Xbox Scorpio stole a lot of headlines at E3 2016. Microsoft managed to both get people excited about a more powerful Xbox hardware iteration, and draw a little criticism due to the hyperbolic nature of the comments made at their press conference. Clearly stated, Microsoft said that Scorpio will be the most powerful video game console ever made. With the better part of a year behind us, and a very important E3 2017 press conference ahead of us, this is what we think Microsoft needs to announce this year to make Scorpio a success.
Microsoft’s reveal of the Xbox One was an unmitigated disaster. The effects of which are still being felt. You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression and the impression made with the Xbox One was that it wasn’t a device for gamers. Instead, they took an angle that made the console sound like something that plays games, among other things. You can ask any Xbox One owner and they’ll likely tell you that they use their console for the things that Microsoft intended them to. Games, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Twitch, Blu-Ray, the box has certainly become the entertainment monster that Microsoft billed it as.
As a games console though, Microsoft needs to keep the focus on games if that’s the audience they’re targeting. You certainly don’t need a more powerful Xbox if games aren’t first. Since the transition to Phil Spencer as head of Xbox, Microsoft’s message has been games first, and unless they really drop the ball, we expect this to continue to be the case.
Gamer Friendly Policies
Microsoft had a lot of things in their original Xbox One presentation that would’ve ended up being considered as “gamer” or consumer friendly. Unfortunately, the backlash that the initial reveal and E3 presentation brought on the device led to them completely charting a different course. This time around, Microsoft needs to explain exactly why any new decisions and policies that are being made to the console will benefit those who buy it.
Furthermore, they need to build on the goodwill they’ve established with their fanbase. They need to continue to foster backwards compatiblity. This has been a huge success for Microsoft in terms of how they and their console is viewed by consumers. Value adding features like Backwards Compatibility, Games with Gold, and others should be highlighted and not sidebars of their reveal.
Explain What “Most Powerful Console” Means
Sony dropped the ball with the reveal and launch of the PlayStation 4 Pro, and Microsoft can learn a lesson from that. They should explain what they mean when they call Scorpio the most powerful console ever made. The joke going around last year was the comment made in the presentation boasting the “highest quality pixels.” That doesn’t mean anything to anyone and Microsoft quickly remedied this by removing this comment from their promotional materials. Microsoft needs to clearly outline exactly what the hardware is, and how it will benefit Xbox One games that have already launched and those that are slated for the future. High dynamic range, 4K, resolutions, better framerates visual effects, virtual reality or any other concrete, real-world, measurable improvements could go a long way in swaying a consumer to purchase the console. While Sony tried to do this with the PlayStation 4 Pro presentation with Mark Cerny explaining what the differences between the original PS4 and PS4 Pro would be, it was really hard to convey on stage.
Xbox Scorpio Price & Release Date
One of the biggest debates about Xbox Scorpio is how Microsoft is going to keep this console affordable, while adhering to the performance comments they’ve already made about the device. You have pundits and analysts already speculating on the price of the console and the estimates have been wide ranging. With E3 2017 and their press conference, Microsoft has a chance to deliver a message to the masses by clearly stating how much the console costs and when you can buy it. By delivering all the pertinent information up front, they have a chance to leave any lingering questions or doubts by the wayside. Taking their message beyond E3 and into the launch window they can concentrate on continuing to build value for the console instead of leaving consumers in limbo (aka Nintendo Switch).
Please Don’t Talk About The Cloud
Microsoft has seemingly left their cloud talk behind, but that doesn’t mean they won’t retread going forward. Power of the cloud were buzz words that Microsoft used consistently in the marketing of the Xbox One. It was a concept that was very hard to understand. Eventhough developers did say that it wasn’t smoke and mirrors, it wasn’t something that most people could wrap their heads around or see a measurable benefit in the games they were playing.
E3 2017 Megaton Wild Card
Sony has been consistently one-upping Microsoft at E3. A year with a new hardware reveal that is potentially as exciting as the Xbox Scorpio could be a year for Microsoft to strike back. However, it’s the unknown surprises that noone sees coming that usually draw the most attention. If Microsoft can announce something about the Scorpio that noone saw coming and is a positive for the console they can really generate a lot of momentum and consumer interest. Whether that be an exclusive that noone saw coming, a feature of the console that noone expected, or something else to get fans excited… there’s got to be something that gets people buzzing about the Xbox Scorpio coming out of E3 2017.
Anything you think Microsoft should do at E3 2017 to make Xbox Scorpio a success? Let us know in the comments section.