During a trip to Sydney, Australia for the launch of Forza Horizon 3 on Xbox One and the Xbox FanFest, Phil Spencer sat down with NZ Gamer to talk about the announcement and launch of the new Xbox One S console and the upcoming Project Scoprio. While a lot of what was discussed had been stated previously in other recent interviews, of particular interest was the part of the conversation concerning the implementation of 4K streaming capability on the Xbox One S and upcoming Project Scorpio consoles and the reality that, right now, not many regions have internet speed high enough to take advantage of it.
“It was one of the reasons we made the physical media decision that we did,” he says in response to a statement about slow internet speeds in countries like Australia and New Zealand. “I know that if you look at usage on the box, you would say ‘Hey, everybody is watching YouTube, everybody is watching Netflix. Why would you do anything physical?’ But I do think markets where bandwidth capabilities and caps, and cost is prohibitive. So we wanted to make the decision that there would be physical media. I think for us games and the native rendering of 4K games is going to be important for Scorpio, which obviously alleviates any kind of need to stream. But I think we’ve been conscious that not everybody lives in a bandwidth happy, uncapped world.”
While incredibly likely that Project Scorpio, like the Xbox One S, will have a 4K physical disk drive, Phil Spencer is quick to state that that hasn’t been confirmed yet. “We’ve seen great adoption of it with the S. People seem to like it, but those kinds of decisions aren’t the decisions that we announced at E3,” he clarifies. “That’s not a push-back, I’m just saying those are the kind of decisions that can kind of bind later, what the drive is. But it has been really great to see how people have responded to the S, and it seems like we would want to continue to ride that option.”
Another detail many gamers and developers have been keen to learn is the eventual price of the new Xbox console, something that could equally make or break the device in regards to overall sales and adoption. As expected, he doesn’t reveal any specific details but does provide some insight into where abouts the price will sit in regards to the Xbox One S and previous video game consoles.
“So you can see the price of the S today. When we designed both of these, which we kind of designed it in parallel. We thought about the price performance of what we wanted to hit with the Scorpio, relative to what we were going to be able to do with the S. So that we would have a good price continuum, so people wouldn’t look at these two things as so disconnected because of the price delta,” Spencer explains. “So I think you will feel like it’s a premium product, a premium console. And not something, anything more than that. So I wouldn’t get people worried that this thing is going to be unlike any console price you’ve ever seen. We didn’t design it that way. That said, the opening price point for the Xbox One S, and the different hard drive sizes that is a critical part of this whole product. When I think about it as a product line, you should expect the pricing to kind of be in line with that.”
Project Scorpio is expected to release publically sometime during the fourth quarter of 2017 and specific details concerning pricing and its final name (Project Scorpio is just a temporary codename) should drop sometime next year.