The XBox 2 Release Date will be in November of 2017 (Updated Project Scorpio Release Date) or sooner. With the ability to play all of your old games and the new ones, you should be saving this for this release in the coming months.
When Microsoft announced the Xbox One S, everybody was expecting it, but when Phil Spencer took the stage at the end of E3 2016 and announced Project Scorpio (Xbox 2), we had some serious news on our hands. He promised "the most powerful console ever built." It's coming in holiday 2017, and the biggest question on everyone's mind is "When will we know the details and the exact release date?"
Now we know:
Xbox 2/Project Scorpio To Be Unveiled at E3 2017
There was some speculation as to whether Microsoft would hold a pre-E3 show to announce Scorpio and discuss details. This would be similar to what Sony did with the PS4 Pro. However, Phil Spencer confirmed in a blog post that they would full unveil Xbox 2 (Project Scorpio) at E3 2017 during their media briefing.
That means that Sunday, June 11th at 2PM PDT/5PM EDT, we'll finally have all the details on the Xbox 2. It's exciting to finally have a date to look forward to, and we'll all be waiting for the big announcement with bated breath.
Is Project Scorpio Xbox 2?
Normally, that wouldn't even be a question, but in a post PS4 Pro world, we have to wonder if it's truly a next generation console, or something iterative like the Pro, which Sony has explicitly stated is not the PS5.
Typically, we classify generational leaps as a jump in power that's significant when compared to the last console. That's why models like the Xbox One S don't count, because they're largely the same.
Now, Project Scorpio is promising things like native 4K and hi-fidelity VR which is something you would normally expect from only the most powerful PC rigs.
Another major component of a "new generation" is usually a new format, and in many cases, the inability to play older titles (unless there's backwards compatibility). This is where things get murky with Project Scorpio, because Microsoft is trying to break down the walls between generations as we know them.
|Original XBox Release Date||November 15, 2001|
|Time Between||3 years, 5 months, 27 days|
|XBox 360 Release Date||May 12, 2005|
|Time Between||8 years, 6 months and 10 days|
|XBox One Release Date||November 22, 2013|
|Time Between||3 years, 11 months and 24 days|
|XBox 2 Release Date
November 15, 2017
(To beat the PS5)
Worst Case Estimate: June 1, of 2022
Microsoft's own Aaron Greenberg spoke with Engadget about Scorpio and they asked him if this was the final console generation.
To this, Greenberg said, "I think it is. For us, we think the future is without console generations. We think that the ability to build a library, a community, to be able to iterate with the hardware--we're making a pretty big bet on that with Project Scorpio. We're basically saying, 'This isn't a new generation; everything you have continues forward and it works.' We think of this as a family of devices."
He went on to say that Microsoft is planning to learn from the reaction to Project Scorpio and if it's a big success, they believe it will change the future of consoles as we know it. Of course, the ability to bring forward all of your games and accessories is something new for the industry.
Backwards compatibility is, at it's best, just the games. Even that has been hard to get with the past few generations, but Microsoft is promising that everything will go forward with you to Scorpio/Xbox 2. Furthermore, Scorpio isn't planning on having any exclusive games ,except for VR titles.
That means even the new games will work on your older system. This makes gamers like me wonder how much better Scorpio can be if the games are required to work on older systems too. Greenberg went on to say,
"I think the really important thing for people to understand is the nut we've tried to crack here is ensuring we hit hardware innovation at the same time we ensure compatibility. That term of an upgrade is gone. We are wiping out those generational boundaries. As a gamer, it's pretty cool. Because then I know the games I buy and play today and the controllers I use today are going to work on that machine of tomorrow. And that's the real major step-change."
Knowing this, it's hard to really say that Project Scorpio really is Xbox Two, but with Microsoft's new approach to an "Xbox Family" Scorpio stands as something new and different. In that regard, it is the Xbox 2, because it represents the next major step forward for the industry.
Graphics, power, and VR are all next-gen buzzwords, but the real reason why Project Scorpio is the same as Xbox 2, is the way it shatters our expectations surrounding backwards and forwards compatibility. So, if this is Xbox Two, then what are Microsoft's plans for the future? More consoles like this one?
A tweet on Phil Spencer's account shows that Microsoft is already thinking ahead, perhaps even past Scorpio:
@umairshazi Already have ideas for what could be after Scorpio. Great thing in gaming, early tech adopters and best creators of any industry
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) August 18, 2016
So, Project Scorpio/Xbox 2 won't be the last we see of Microsoft, but it will be the first step into a bold new future where everything you buy and play goes with you as you move up in the models.
The Xbox Family: What it Means For The Future
Microsoft is referring to their trio of consoles (Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox 2/Project Scorpio) as the Xbox Family. They are driving home the concept that no gamer will be left behind. If you buy an Xbox game, you can play it on any of the console within that family, and the same goes for your controllers and accessories.
The benefit of course, is that playing games on Project Scorpio (Xbox 2), will allow you to play them in 4K and with potential graphical upgrades like we see on the PS4 Pro. Since Xbox Two is so powerful, though, we have to wonder how much of a difference we’ll be seeing.
