So let’s just get real here: You know the Xbox Scorpio console heading to stores at the end of 2017 will be more expensive than the current Xbox One S model. That’s just a given. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has already hinted to the fact that the eventual price tag will reflect a “premium” experience when compared to the Xbox One S. But rest assured that the consumer cost won’t be outrageous, falling in line with previous launch prices for a next-generation console.
But maybe, finally, the debate over the eventual Scorpio price can be put to bed. In a recent interview, Phil Spencer said that the Xbox One S will be the company’s most affordable console next year. This model will focus on the general gaming audience, providing an enjoyable, desirable experience to as many people as possible at that price level. Due to this, there’s high probability Microsoft will reduce the price of a new Xbox One S when Scorpio hits store shelves.
“Scorpio will be a premium console,” he said. “It will cost more than [the Xbox One] S obviously. That’s how we’re building it. We haven’t announced price points for Scorpio yet, but I want to make sure that the investments we’re putting into the product of Scorpio meets the demands of the higher end customer, and that will be a higher price.”
He went on to talk about the Xbox brand overall, and that customers are purchasing different models at different price points to meet their needs and budgets. Thus, naysayers essentially can’t pin one console to Microsoft and judge its performance in the overall console market. However, that’s also now true with Sony, which just launched the PlayStation 4 Pro last week. Sony now has two levels of PlayStation gaming at several price points, just like Microsoft will at the end of next year.
“For us, when we think about Scorpio, it’s for a higher-end customer who demands the most they can get out of a console, and we built a console to meet that demand,” he added.
Both Sony and Microsoft are kicking the old console refresh model out the door. Instead of waiting forever to release new hardware, both have set themselves up to release new generations at a faster rate. On top of that, both will offer two levels of gaming instead of just one: a “premium” model for the high-end gamer and one for the general audience.
Previously, Microsoft said that current Xbox One gamers won’t be left out in the cold when Scorpio arrives next year. Unlike what Microsoft did with the Xbox 360 and initially the Xbox One, Scorpio will be backward-compatible with all games released for the Xbox One right out of the box, and presumably the Xbox 360 titles that fall on the company’s growing backward-compatibility list. Likewise, Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro plays all PlayStation 4 games.
While it’s nice to see Microsoft and Sony moving away from the traditional six-year gap between console refreshes, you have to wonder what will be offered once the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio have had some time to compete on the market. Will we see two-year refreshes? Three years? This will definitely be interesting to see.
We expect Microsoft to officially reveal the Xbox Scorpio console and its price points during the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles next June.