Don't have a 4K TV? Xbox head suggests not upgrading to Scorpio


“Scorpio is not going to do anything for you”

[Update: the full interview where Spencer’s quote can be seen has now been published on Eurogamer. We have updated the information below to reflect this.]

Microsoft threw us for a loop a bit when it announced not one, but two consoles at its E3 presser on Monday. This year will see the launch of the Xbox One S, a slimline version of the current console, while 2017 will see the launch of a whole new piece of kit, currently codenamed “Scorpio”.

The Scorpio will be a massive spec increase over the currently available Xbox One or the upcoming S-model, and is primarily designed to play games at 4K resolutions. That bit’s important, as Xbox head Phil Spencer told a Eurogamer writer, who has a 1080p TV, that the upgrade to Scorpio won’t be worth it for them:

You should buy [an Xbox One S], because Scorpio is not going to do anything for you. Scorpio is designed as a 4K console, and if you don’t have a 4K TV, the benefit we’ve designed for, you’re not going to see.

Clearly, you can buy Scorpio, and if and when you decide you want to buy a 4K television to take advantage of the increased performance, obviously the console will be ready for you. For us in the industry, it’s easy to think that most power is always the thing that wins. If you look at last gen, what won? The Wii won. The Wii sold more than we did on Xbox 360 and the PS3, and it wasn’t the most powerful console out there. Price is critically important. Wii was a good price and it had a great experience.

Scorpio is for the person who’s got a 4K television, who’s really focused on 4K gaming. It’s going to be a premium price over what we’re selling this one for, and both of them will exist in the market at the same time. Scorpio is for your 4K gamer. And that’s what we designed it for.

This might be a problem for a lot of people as while 4K has been gaining popularity recently, TVs that support ultra-HD resolutions are still pretty dang expensive – the cheapest I’ve found is currently a 39” TV for £200.

Will the Scorpio — which is expected to already be pricier than current models to match the higher specs — push you to upgrade to 4K?

Xbox boss Phil Spencer: the big interview [Eurogamer, viaMCV]