Cliff Bleszinski On Xbox One Scorpio: Microsoft Are Trying To Emulate The Smartphone Model

“To me, it seems like the Xbox One Scorpio is trying to make up for past wrongs.”

Posted By | On 22nd, Jul. 2016 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605

xbox one scorpio

Next year, Microsoft will be launching the Xbox One Scorpio, an iteration of the existing Xbox One hardware that seems to be tailor made in response to all the numerous criticisms that Microsoft have endured for the Xbox One over the last three years.

Unlike the Xbox One, the Scorpio will not be some misguided attempt at redefining UI, or being a living room media box. Unlike the Xbox One, the Scorpio will not be underpowered, overshadowed by its competition. Unlike the Xbox One, the Scorpio won’t break compatibility with its predecessor. Instead, the Scorpio will be a gamer focused machine through and through, with 6TFLOPs of power that will make it the most powerful console ever released, and far beyond its competition. The Xbox One Scorpio will also maintain full compatibility with the Xbox One and Xbox One S, including with the Xbox 360 games that have gradually been made compatible with Xbox One hardware over the last year.

However, veteran industry developer Cliff Bleszinski, who has created multiple hits over the years, including Gears of War for Microsoft on the Xbox 360, doesn’t exactly sound fully enthralled with Microsoft’s strategy for Xbox going forward. In an interview with German outlet PC Games Hardware, Bleszinski sounded off on Microsoft’s plans for Xbox going forward.

“To me, it seems like the Xbox One Scorpio is trying to make up for past wrongs,” Bleszinski said. “With the Xbox One, Microsoft made many big mistakes… they were completely on the wrong track with the two central concepts for the console, always online and Kinect, and they also had the misfortune of being caught in the middle of the NSA scandal because of the Kinect.”

Bleszinski went on to explain that the Kinect is actually good technology, sophisticated and really expensive- but it never felt like it amounted to anything much for the games, outside of casual fitness and dance games. But even this was a mistake.

“The Xbox One was no Wii,” he said. “Unlike the Wii, it was really expensive at launch… 500 bucks doesn’t exactly appeal to the casual, virtual gym toting crowd.” As a result of the Kinect, Microsoft were caught between a rock and a hard place- the Kinect pushed up the price so that the console would only appeal to core gamers, but core gamers weren’t interested in what the Kinect had to offer- and because the Kinect was already so expensive, it placed constraints on how much technology Microsoft could put into the console box itself, leading to weaker but expensive hardware, with no appeal to either mainstream casuals, or core gamers.

The result? Sony displaced Microsoft with PlayStation. “The Xbox 360 was an excellent console for shooters, for a long time, most games ran better on it. But this time around, the PS4 is simply better than the Xbox One, native 1080p and 60fps make all the difference,” he said.

Returning to the Scorpio, and to Microsoft’s future hardware strategy, Bleszinski noted that Microsoft risked confusing the average customer. “My ex-colleagues must make sure they don’t confuse the average buyer,” he noted, “Who will ask themselves, ‘Why do I have to buy a Scorpio this year when I just purchased an Xbox One S last year?’

“Now, I understand Microsoft’s idea behind the strategy, they are trying to emulate the smartphone model, Apple makes so much money with their ‘S’ models, that cost less money to manufacture, off uninformed customers. But smartphones are subsidized by carriers- the question is, will there be any such deals for the Scorpio?”

To Microsoft’s credit, they have intimated that they plan to have trade in promotions for the Xbox One Scorpio once it launches next year- but Bleszinski’s other points definitely stand. By releasing so much hardware in such a short period of time, Microsoft run the very real risk of confusing and alienating the customer- this kind of strategy does work in the handheld market (indeed, Nintendo has made an artform out of it, especially with the 3DS), but in the console market, it has never worked. Just ask Sega how the Sega-CD and 32X worked out for them.

The Xbox One Scorpio is due out by Holiday 2017.

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  • Michael

    Lol….gaming journalism is just getting worse.

  • Triton

    I cant see confusion anywhere?
    Its a straight up Xbox One Pro.

