While we have heard some interesting informationn about the next Xbox console code-named Project Scarlett, we don’t yet know much about it.
We don’t have a clear idea of its power, and we’re absolutely in the dark about its price.
Xbox division head Phil Spencer talked to Eurogamer about the stance Microsoft is adopting in regards to these two relevant factors.
“I will say, from the launch of Xbox One, I’ve definitely learned that being too expensive and not powerful enough is not a great place to be. And price and performance are gonna be important, and we’re very focused on both of those things.”
Spencer also talked about the comparison with the competition.
“If you remember at the launch of Xbox One, we were $100 more expensive and less powerful. So, I won’t be in that position. There’s no doubt about that. As an industry that’s growing so fast, we do think about price. We do think about performance as well. I’m not going to sacrifice performance for the sake of price.”
Interestingly, we also hear that Microsoft looked at the possibility to replace physical consoles with streaming, but they ultimnately decided to keep working on consoles because playing locally on a device is going to continue to be the best way to play for years.
“Streaming is not a replacement for the console experience today. I’ll be open: we looked at that. When Satya and the board gives us freedom to go drive gaming for Microsoft, they don’t mandate that we make Project Scarlett. They don’t mandate that we go do streaming. They say we want to become a global leader in gaming. We want to build our first-party. We want to build out the platform. We’ve got complete hardware capability. And we looked at it and we said, should we do Project Scarlett? A bit like when we did X, we did Project Scorpio and we said, why should Xbox One X exist? And we said, we want to design a 4K console. Certain people made fun of us when we said that. Is it true 4K? I think now when people look at it they say, okay, it’s capable of doing 4K. Not every game will, but it’s capable.
So we looked and we said, will Project Scarlett play a role in the gaming future we see? And that’s really a question of, is playing local on a local device in your home still the best way to play for many many years? We’re as invested in cloud as anybody in terms of the cost standpoint, and we said yeah, local play on a device is going to be the best way to play, whether it’s a gaming PC or a console. And that’s for years.
So if you ask me today would I go all in on streaming, and ignore the console? Project Scarlett is the most important thing we’re doing next year. Leading in the console industry is something we want to do both in sales as well as leading in things like cross-play, back compat and Game Pass and all of the innovations we’ve brought in Xbox One. Yeah, we’re going to continue to invest in cloud because we think it allows us to bring that experience to more and more people. But we’re years away from that competing from a fidelity standpoint and a kind of feel for what people do on a local device.”
Just yesterday, Spencer teased that we should get used to see Microsoft announce new first-party games basically at every event going forward.