Microsoft has unveiled the brain and heart of its new Xbox machine, Project Scorpio, last week. Now it’s Phil Spencer, chief of the division, who gives an extensive interview to Gamasutra in which he reveals details, ideas and the first image of a Scorpio development kit.
Spencer has been very clear about the importance of Scorpio and its role within the Xbox ecosystem. According to the head of the Xbox division, both Xbox One S and Scorpio were raised as revisions of hardware with a clear intention: to maintain the ecosystem of hardware that was started with Xbox One for the next and future years.
The plans for renewal of the machine that left in 2013 began three years ago, partly looking for better characteristics facing the player and on the other, particularly in Scorpio, with the intention to preempt the era of 4K and HDR and thus provide additional value to the Xbox user. Spencer puts a lot of emphasis on the decisions made for the platform, such as backward compatibility with Xbox 360.
In this respect, in the durability of a platform and its games over the years, Spencer has a very clear opinion. “You know, Call of Duty is a great a example. Right now we’ve got a lot of people playing Infinite Warfare but we also have a lot of people playing Black Ops 3. And that’s good for Activision. They can keep both of those ecosystems strong. And we want to help them do that,” he explains.
“So when we thought about our tools, I said okay, games are going to live longer than we’re used to them living on our platform,” he adds. In fact, Spencer draws an analogy with the PC world and its commercial travel and software and hardware length, citing the World of Warcraft example. “So from a development platform, we needed to think about our hardware as multi-generational. Because we said ‘Okay, there’s gonna be games that are going to live multiple generations. And our software platform really has to service a developer’s need to service an ongoing set of users,” he concluded.
“We are set that Scorpio is part of the Xbox One family of devices. You’re probably gonna get tired of our PR like, answers on that. But it’s true. Like, we have millions of customers that have made a commitment to the Xbox One generation and I want to make sure if you bought the original Xbox One — and frankly, developers want to support the largest install base of consoles that are out there,” comments Spencer. The manager speaks of the importance of the PC in this area, since the developers can establish a series of configurations according to the hardware, offering the same game in different platforms.
“You’ve got to support Xbox One, S, and Scorpio when you launch your game on Xbox One. But the truth is, the only developers that target one platform are first-party. when they show a console version I think Scorpio is going to be the version that looks better than any other version.”