Project Scorpio: Microsoft Announced Then Killed the Xbox One S

Microsoft effectively announced and then subsequently killed its newly unveiled Xbox One S console, by concluding their E3 2016 conference with the more advanced Project Scorpio.

Kicking off their presentation with the $299 Xbox One S, Microsoft then confirmed the existence of the previously leaked Project Scorpio, said to be the “most powerful console ever.” With Phil Spencer stating that Microsoft believes the future of consoles if them being both able to output in 4K and being VR ready, it’s curious that the Xbox One S therefore doesn’t factor into these plans, with the new, slimmer console not being capable of supporting VR.

Spencer said that “no one will get left behind” after Microsoft introduces the Xbox One S and Project Scorpio into the Xbox family, though also suggested that it was the console they should have made in the first place. In the company’s presentation, they said that they had listened to feedback surrounding the Xbox One, and had therefore decided to create a console with these criticisms in mind. However, during this period they also seemingly made the Xbox One S, running the very real risk of over-saturating their Xbox line in the process.

Though no official image of the console was given, we know that it will boast 6 teraflops of power and will be VR-ready, though Microsoft didn’t reveal which VR system they will be using. Many have suggested that it will be the Oculus Rift, given Microsoft’s partnership with the company to release Xbox One controllers alongside the headset, though we do know that a VR version of Fallout 4 is planned for the console.

It was simultaneously exciting and slightly concerning news, then, as despite Microsoft’s insistence that the current Xbox One line wouldn’t be killed off as a result of this change, the addition of two new, upgraded Xbox One consoles does raise a few question marks in regards to how parity is going to be maintained moving forward. 

As an Xbox One owner, my initial intrigue regarding the Xbox One S was swiftly diminished following the announcement of Project Scorpio. Though the $299 price point is tempting for a console that will also effectively serve as a 4K blu ray player, an achievement in and of itself considering the price of those devices, I also don’t particularly want to spend money on a console that may become outdated in the near future. If more feel the same, then Microsoft may well have just cannibalized a console it announced only an hour ago.

Check out all of our coverage from Microsoft’s E3 2016 press conference right here.