when I mentioned the 4.5. Get ready for Scorpio fella!
  • I heard heaps of empty promises. It reminds me of my boss doing some.bs sales talks. Period.
  • Then I guess you heard what you wanted to hear. How is it people can believe a pc game will work on numerous configurations, but that same game won't work on three Xbox SKUs?
  • PC games have graphics setting plus mods for optimize and other my pc play PAYDAY 2 around 30-40fps at 1366x768 but with an optimize mod and some edit on the files of the game i can run it either 1366x768 with 60fps or 1600x900 at same fps
  • ROFLMAO. Don't tell that to the Windows Phone users still left with 8.1 All those 512MB and those old flagships from 2012-2013....
  • This isn't Windows Phone. This isn't the same division, people, hardware or anything else. I don't understand why you guys are determined to turn this into something negative when there's nothing negative yet to say about it?
  • Moto E (2015) won't be getting Marshmallow (an OS from 2015) even though it is perfectly capable and fairly modern hardware-wise. It was touted as the "Lumia 520" of Android and yet, the 520 from years ago and with the lamest specs can get TH2 builds as recent as July 2016 just by getting into the Release Preview ring. Whoever wants 10, has a way of getting it. Take your sour grapes and trolling somewhere else. :) Sent from Bikini Bottom via my ShellPhone 950 XL
  • Just resurrected my 920 after my 830 died. Lovin' it!
  • Yes because Microsoft has such a good track record at "no one left behind".  I remember they said they were still 100% committed to Kinect.  
  • They'll probably have two price point consoles from now on. Next year Xbox One S will be lower price while Scorpio will be higher price point. Then when a better console is released, Scorpio will drop to the lower base price. Seems like a great strategy as long as current games always work on the lower priced console.
  • We could well find ourselves more in line with PC type cycles where stuff still works on the older gen for a period of time while the very top end will be reserved for the newest console.
  • I hate to say it, but I think Sony is going to continue thier domince.  I watched both events, and the only part that made me really excited was the VR stuff coming out this year for PS4.  Scorpio is great, but it's a year and a half away.  By that time PS would expand their lineup and if VR hits for them, it will be an also-ran by the time MS does it.  The Neo might be less powerfull than Scorpio but you have twice as many Sony users who have invested into that platform already.  It will be an uphill battle for MS.... again.  
  • I'm so tired of hearing about how the other side dominates, whether it's Playstation, Android, Apple or whatever... Who cares if the competitor sold more units, that's Microsoft's problem, not ours, just enjoy your xbox/Lumia/Surface/Windows device and let Satya worry about what to tell the shareholders... Yes, I would also have a VR console this Xmas rather than next... So be it... If you can't wait another year, just go buy a Sony and stop whining. Thank you!
  • Read my comment, then re-read yours.  Only one person is "whining" and it's not me.  
  • You're right, I should have added "in general"... I didn't mean for you to take it personal. My bad, I apologize...
  • Apology accepted!  Thanks for being an adult, it's refreshing and all too rare in comments.
  • I agree...mostly. The lynchpin will be how good VR is on PS4 and how Scorpio plays out in comparison to PS Neo. I expect PSVR to be mediocre, at best. It may turn off gamers with a mediocre experience. If XB provides a much better experience with Scorpio, Sony could tarnish their image. There are going to be many inflection points in the next couple years. It should be fun to watch!
  • "No one left behind" message: fool me once, shame on Kinect; fool me twice, shame on DVR TV tuner; fool me...again and again! Man, I'm a sucker: I'll buy Project Scorpio on day 1, just like xbox one. lol
  • I feel a bit skeptical... but we'll see. If Project Scorpio has the same architecture but better performance I think it will be ok, but if project scorpio turns to be what XOne is to X360... we're pretty much screwed because developers will have to rebuild the game for 2 consoles and you can't force them to do that.
     
  • It might not even release for years to come. Alot of what we see at E3 gets delayed or totally disappears never to be heard from again. If the Scorpio is released it will have to be in the $400 price range to have any kind of impact or people will not buy it.
  •   I wonder how this will work long term. After all, it's great to say we're "beyond generations" and that all games will work on all consoles, they'll just look better on Scorpio, but what about 7-10 years from now? Does Microsoft consider replacing the One at that point? If they do and if Scorpio is upgradeable as rumors suggest then some Scorpio users will have hardware that is potentially not too far off of the replacement while original One users will be using really old hardware. I can see that causing some problems as Scorpio users won't be making that big of a step forward...not to mention that wouldn't exactly be beyond generations as they said. On the other hand, what if it's 15 years from now and it's still the same platform, still a variant of the One? How far back do you make devs support the original One? Sure, you can assume that most users are on a later version of the console, and sure you can scale down graphics basically as far as you want with the only side effect bring it doesn't look as good, but the One's graphics card won't be the only outdated component at that point, the processor and amount of RAM will also look inadequate at that point and while some of that work can be offloaded for cloud processing (which is already done in some cases) some of it cannot and unlike graphics, you can't scale a lot of that code. Eventually they will have to start discontinuing support for older Ones. Which is again, not really beyond generations.
  • How much you wanna bet 4k will be up scaled. Probably from 720p lmao. Smh
  • Yea, I am playing my Xbox one in 4K now !!!! I have 1080p from the Xbox one into my 4K TV and my TV scales it up to 4k...  So what is the difference ? :-\
  • Riddle me this. How will the Scorpio be advanced as games if it keeps compatabity with the orginal Xbox one ? Hear me out for a second. The New Xbox one "S" supports UHD disks, this is a new format with 66gb (dual layer), or 100gb (tripple layer). The discs they are using now is standard blu-ray (custom format but, the same discs), these are a max of 26gb. It might not happen in a year or so after the Scorpio is released but, some larger games (say GTA 6 or something with a huge 4K world), it could require more space. This alone could cause a fragmentation and it would be just a matter of time before this would happen. So if your on an orignal xbox one, in about 3-5 years, there will be New games that come out for the Xbox one, that you will not be able to play. Of course if you get a "S" model, this comes with a UHD drive, so this system should be able to play them.... THoughts ?
  • Possible answer. The 4k level graphics will be downloaded from the cloud. The disks (if they even use them) will be for the Original capability. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • It's a guess... I guess time will tell... The resason why I prefer Physical is because 10-15 years from now, when Xbox one is LONG gone, digital titles might not be available any more but, if I have a disc, I would be able to play them with out issues. If part of the game is in the cloud, it kind of defetes the point, doesn't it ?
  • Pc does the same thing with compatibility and it works fine there.
  • I wanna know how the developers feel about this. This is gonna be more graphic targets they have to achieve. Will scorpio graphics suffer as developers are lazy with ports from xbox one? Wiill there be optimized games like halo and uncharted for that take advatage of current consoles as well as upgraded consoles or will the upgrades be similar to simple console -> pc ports, providing a higher resolution and pretty much nothing else.
  • Would be good to know how this translates to dev effort. If Microsoft strategy is that games have to work on all consoles, what are they doing for that to be the case, and what's required from the developers to achieve that? It is a very interesting promise and goal. 
  • We all know how MS promises work out.
  • except how the Kinect "isn't dead"
  • project scorpio is probably just an external GPU.
  • its a new console
  • can I preorder this?
  • Wonder how this affects consoles that cant take advantage of it but yet have to install the full game to run