How Much Should The Xbox One Scorpio Cost?

There is an upper limit to how high Microsoft can price their new console.

Posted By | On 03rd, Jul. 2016 Under Article, Editorials | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


Possibly the biggest news to have come out of E3 this year was Microsoft’s confirmation of the existence of the Xbox One Scorpio, a superpowered new Xbox console that they will be releasing next year. The Scorpio is going to be 6TFLOPs, and when it releases, it will be the most powerful console ever. Moreover, it will achieve all of this while being fully backwards and forwards compatible with the existing Xbox One.

In other words, it is the perfect successor console, one that does not break compatibility with the existing 20 or so million Xbox One consoles already sold, but one that still manages to be a substantial step up from what we have. When the Scorpio launches next year, it is likely to help Microsoft turn their futures around in the console market, where they have been taking a beating at the hands of Sony and the PS4 for a few years now.

However, no matter how powerful a console may be, it’s not going to do well if it’s overpriced- the PS3 and its dismal early performance is proof of that. In other words, if Microsoft want the Xbox One Scorpio to actually perform well in the market, and for it to perform its implicitly suggested task of turning their fortunes in the console market around, then they cannot price it beyond a certain point, no matter how good or powerful it may otherwise be.

Which brings us to the million dollar (let’s hope not) question- just how much should the Xbox One Scorpio cost?

xbox one scorpio

"I’ll draw the line in the sand at the $400 price point and say that the Scorpio is not going to cost more than it."

One might think that with the Scorpio being as powerful as it is will lead to a higher cost. And if we were speaking in terms relative to the existing Xbox One or even the PS4, then yes, this supposition would hold true. However, on the whole, the Scorpio is not likely to cost too much- as a matter of fact, I’ll draw the line in the sand at the $400 price point and say that the Scorpio is not going to cost more than it.

There are multiple reasons for this. The first reason is that while the Scorpio’s specs seem outlandishly impressive right now, the console is not due out for another year and a half. A year and a half is an eternity in the technology world, and economies of scale, as well as further advancements in technology, are likely to make the Xbox One Scorpio far cheaper to manufacture than one might assume right now.

None of this is to say that the Scorpio won’t be impressive when it launches, or that it won’t be the most impressive console ever made- it still will be. It’s just that it will be using technology that will be far more matured then than it is right now. Manufacturing the proposed Xbox One Scorpio right now would be truly expensive- however, a year and a half from now, it will be far easier to keep the costs under control.

There is also the simple point to consider that Microsoft will almost certainly be willing to take a hit on the Xbox One Scorpio hardware when it launches.

This is not a new strategy for Microsoft– they have done this with the original Xbox and the Xbox 360, which was what caused them to be able to make them so powerful, for such a cheap price, for their respective times. It was only with the Xbox One, where they decided to follow the Nintendo strategy of making profit on each hardware unit sold, and decided to price a relatively weaker machine higher than its production cost. Given the general success of the original Xbox and especially the Xbox 360, and the relative failure of the Xbox One (and the Xbox One is a failure, let’s not beat the bush here- the very existence of the Scorpio is proof of the fact that the Xbox One failed) means that Microsoft are probably going to go back to what they know for sure works- which is, a powerful console sold at a mass market price.

xbox one kinect titled angle

"The hardware weakness of the Xbox One, and its higher price in contrast, were in large part driven by the inclusion of the controversial Kinect."

Yes, they will lose money on each hardware unit sold. However, given Microsoft’s recent assertions that the hardware is just a means to an end for them, and that they care more about their overall ecosystem – about their services, about engaged customers, and about how many games they sell – it doesn’t seem like they will mind too much, since they will probably look at the loss as a short term immediate hit that furthers their software sales, Xbox Live engagement numbers, and their Xbox and Windows ecosystem in the long run.

This means that they would be willing to keep the price low even if that means they lose money- meaning that suppositions of the Scorpio costing too much simply because of how powerful it is go right out of the window.

