Microsoft will tell us everything about its Xbox Project Scorpio at the E3 press briefing this Sunday at 2PM PT (5PM ET). The company has already revealed its specs via Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry, but little is known about the console itself or what it would look like. Just a couple of days before the press briefing, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said in a tweet that the Scorpio briefing would “run longer than our traditional 90 mins.”
Microsoft to merge Xbox and Windows?
Chris Plante of The Verge predicts that the Scorpio could be a Windows 10 PC. This is not the first time someone has put forth this theory. Last year, Zak Bowden of Windows Central listed all the possible reasons why the Project Scorpio could turn out to be a PC. Plante says Microsoft is keen to put a computer in your living room, and it has been laying the groundwork for years.
Back in 2013, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 was coming to Xbox One with a “New Xbox One Experience.” It was the first step in the company’s plan to tie the console into its Windows Universal Platform. Phil Spencer announced last year that keyboard and mouse support was coming to the Xbox consoles. Experts speculate that the keyboard and mouse support could debut with Project Scorpio.
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Microsoft has already made the Xbox app available on Windows 10 PCs, bringing features like messaging, game streaming, and chat to PCs. It has also launched Cross Play to let Xbox users play new games on consoles as well as PCs. For years, Phil Spencer has been pushing to blur the lines between Windows and Xbox, and the Xbox Project Scorpio could be the outcome of his vision.
Xbox Project Scorpio as a Windows 10 PC makes sense
If an Xbox/Windows 10 PC sits right in your living room, it could serve as more than just a gaming console or a streaming device, says Chris Plante of The Verge. It could be at the core of a Smart Home, or a powerful computer that also plays games. As a Windows 10 PC, the Xbox Project Scorpio could be a gaming console, a TV, a Cortana-powered home assistant and more.
Windows Central says the Xbox Project Scorpio is indeed a PC, or at least a device capable of playing traditional PC games via Windows Store. It would be interesting to see whether the device would be able to run programs like Google Chrome and Adobe Photoshop.
Will it be called Xbox 10 S?
It’s unclear what the Xbox Project Scorpio would be called officially upon release. For the last few days, Microsoft has been posting teasers on social media to build up excitement for the console. One of the teasers contains the hidden message “X10S101-317” on a platform at a crowded venue. The Redmond giant has used similar date formats for the Xbox and Windows software builds in the past.
If you analyze the message, you can separate out the “X10S” and “101-317.” The X10S could be a reference to the Project Scorpio’s official name: Xbox 10 S. That name is in line with the Xbox One S console and the recently announced Windows 10 S. The “101-317” refers to the console’s release date: October 13th, 2017. The Scorpio will be available in time for the holiday shopping season.
Just a few days ago, Microsoft filed a trademark application for an “S” logo with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The timing of the trademark filing suggests that it could be the Project Scorpio logo. Microsoft said in the filing that the “S” logo was related to computer game software and video game consoles. It helps explain the “X10S” in Microsoft’s teaser video.
The Xbox Project Scorpio specifications include 1TB of internal storage, true 4K resolution, six teraflops GPU, an octa-core processor with 2.3GHz clock speed, and 12GB GDDR RAM. Of the 12GB RAM, Microsoft had previously kept 4GB for the system and 8GB for games. The company announced Thursday that it has decided to give game developers 9GB RAM and keep only 3GB for the system.
Project Scorpio price
Microsoft hasn’t yet revealed the console’s price, but the rumor mill expects it to cost below $500. Analyst Michael Pachter predicts the console would be priced at $399. The Xbox One was also originally priced at $499, but Microsoft had to slash its price to $399 due to poor sales and competition from Sony’s PlayStation. The PlayStation has outsold Xbox 2-to-1 in North America.
The Scorpio will be competing against the PlayStation 4 Pro. Though Sony executives have said they were not scared of the Project Scorpio, the Japanese company may have an effective strategy in place to counter the Scorpio. Microsoft’s new console will be more powerful than the PS4 Pro. Sony may respond to the threat by slashing the price of PlayStation 4 Pro to $299 or $249 to attract buyers.