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The Potential Lose-Lose Scenario of Xbox Scorpio and PS4K


Rumors have been running rampant of a new Xbox console on the horizon code-named "Scorpio". The system is said to be an upgraded Xbox One and is targeting power that will be 1.5 times faster than the rumored PS4K. This would be a first for either platform, choosing faster, iterative upgrades over long console cycles. But there is a potential lose-lose scenario with the rumored consoles, one that hinges on developers.

In an interview with GamingBolt, when asked about the rumored PS4K, Rocket League developer Psyonix VP Jeremy Dunham stated,

“Well, hypothetically in the situation you have raised, it’s no better than having any other additional platform to develop for. It’s- what’s interesting about the question, the hypothetical, is, would the introduction of this item change things severely? And the answer is, it doesn’t really change much if that is the case. Because it’s really just a matter of whether or not you can support another platform, and that’s really what it boils down to- how the pros and cons of the hardware, or the extra QA time needed, or the amount of new assets you have to build, those are all considerations that all developers have to make, any time they develop for any additional platform, be it Sony or Microsoft or even the iPad."

The possibility that these new consoles become a burden for developers to create for is very real. The PS4K and Xbox Scorpio could very well be just another platform developers have to support along with current platforms including Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, and PC. There's also a difficulty factor. If these new systems are hard to develop on, it could potentially spell a lose-lose scenario.

The first scenario is one in which developers don't take full advantage of the power in these new systems. Both the PS4K and the Xbox Scorpio will be much more powerful compared to their predecessors. But if your average developer doesn't utilize this upgrade, it will make fans purchases fell like a waste. Why did you drop an extra $400 for this new system when your games look exactly the same?

On the other hand developers could take full advantage of the new systems and essentially treat them as brand new consoles like the Xbox One and PS4. In this case it's possible that the base systems will be left behind such as what happened with the Xbox 360 and PS3. Games like Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 didn't have a campaign on Xbox 360. Others such as Sniper Elite 3 and The Crew had tons of performance issues compared to their perfectly running current gen counterparts. If this is what will come of the Xbox One and PS4, gamers that don't upgrade to the new systems will suffer. Essentially making the rumored consoles the new generation.

These two scenarios present a lose-lose situation with the Xbox Scorpio and the PS4K. One in which early adopters feel like they wasted their money, and non-adopters feel like they have to upgrade. Although both of which hinge on the difficulty of development, the majority of developers, and each individual gamer. Either scenario could play out for any one particular developer, but the impact won't be felt as much as if the majority of developers fell into the trap. Likewise if you're a gamer that primarily plays one game, as long as that game suits your needs for whichever system you own, there won't be a problem.

Yet these are the possibilities of this new style of console development. There will inevitably be some risk on both the gamer as well as Microsoft and Sony. I for one will be taking a wait-and-see approach with these new consoles. Share your thoughts in the comments down below.
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  1. Your loose-loose comments has no meaning, other than feeling sorry for outdated hardware. Bottom line new machines are meant to take it to next level VR and if rumors are correct, Xbox scorpio will have better VR. Two choices buy when it comes out or buy later on during the cycle, if u are a gamer and if not, than it was not to be.

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