Microsoft was running two Xbox projects simultaneously, one for 2016 and one for 2017.
Microsoft once planned to launch its new, more powerfull Xbox already in2016. But in the end, the company decided to scrap the project. Instead, it poured the development resources in Project Scorpio.
Last week, Microsoft’s Head of Xbox Phil Spencer spoke to Gamasutra about the development of the powerhorse. In fact, his team was working on two seperate projects at the same time, one to launch in 2016 and one in 2017. But due to several obstacles, the 2016 project was canned.
One one hand, there just wasn’t enough silicon available on the market at a price point the customers would pay. Furthermore, 4K TV’s were not as popular as they are now.
“But we thought 4K TVs would get to scale in the middle of this generation. So we designed a console for 2016, and a console for 2017. We were kind of working on both plans simultaneously,” he revealed. “[And at some point], we said, ‘I think we need to do more than what the silicon is that’s available in 2016 at a price point that a console customer would want to pay’. So that’s when we stopped that effort.”
Spencer aimed to develop a console capable of running Xbox One games at 4k 30fps. This goal marked the end for the 2016 project.
“When we designed the Scorpio spec, we specifically said games running at 1080p 30 on an Xbox One — what do we need to put in the box for that thing to run at 4K 30. And that was our design goal, from the beginning. To say: same framerate, increased resolution. Let’s make sure that we can go hit that, as a minmum bar.”
He also revealed that his team is already planning for the next big console generation.
“The planning for what happens after Scorpio in the console space is already underway. You have to think about it that way. Like, what is the next thing? We – I – remain committed to the console space. We think it’s critically important.”