There won’t be any Scorpio exclusives — except for when there are.
When Microsoft first announced Xbox Scorpio, its mid-gen Xbox One upgrade, the console holder said there would be no exclusive games on the platform. Every playable Scorpio game would also be playable on the standard Xbox One.
Then we found it that wasn’t exactly the case. Part of the reason why Microsoft is making Scorpio the most powerful games console ever is to play virtual reality games without compromising on quality, which by the very nature of that statement means these games won’t work on a standard Xbox One.
Confronted with this reality at E3, Xbox Marketing General Manager Aaron Greenberg had to adjust Microsoft’s previous stance on Scorpio exclusives, capitulating that while Scorpio won’t be getting any “console-exclusive games,” it would most likely get exclusive virtual reality games. This meant Microsoft didn’t want to classify VR console games as console games, despite the fact that they are games that are played on consoles.
This muddled messaging and oddball argument over what does and does not constitute a console game has been a bit confusing, but Microsoft seems to now be sticking to the message that the only Scorpio exclusives will be VR games. Speaking with Windows Central earlier this week, Xbox Partner Director of Program Management Mike Ybarra reiterated this point.
“As we announced at E3, Scorpio will be 100% compatible with all Xbox One titles, and there will be no Scorpio exclusive games, pending any potential unique accessories such as VR,” said Ybarra. “Experienced developers who make PC games or ship their titles on multiple platforms are very familiar with the development process of targeting multiple performance configurations. We see this today, with developers authoring content at 4K resolution or higher to take advantage of high performance PCs, and then scale the content accordingly for systems with different spec ranges. This enables them to easily target multiple performance profiles without significantly increasing their content production costs.
“We expect developers to do similar with Xbox One vs. Scorpio titles. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for developers to target multiple devices including Xbox One S, Project Scorpio and the full breadth of Windows 10 devices.”
So there you have it: there won’t be any Xbox Scorpio exclusives — until there are, but then they’ll only be games that use VR or other “unique accessories.”