    • Mr Xrat

      Considering your idiot friend Mooch didn’t even know the Shitpio is a current-gen refresh of the Xbone, there’s a lot of confusion. To be expected from thick as dirt Xgimps, though.

    • shane

      hey, don’t forget to up vote your comment.

    • sgt_hammertime

      Shitpio? This guy is running out of ideas or he’s only 15 years old.

    • shane

      He’s a loser man. No BS I had 2 comment’s in 2 different forums that I left about a 1/2 hour apart. I got back to back alert’s within 1 minute apart of him leaving comments in the 2 different forums. He lives this s#it talking. Also he has aliases were he can up vote his comment.

    • sgt_hammertime

      You are very right

    • Triton

      Always the same accounts liking your own comments.
      Too funny Mr Fraud.

    • Triton

      I dont even know Mooch. We dont even live in the same country you idiot.

    • d0x360

      Current gen refresh. How so? It’s going to have a faster CPU likely Zen based and a Polaris based gpu. That’s next generation of hardware not a simple iteration.

      It’s fully compatible because it’s all pc parts.

    • Mr Xrat

      How do you know, other than Digital Foundry speculation?

      They’ve announced that it’s in the same gen. They’ve announced it’s mostly for running previous games at higher res (framerate is staying the same). They’ve announced it’ll be a premium price. That’s it.

    • d0x360

      How do I know? How about nothing more than the fact that its a generational leap in power?

      Even if they update every 2 years who cares? Nobody is forcing you to buy hardware just like nobody in the PC space forces you to buy a new GPU.
      The games scale across power levels just like PC games do and it’s about time. The long term static nature of consoles holds gaming back. PC gaming is held way back because most developers like money so they need to design games that run on PC and console. My PC GPU is 5x as powerful as the one in the ps4 yet most of its real resources go untapped because the game has to also run on ps4. Geometry is simplified, physics are simplified, ai, lighting, scale… Everything is taken down a notch because of consoles.

      This will help solve a lot of that. Games can continually push boundaries on one end of the spectrum while still remaining perfectly playable on the other.

      If you see that as a negative…you’re either crazy or just jealous because you cant afford the upgrades.

      Its one or the other. No shame in not being able to or not willing to spend money on upgrading and being jealous but there is in not admitting it and wanting gaming to be held back for it.

    • Mr Xrat

      “How do I know? How about nothing more than the fact that its a generational leap in power?”

      Generational leap in power but still the same generation. What a waste.


    He just keeps criticizing Microsoft’s Xbox Scorpio’s plan while Sony is doing the same exact thing with the NEO but only weaker lol

    Poor Cliffy B is still salty over Microsoft taking the GEARS franchise from him lol

    • Michael

      No, this just shoddy journalism. Take it with a grain of salt. He only put the parts of the interview he thought will fan the fan boy flames. The interview wasn’t even about scorpio.

    • d0x360

      Cliff has come out multiple times and said this. No grain of salt needed. Everytime he bashes ms and says nothing about Sony.

    • shane

      I was Thinking the exact same nothing when reading this article.

    • Mr Xrat

      Only they’ve said they aren’t planning to make iterative consoles a regular thing. Try harder, Kirk DA-MORON.

    • sgt_hammertime

      So to you a console every 4 or 5 years is iterative?

    • Nintengods

      You mean the Time magazine interview where Andrew House said they were emulating apple’s model?

      $DF shills like you are as dumb as the xbots. But I expect your whining to get more louder when it turns out NX is stronger.

    • d0x360

      Stronger than what? The ps4? This is nintendo my friend. If anything the NX will be ever so slightly above ps4 and it will have 3rd party support for about 6 months before it dies off like the wiiu

      Nintendo is making the same mistakes they have made since the launch of the Wii and there is no end in sight.

    • d0x360

      Sony will do the exact same thing. Just because they haven’t said it doesn’t make it less true.

      The ms plan gives he xb1 and every subsequent upgrade a 6 to 7 year life cycle. That’s plenty of time to upgrade.

      This is pure nonsense and another example of Sony getting a free pass no matter what they do.

  • drkamilz

    Shitbox One S from Micro$hit, yeeeey!

