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Xbox Scorpio: Analyst Doubts 4K Ability & Sees Limited Launch Support

by William Schwartz


Notorious gaming analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush has some viewpoints that fans awaiting the Xbox Scorpio may not want to hear.  With the console expected to release later this year, Microsoft dubbed the Xbox Scorpio the most powerful console ever made.  However, Pachter believes that this still might not be a true 4K experience nor will many games support the console when it arrives.

Pachter actually sees the Xbox Scorpio as something along the lines of the PlayStation 4 Pro.  In his most recent “Pachter Factor” web series, the analyst reveals a couple of his theories on the new console.  He believes that very few games will support the Xbox Scorpio at launch.  This sounds like it’ll be a similar situation to the PlayStation 4 Pro, where developers will need to actually patch in upgrades for existing titles.

Analyst skeptical about true 4K gaming on Xbox Scorpio

“I think that Scorpio is going to have the same rules as PS4 Pro,” says Pachter.  “So every game that is made for PS4 Pro has to be backward compatible with the PS4.  Every game on Scorpio, this hasn’t been announced yet, but I believe, have to be backwards compatible on Xbox One.  What I think that means is games will have to run at, let’s just call it 1080p 60fps that can be upscaled to 4K and 240fps.  The game will have both on the disc, and the hardware will know what file to play.”

Also, he sees thinks that games may not run at true 4K on the Scorpio, instead they’ll hit a benchmark similar to the PlayStation 4 Pro, but they’ll look better on your 4K displays regardless.

“You know what, they may not run at 4K,” says Pachter.  4K is 8 million pixels… the point is they’ll look sharper on your 4K display.  The PS4 Pro isn’t a 4K box, it’s a high definition, high dynamic range.  So again, yes, games are going to be better, but they’re going to run backward compatible.  I’m sure of it.  Microsoft is not replacing the Xbox One, they’re upgrading the Xbox One.”

Many have echoed Pachter’s sentiments since the Scorpio’s “reveal” last year at E3.  Frankly, true 4K gaming is quite expensive from a hardware perspective, and unless there is a major breakthrough on the chip side or software side the pricing of graphics cards that are capable of running true 4K are still quite high… much higher than console prices are today.

Pachter’s comments make it sound like Scorpio will be a stop gap, much like the PS4 PRO, until the next new Xbox comes along.  The analyst believes that we’ll see a true next generation between 2019 – 2020, where Sony and Microsoft will launch new consoles on a three year cycle going forward.  He does, however, note that he could be wrong on this.

Pachter’s speculation goes in the face of other recent reports about the Scorpio.  Just a short time ago, Thomas Mahler of Moon Studios called the PlayStation 4 Pro a “half-assed upgrade” compared to the Scorpio.

The rest of the year will let this story play out.  Microsoft will likely be talking Scorpio at E3 2017, and it’ll be interesting to see how the console is marketed after so much hype last year.  Will they fall into the same trap as Sony with the PlayStation 4 Pro?  Or will they truly make good on their wild promises?

- This article was updated on:March 8th, 2018

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