In addition to the above two points, there is this one final one: the hardware weakness of the Xbox One, and its higher price in contrast, were in large part driven by the inclusion of the controversial Kinect. The Kinect was a sophisticated and highly advanced piece of technology that no one wanted. This means that a lot of research and development went into Kinect, leaving a smaller allocation for the base hardware power, and that the Kinect managed to drive hardware costs of the Xbox One up for customers- the proof of this can be found in the fact that the first major Xbox One price cut was also accompanied with the Kinect being dropped from the SKU altogether.

Given that Microsoft have learned their lesson about relying on gimmicks – they have systematically dropped and de-emphasized Kinect (in fact, the upcoming Xbox One S doesn’t even have a port for the Kinect, and requires an adapter so that one can be plugged in) – and that the focus with the Scorpio seems to be squarely on making it a powerful machine, any costs associated with the machine will be for its hardware power only, which is ultimately something that the market has shown is what it wants- not needless gimmicks.

Xbox One Logo

"Microsoft could legitimately get a second chance to turn things around here- all they need to do is not get too greedy with the pricing."

Given these three points, then – no Kinect, Microsoft willing to take a loss, and the console almost certainly being cheaper to manufacture in a year and a half – I think it is safe to conclude that the Scorpio will not be too outlandishly expensive. $400 is my guess for it on the higher end- I think that will go well with the Xbox One S, which will by that time probably have an SKU at $249 and one at $299. This price point will also make the Xbox One Scorpio look like much better value in comparison to the far weaker PS4 Neo, the Nintendo NX, as well as to the PlayStation VR, all of which are bound to be similarly priced.

Microsoft could legitimately get a second chance to turn things around here- all they need to do is not get too greedy with the pricing.


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  • Mr Xrat

    There’s no games on the thing so you need to force your long-suffering family to do something with it. That’s why you have three, so you can listen to all your old albums at once! Nights are fun at the plop6759 household.

    You got yours which came with a $150 peripheral that was effectively killed off mere months after launch, half a dozen exclusives and games you could easily play elsewhere. Yeah, you got ripped off. It’s OK to admit it. 🙂

    Oh yeah, I forgot, MS would rather milk you for XBL subscriptions than provide you with couch co-op on those games. Even then with loyal slaves like you, they still resort to using all XBL subscriptions as a benchmark. Never mind!

    Of course you are. In reality, it was down for a whole day and since XBL has had far more hours of downtime than PSN has.

    Flourishing with no exclusives, a “slim” that’s still bigger than a PS4 (62nd on Amazon’s July bestsellers, ouch) and a rushed announcement of incomplete specs that your precious Phil has steadily backed off on over the last month. First “highest quality pixels” then native 4K and now it looks like VR is something they’ll disappoint you on too. Never mind. 🙂

    Oh look, that link again. Try posting what he actually said: “It’s not that our hardware policies are decided strictly based on user reaction like this, but when we were thinking about what we had to bring across and how to bring it across, it was a very useful source.” http://www.redgamingtech.com/sony-admit-ms-backlash-was-very-useful/ They changed how they were announcing it to make sure everyone was clear they won’t doing your precious MS’ garbage.

    Phil admitted the mistakes…and then made more mistakes. What a guy! 🙂

    Don’t try and compare a young, untested tech like VR to an overpriced controller for Xgimps with nothing else to buy. 🙂

    Oh, you’re an expert on why people got PS2s. Considering you’re still hawking for Kinect, I’ll take your damage control on the PS2 being more viable than the 360 in its glory years with appropriately low levels of seriousness. 🙂

    “Feel free to try and find someone with an Xbox One who doesn’t want to punch you in the face.” You sure sound upset, little girl. Not surprising when every single last one of your delusions have been crushed to the point where daily angry rants are the norm for you. Protective services should consider giving you a visit. 🙂

  • Mr Xrat

    I’ve actually broken you, you sad little Xgimp. You are at peak frustration, going right through the barrel to try and justify that worthless lump of mud.

