Today’s tech reveal of Microsoft’s Project Scorpio showcased the power of the new processor, including technical specs playing up the 4K capabilities Microsoft is hoping to sell.
Interestingly, however, are the reasons why Microsoft is going forward with Project Scorpio. According to CVP of Xbox and Windows gaming Mike Ybarra in a report from Eurogamer, Microsoft is hoping that Project Scorpio is a way to “win developers back” after the launch of the Xbox One in 2013.
“The team looked back at developers and the developer relationship we have,” Ybarra said, speaking to the editor of Digital Foundry Richard Leadbetter. “With Xbox 360 we had the absolute best platform for developers, [with Xbox One] we sort of lost that in a two-year time-frame, so we said how do we win the mind-share of those developers back?”
Ybarra is hoping that developers will bring the best games to the Xbox One, including new tools and devkits for developers. Ybarra notes that Microsoft needs to win the “hearts and minds of developers” again, and believe that the new toolset will let them create the best possible games for the system.
Ybarra’s comments are looking to rectify the technical shortcomings of the Xbox One, which was inferior in power compared to the PlayStation 4. The PS4 was also easier to work with for developers, which Sony touted as a major feature for the system in response to the more complex architecture of the PS3.
While this was the main reason for working on Project Scorpio, according to Ybarra, one of the realities, in the end, is a mid-console upgrade to increase the longevity of the Xbox One.
Ybarra mentioned that Xbox marketing lead Albert Penello met with the team four years ago to discuss how to change the traditional console cycle with the Xbox One. Ybarra believes Microsoft is taking a risk with Project Scorpio, stating they are trying to meet consumer demands by releasing a new console mid-cycle to meet those expectations.
“Adopting that business model, that’s where the risk comes in – it’s in the business model of saying let’s change things up and let’s give consumers what they want, sooner.” stated Ybarra.
One important note from the interview is that Ybarra hints at Project Scorpio being an expensive investment, with the console is being catered to “that premium customer, the gamer that expects the absolute best versions of the games.”
What are your thoughts on Project Scorpio? What about the motivations of Microsoft? Leave your comments below.