A leaked document in January of 2017 revealed some of the console’s specs and how developers can take advantage of them. We did a little digging ourselves and discovered some interesting information from reputable sources like Digital Foundry.
We found that developers have the option to use the system’s power for things besides resolution. The examples they used were higher fidelity shadows, reflections, texture filtering, draw distances, and so on.
Furthermore, we discovered that Thomas Mahler who created Ori and the Blind Forest on Xbox One, has seen what Xbox 2/Project Scorpio has to offer and he describes it as a “full blown next-gen machine.” Which fuels our case that Project Scorpio is indeed Xbox 2.
So, Microsoft is making the games compatible across all the systems. That way you’re always a part of the family. What’s more interesting is the Play Anywhere program, which ropes PC gamers into the mix. Essentially, you can buy a game on Xbox, then play it on PC as well and transfer your saves.
Recently, a sequel to Shadow of Mordor was announced entitled Middle Earth: Shadow of War. This sequel is releasing on August 25th, and the developer has confirmed it will have features on Project Scorpio. Whether that’s simply 4K or something more remains to be seen.
How long and how large this “Xbox Family” will grow is an interesting point of discussion. Will the next console after Scorpio also have games that play on everything back down to Xbox One, or will the family get broken up then? Hard to say, but for the foreseeable future, every game will work on every console (and sometimes PC too).
VR on Xbox: All The Options
Another thing we know about Xbox 2/Project Scorpio, is that it will have support for VR. These titles will be exclusive to the platform, since Xbox One won’t be getting a VR solution. The question that’s on our minds, is who will be manufacturing the headset?
On the one hand, Oculus Rift seemed like a solid choice, but then Microsoft announced its own line of Windows 10 VR headsets in late 2016. It would make the most sense for these to be compatible on Xbox Two, but no mention of that was made at the unveiling.
What we do know, is that the headsets are being made by different manufacturers and will start at $300 for the base model. The entire line of headsets also supports inside-out tracking sensors which removes the need for a camera or external sensor.
These are different than the HoloLens, which is an augmented reality headset. For the time being, it’s assumed that these headsets will still be wired in nature. Current partners listed were HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer, so it stands to reason that one of these manufacturers are working on a variation of their Windows 10 headset for Project Scorpio (Xbox 2).
Some of these manufacturers are already working on headsets. Acer is working with Starbreeze to create the high-end line of StarVR headsets. Asus has a leather strapped headset, and AntVR is partnering with Lenovo for mobile VR setups.
Regardless, Microsoft is promising “hi-fidelity” VR that is supposed to compete with Sony’s PlayStation VR solution. It’s assumed that VR will come after the console’s release in holiday 2017, but that could change.
Predicting the Xbox 2 Price
Microsoft is in the midst of a transition between the past and the future. While the Xbox One had some misfires, Project Scorpio/Xbox Two is looking to come out of the gate swinging with it's high-end specs, VR support, and native 4K. Phil Spencer hasn't said much on the price, but what he has said assures us that it will be more than Xbox One S, and priced as a "premium console."
One thing is certain, gamers will speculate, and we will be right there with them. Join us as we explore the Xbox Two Price!
The Xbox One
Xbox One is well into its lifespan, and with Xbox One S, gamers have two models to choose from until Project Scorpio (Xbox 2) releases. Things have been good for the console, but we’ve had some downturns, such as the cancellation of Scalebound which was looking to be a solid exclusive from Platinum Games.
With the aforementioned “Xbox Family” in place, the lifespan of the Xbox One is an interesting concept. Since gamers will be able to play their games on both Scorpio and Xbox One (or the S), it lends a longer lifespan to the console.
Despite Microsoft promising not to leave anyone behind, at some point in the future, they’ll need to trim the family. I imagine this will happen with Scorpio’s successor or if they really stretch it, the console after that.
We kind of assumed Xbox One would last ten years, but this new revelation that games will go forward and backward could make it last even longer, but not by much I imagine. Scorpio releases in 2017, and I would bet that Xbox One won’t make it much past the ten year mark which would be 2023.
At the pace of technological development, it will just become too obsolete by then to warrant games being backwards compatible. It will be dead weight for the newer console or consoles Microsoft has by then.
The Xbox 360
If we call the lifespan of the Xbox five years, then the Xbox 360 will have doubled that of its predecessor by the time it is finally phased out. Although the 360 had a relatively shaky start as consoles go with the red ring of death a constant thorn in the side of gamers, and losses reported in the initial months of trading, the success of this beloved console soon picked up.
The Xbox 360 made it an admirable ten years from 2005 to 2016.
Some young gamers today will have been born after the debut of Microsoft’s very first entry into the world of the games console. The Xbox was launched in November of 2001, and was in direct competition with the PlayStation 2 from Sony, along with other now-retro consoles - the Dreamcast from Sega and the GameCube from Nintendo. Despite the Xbox’s successes, notably adding an Ethernet port to allow easy online gaming, the Xbox was swiftly discontinued after the launch of its successor in November, 2005. Support for the original Xbox continued until 2009, however no new games were released for it after Madden NFL 09 in August, 2008.
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