    No other reason to buy multiple Xbones unless you wanted to “show support” like the corporate slave you are. Certainly isn’t so you can do multiplayer with your long-suffering family on those three applicable games. 🙂

    I don’t need to argue it. It’s reality. Xbone’s lineup is so awful I’m actually starting to feel sorry for you losers.

    Wow, that household line really got you mad. How many times do you have to hear “But Dad, I don’t want to play these crap games!” before you snap and wipe your family out? You need a visit from protective services.

    But you said you got yours WITH a $150 peripheral. Now you’re saying you got it separately? Somehow that’s even worse, willingly wasting your money on something you already knew was defunct instead of it being forced on you. Good job on those two games in three years for that defunct peripheral. Shame for you the Wii U and Vita got better support so you don’t even have that crutch!

    “Who would choose a PS4 for multiplayer gaming?” Someone who wanted a more reliable online service and actual games to play. They must be doing something right when MS is forced to copy PSN’s business model and communities and events feature.

    Yeah, I know what your mediocre GWG lineup is this month. A yearly sports game and stuff that was on Plus a long time ago. Well done, I guess. Still, it’s better than paying for P2P servers only like you did for a decade.

    Congratulations, you listed every “exclusive” it ever got (and even then listing a remaster collection like Rare Replay is a stretch) followed by everything that’s now multiplatform because MS is bored of Xgimps not supporting their exclusives. That’s not even getting into the fact that half your 2017 “exclusives” were supposed to be released this year. I love Xgimp tears when you get confronted with the fact the PS4’s library utter demolishes the Xbone’s without compromise, making excuse after excuse for how they don’t count. Next you’ll be telling me that churned out mediocrity was worth $499.

    Oh yeah, Shitpio. 15 months away, no exclusives, previous framerates and textures. When’s the Shitpio getting finalized specs? January? Always funny watching MS panic and trip over itself again and again and again.

    Oh look, a patent. Spoiler alert: patenting something does not mean they’ll use it. Look up the McDonalds patent. Another Xgimp lie goes up in smoke.

    Mistakes: taking away your exclusives, constantly overhyping press conferences and features, wrecking MS’ first party studios, constant mismanagement of first party projects, panicking and announcing Shitpio too soon resulting in him tied into delivering an $899 console that won’t be exploited to its fullest because of policy. “Bu bu but my emulation of a few games that perform worse!!!” Good job, Phil.

    Because you have nothing else to buy and you thought it would make you better at games. Just another way to milk money out of you. Don’t forget to buy a few Xbone controllers that finally have Bluetooth! Makes a change from buying a couple of dozen Kinects – what a gimmick that was!

    That’ll be your own stupidity at work considering the PS2 had thousands of games. We all know Xgimps hate games so it’s not a shock.

    So it was a threat. Thanks for confirming another of my points, Ploppy.

    By the way, a scorpion is an arachnid, not a crustacean. If you’re going to make crap jokes, at least have them make sense. 🙂

  • disqus_bh1TKa64AF

    I’m sorry but no. It’s going to cost a lot. It takes like 2 years just for a hundred dollar price drop for most consoles. Most people in the gaming industry think it’s going to cost close to a thousand since those specs on PC cost even more than that. And hardware does not drop in price that dramatically in less than two years. Look at the high end gpu’s of 2014 and now. The prices are still pretty close to the same. Scorpio is not meant for the casual gamer it’s to dip into those that are hardcore gamers and to get PC people to dabble into it maybe and people who are deciding between going full PC gaming or staying with console.

  • Matt Terrell

    I def see it being more then $400..if its gonna do native 4k $400 aint gonna cut it..$2000 pcs have problems running 4k..a year and a half wont bring it down that much


 

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