In case you missed the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) last June, Xbox big boss Phil Spencer provided one of the event’s biggest surprises by announcing that they are developing a new dedicated gaming system that promises to be the most powerful console yet. No, we’re not talking about the Xbox One S, a slimmer and more powerful version of the current Xbox One, which was similarly announced at E3 and is set to launch this month.
The console we’re talking about is currently code-named as ‘Project Scorpio’ and will hit stores in 2017 during the holiday season, a not-so-surprising slot considering both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One were released in the month of November. If the release date holds, that makes Project Scorpio the last next-gen console to be released: Sony is rumored to release the PlayStation Neo as early as this year’s holidays, while Nintendo has circled March 2017 as the release date of the NX (both consoles similarly bearing unofficial names). Being the last one out the door, Microsoft has a lot of time to tweak things according to the performance of the other two consoles.
Microsoft’s announcement of the new console is particularly surprising if you consider the gap between its last two consoles: the Xbox 360 was released back in 2005 while the Xbox One was released a full 8 years later in 2013. So, once again assuming the 2017 release date of Project Scorpio holds, only a mere 4 years will have passed after the Xbox One’s original release (no, the Xbox One S doesn’t count as a new console). Project Scorpio, however, will not replace the Xbox 360 and Xbox One in the market, according to Spencer. It will simply be a new high-powered console.
The decision to speed things up may have something to do with the video game industry being transformed by virtual reality, 4K resolution and HD gaming. And based on the specifications mentioned at E3, Project Scorpio is very much equipped to handle that.