    • Nintengods

      Matches nicely with the PissShit4 32X from $ony.

    • Daniel Phillips

      4k and hdr is a pretty good improvement for the same price as the current xbox.

  • Mr Xrat

    Wouldn’t surprise me. MS just keeps getting it wrong.

    • shane

      Your mom said she got it wrong too, when she had you.

    • Nintengods

      Rather like $ony’s model which is also wrong and even their deluded drones can’t defend it. But then how embarrassing is it that the “Strongest console” needs a refresh because PC gaming was humiliating it since launch and it can’t run VR unless it has PS2 graphics and low resolution. And even then it will still be 50% slower than the biggest budget GPU on the market.

      Just makes Nintendo obliterating the PS4 32X next year even sweeter watching $ony Shills and xdrones scream at each other while both sink out of gaming.

      No one will miss you $ony drones and Xbots.

    • d0x360

      God you are beyond naive…it’s actually funny

  • Psionicinversion

    I think cliffy B talks alot of BS. The xbox slim is for new people who want an xbox at a cheap price also doubling up as a cheap 4K bluray player, that alone could help it sell alot while scorpio is to play games like the PC has been doing for years. Whatever price the Neo is i’d say add $100 and that will be the price of the scorpio

    • d0x360

      It’s also the cheapest UHD HDR Blu-ray player on the market by $100. That alone is a value proposition.

      There was always going to be a slim. Chips shrinks. Kudos to ms for supporting UHD HDR Blu-rayand HDR in games.

      If you own an xb1 don’t bother but if you don’t it’s a great deal unless you plan on buying (codename) Scorpio even if it’s just for UHD HDR 4k Blu-rayand because again it’s the cheapest player on the market and will be for probably 6 month’s to a year.

      So spend $100 more and get just a player or spend that 100 less and get a player plus a gaming machine…hmmm

  • AuricGoldfinger

    “the PS4 is simply better than the Xbox One, native 1080p and 60fps make all the difference,” he said.

    Yet I keep reading how power doesn’t matter, and that’s not why the PS4 has outsold the xbox one. There it is folks, he just stated that 1080p/60fps makes all the difference. Cliffy literally just stated that native 1080p/60fps makes the PS4 simply better than the Xbox One lol.

    So when Scorpio releases and it’s the only native 4K console, we will see if he said ” The Scorpio is simply better than the Neo, native 4K and 60fps makes all the difference”

    • One The One

      And I’m STILL waiting for that 1080p/60fps AAA exclusive on the Sony camp.

      Poor Saltty B.

    • Mr Xrat

      Forza’s aliasing will be side-splitting at 4K, huehue!

    • One The One

      Yeah, ha ha. Funny.

      Multiple-accounted retarded.

    • Mr Xrat

      Go beg Phil for some exclusives, huehue. 🙂

    • Mark

      Good observation. Dont know why Cliffy seems….salty? Makes no sense

  • Daniel Phillips

    What’s up with cliffy? Most all Xbox’s exclusives are 1080/60 I know his own gears of War ultimate edition is for sure. And the one s comes out august second, that bad boy is going to upscale to 4k and hdr… most uninformed people have no idea what hdr is and have never seen it because the tv’s that support it are very rear and new. Most people don’t have 4k or hdr tv’s. I’m still looking for the tv I want for the amazing device. All I have to say is everyone have fun on your old tech.

  • Evil_Annie_2015

    So, a salty developer word means a lot? Hehe

    How about gamingbolt tries to ask Rod Fergusson what he thinks about the Scorpio and MS new approach to gaming?

    At this point, the only ones confused are the Pro Sony websites and the retarded PS fanboys

    • shane

      Well said. I don’t even care about the new game their working on that’s only going to be on the PS4. I’m glad MS bought the gears IP to keep it a XB only game.

  • cweb1988

    well I’m definitely excited about it.

  • JuneMas

    So Sony creating the Neo is not the same thing. Both these machines were underpowered period. There are third party titles that run in 900p 30fps on the PS4 & that same game will run at 720p 30fps on the X1. Nether console wad the power house that they sold us on.


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