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Xbox brand director Albert Penello was on a podcast recently to talk about the future of console generations and the future of the Xbox brand, explaining that the Xbox Scorpio would be designed to "think beyond console generations".
Albert Penello, recently explained to Gamespot that:
You hear us talking about thinking beyond console generations. It's not the idea that you don't want to do consoles anymore or that there's not going to be more performance [in the future with new systems]. But if you go back and look at console generations, they're always super exciting when something new comes out, but they're super disruptive.
By "disruptive" he's talking about how developers have to adjust to the new hardware, and therefore it sets them back both financially and creatively in how they design games. Albert Penello also mentions that console generations are disruptive to consumers because it means buying new hardware, new software for the hardware, and new peripherals for that hardware with each new generation.
The Xbox Scorpio is supposed to be designed to make the transition for console generations fluid. Gamers will be able to keep their games and enjoy newer titles in higher fidelity and with better performance.
The comment section on the Gamespot page compared it to Marxism, saying it sounds good on paper but in execution it may be a completely different thing. A unified ecosystem may be Microsoft's intentions, marrying the Xbox Scorpio, Xbox One S and Xbox One together, but we also saw a similar thing happen with Nintendo and the Wii U, which was also connected to the Wii. Unfortunately for Nintendo, things did not go over great and the system did not sell as well as they had hoped, despite being more powerful than the Wii and having full backwards compatibility.
Another issue that pops up is the one of incremental upgrades. We usually have PCs that require upgrading every so often to stay up with the trends in both software and hardware. Consoles are usually relied upon to have fixed hardware for the whole generation (usually five years) and no worries about driver support, hard drive space, peripheral compatibility or system requirements. Lately that's all been changing.
With the Xbox Scorpio, they claim that all games for the Xbox brand will be interchangeable between the Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox Scorpio, but people have been bringing up a good point about the Scorpio's VR support- which is not possible on the Xbox One and Xbox One S. So if you want VR games, you will have to upgrade to the Scorpio.
Right now there are a lot of buzzwords being flung around to talk up the importance of Microsoft's shared ecosystem for the Xbox brand, but the last time Microsoft tried to jumpstart a revolution they ended up killing the numbers of their own userbase due to DRM and anti-consumer usability policies.
Microsoft is touting that the Xbox Scorpio will be the most powerful console on the market when it launches, but power may not be the only concern this time around. Nintendo is looking to disrupt the market with the NX in March of 2017, with rumors of it being a hybrid console with mobile capabilities, and Sony seems to be putting their eggs in the VR basket with the PS4 Neo. At the end of the day, it will be the software that sells the hardware, and Microsoft will need far better and stronger software support for the Xbox brand, in addition to strong pro-consumer support, if they want to get back to the top of the mountain.