At E3 2016, Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One S and hyped the console’s redesigned form and new features – but did they kill that hype just two and a half hours later?
Microsoft shook the gaming industry by revealing the Xbox One S (which was leaked the day prior) at the beginning of their show, but then showed the world their future vision with Project Scorpio. The show concluded with a muddy message from Microsoft – a slimmer redesigned Xbox One available towards the end of 2016, and a highly enhanced, far more powerful Xbox One set to appear just twelve months later.
The question now is, why even bother with the Xbox One S?
Let’s look at the information we already know for sure about the Xbox One S:
- The system will retail around the same price point as the original depending on storage capacity
- 40% smaller in size than the original
- New designed controller with built-in Bluetooth
- 4K (UHD) video playback
- HDR color enhancements
On paper, it looks like this is a great new redesign, but with little to no information yet on Scorpio, wouldn’t it be safe to assume all these features be included in the Scorpio as well? I should just get the Scorpio then and forget about the Xbox One S then, right? WRONG! Let me explain why you should still care about the Xbox One S, and what Microsoft needs to do to show why both consoles matter.
Microsoft has not announced any real concrete specs or features on Project Scorpio, other than its 6 terraflops of power, and the launch window. Microsoft can announce one simple thing to show how different these two consoles are and that is… price.
Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, stated that Project Scorpio would be able to run 4K (UHD) games at 60 frames per second (fps). Since no console can do that right now, lets look at the PC market and see what can achieve this. Nvidia’s famed 980GTX has been rumored to be the GPU of choice for Scorpio. This is a standalone video card that costs more than the Xbox One S will. More evidence though that the price could be inflated more is that the 980GTX hasn’t really achieved the goal of 60 fps at 4K resolution. PCGamer ran multiple tests on the 980GTX at 4K but at most would run 50fps. Nvidia though has recently announced the 1060GTX, available July 19th, which is comparable to the 980GTX and is priced less than the 980GTX so this may help decrease the overall cost.
There are other variables that can be altered for consoles, of course, but I feel its safe to say that the price Project Scorpio is going to cost between 2x to 3x the base console. That’s not even factoring in that consumers will need a 4K television, as well as upgrading their home theater receiver, if it isn’t capable of 4K throughout to get the full benefit of Project Scorpio.
I’m sure that there will be more that differs between these two consoles, but right now Microsoft is not able to hype up their Xbox One S when they aren’t giving consumers an easier way of saying who the S is for and who Scorpio is for. Xbox One S appears to be for someone who enjoys games and wants to get their first Xbox One, or even replace their current console for more storage or capability. Project Scorpio is for the gaming elitist who wants the absolute best possible experience on a console, without having to put in the effort of building a high end gaming PC rig. Given that the system is still more than a year away, and developers are just getting introduced to the concept of project Scorpio, Microsoft probably has very little concrete information they can disclose.
I hope this does shed some light on why, as gamers, we should be excited for both of these consoles. As for myself, I will be doing everything I can to get my hands on Project Scorpio. That is… if my wife lets me.
Are you excited to get your hands on either Xbox One S or Project Scorpio? What are some features you would like to see added to these new consoles? Let us know in the comment section below!