It all comes back to one thing: Show me the games.
The Xbox One Scorpio is a far more powerful machine than the PS4 Pro– we know that, the specs make it clear, and the numbers do not lie. But in the end, any machine is as great as the games on it- this isn’t just some philosophical musing made to compensate for a lack of hardware pizzaz, it is true in a very real sense. You could have a very capable machine, but unless you have a game made specifically to plumb and exploit its resources, those resources don’t matter.
Simply put- the Scorpio will have loads of great looking games, and most multiplats will definitely look better on it than they will on the PS4 or PS4 Pro. Heck, even recent Xbox One games like Gears of War 4 or older ones like Halo 5 will look much better in potentially full native 4K resolution. There is no question about that, and that is just how things are. However, in the end, the lack of the PS4 Pro’s or even the base PS4’s power is unlikely to be be as much of a detriment to Sony as you might think- because Sony has an army of talented in house and third party developers who are capable of creating some of the best games on the market. This is not to say Microsoft doesn’t have or lacks the talent…but the developer support on Sony’s machine is ridiculously unbelievable at this point.
"The PS4 has already seen exclusives (including console exclusives) like Yakuza 0, Gravity Rush 2, Horizon Zero Dawn, Nier: Automata, Persona 5 and others in just the first four months of 2017."
Look, the PS4’s power was definitely a factor in its success- anyone who tells you otherwise is being disingenuous. However, ultimately, the PS4 sold as much as it did because of its fantastic games lineup. People who say exclusives don’t matter are wrong- one only needs to look at the vast sales gulf between the PS4 (which has some incredible, high rated, high selling exclusives) and the Xbox One to see the difference. Xbox fans alone can see the difference- the Xbox 360 had a lot of great exclusives (this includes some great Japanese games as well), and it sold really well. The Xbox One does not, and look at how it trails behind its competition in the market. The PS4 has already seen exclusives (including console exclusives) like Yakuza 0, Gravity Rush 2, Horizon Zero Dawn, Nier: Automata, Persona 5 and others in just the first four months of 2017.
Microsoft once again suffers in this area because of its persistent lack of investment in a first party of its own- it has very few developers that can put out bona fide system sellers at this point. Halo, Gears of War, and Forza are all great and are amazing franchises- but there have been a couple of each on Xbox One already. If you haven’t already bought an Xbox for Halo 5, Gears of War 4, or Forza 6, a potential Halo 6, Gears 5, or Forza 7 are unlikely to change your mind. Of course, there are some great games coming out for the Xbox One such as Crackdown 3, Cuphead, State of Decay 2 and Sea of Thieves but one look at what’s coming on the PS4 in the future, the picture becomes crystal clear.
"Personally, I would love to see them go ahead and support their already established franchises, introduce new services and features but at the same time, I would like them to announce some big partnerships with Western and Japanese developers."
And therein lies Sony’s true trump card against the Scorpio- its lineup of appealing exclusives which will serve to neutralize the threat of the Scorpio. Consider for example, The Last of Us Part 2. The game, which will be Naughty Dog’s newest, is going to be the successor to one of the highest rated games of all time, and one of Sony’s highest selling ones, ever. The Last of Us 2 will most likely be a show stopper in a way unlike any game out there. Naughty Dog, much like the The Coalition (the developers behind the amazing Gears of War 4) will ensure that they will fully utilize the power of the Pro, whilst making sure that the base PS4 doesn’t fall behind. It, and other first party showcase games like it, such as God of War, are going to be what help Sony keep the lead even in the face of a far more powerful Xbox Scorpio. Furthermore, there are still a ton of upcoming 1st and 3rd party PS4 exclusive games (including console exclusives) coming up like Detroit: Become Human, Gran Turismo Sport, Death Stranding, Spider-Man, Shenmue 3, Final Fantasy 7 Remake…all of which can possibly release before the end of 2018. This obviously doesn’t consider any new annoucements Sony makes during this year’s E3.
Microsoft have promised that this year’s E3 will be all about the games for them. Personally, I would love to see them go ahead and support their already established franchises, introduce new services and features (this is one area where Microsoft is doing some seriously amazing work but we will talk about it some other day) but at the same time, I would like them to announce some big partnerships with Western and Japanese developers (Scalebound and Fable Legends could have really made that line-up for 2017 sweeter but unfortunately both were canceled).
"2017 so far has seen only Sony and to an extent Nintendo benefitting from some great games and development support, and now the onus is on Microsoft to ensure that Team Xbox doesn’t get left behind this E3."
The Scorpio, despite being an amazing system, needs unique games for it to sell. I welcome another Gears of War along with new entries in the Halo and Forza franchises but the console really needs to do a lot more in the software department if it has any chance to make an impact among gamers…or players who are outside the Xbox community. Microsoft has a fantastic opportunity and the right console to show off the games at E3 so let’s hope they do not falter. 2017 so far has seen only Sony and to an extent Nintendo benefitting from some great games and development support, and now the onus is on Microsoft to ensure that Team Xbox doesn’t get left behind this E3.
Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to GamingBolt as an organization.