Microsoft has said Project Scorpio, its new high-end version of Xbox One, is designed to “win developers back.” Speaking to Eurogamer, corporate vice president of Xbox and Windows gaming Mike Ybarra said it wants to foster a relationship similar to the one it had with developers during the Xbox 360’s life.
“The team looked back at developers and the developer relationship we have,” he said. “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?
“We want the best games running on our box and there are tools, devkits and some arrows like that to win the developers back. So that was a big priority for us as we approached this product.”
Ybarra added that Microsoft has been focused on ensuring that developers have a toolset that allows them to “create the absolute best version of [their] games.” This, he continued, was in order to “win the hearts and minds of developers” again.
The decision to release a new, more powerful version of the Xbox One was also influenced by the hardware iteration model established by the mobile phone industry.
“When you think about phones, for example, consumers are buying phones more frequently than we’ve ever seen,” Ybarra explained. “[Consumer] expectation of technology is they no longer need to wait for it, it’s immediately there in front of them and they expect all of their content to flow across those devices, too.
“And so when you see people buy phones, their apps just download and they just keep going and it works seamlessly for them. Same with 4K TVs. 4K TVs are one of the biggest holiday items this past year. People are expecting this new technology faster than I’ve ever seen and when you think about the console business, that’s kind of in conflict to that, because it’s like here’s a console and for the next five to seven years, you’re on that physical box.”
Of course, Ybarra also noted that this new approach carries with it inherent risks.
“We’re taking that big risk to release something we know consumers want,” he said. “And 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.”
Hardware specs for Project Scoripio have also been revealed and the console looks to be as powerful as Microsoft initially touted it to be, with hardware is beyond what we’ve seen in the current console generation.