With Xbox’s upgraded console, Project Scorpio, coming out next year, just 4 years after the Xbox One, the company seems to be looking towards a more sustainable business plan.
In an interview with Game Informer, Phil Spencer says, “I don’t have this desire to every two years have a new console on the shelf; that’s not part of the console business model, and it doesn’t actually help us. The best customer I have is somebody who buys the original Xbox and just buys all the games. That’s the best customer for us in terms of the pure financials of it. I don’t have a need to get you to go buy the newest console, or I don’t have the need to create an artificial loop of, ‘Here’s a new console every two years,’ in order to get you to go buy.”
Currently, the company doesn’t have a console planned past Scorpio, but they seem to be trying to make it the best it can be for as long as they can. Spencer laments that the Xbox version won’t ever be the best looking version of a game, saying, “The best-looking version of Battlefield is going to be PC. Somebody’s going to be able to throw enough hardware at Battlefield to get it to outperform what any of the consoles on the market are going to do. I guess you could say, as a console person, that you feel like you don’t get to play the best version of Battlefield so somehow you’re disappointed.”
Spencer is planning on having Scorpio be in the Xbox One “family”, and have new games work on both consoles. That way, players who enjoy their Xbox One where it is don’t have to upgrade to continue enjoying the releases. He compares it to the same PC game being played on separate recommended specs and unbound specs. Everyone enjoys the game in similar ways, but in resolutions that match their budget.
These changes in direction for Xbox might be just what it needs, a focus on games without forcing players to buy a new console every 2 years is a focus on the player instead of the dollar.