Microsoft Announced Project Scorpio A Year In Advance To Prevent Gamer Backlash

Microsoft chose this year's E3 convention to announce not one, but two new game consoles, the Xbox One S and Project Scorpio, the latter a codename for an upgraded version of the Xbox One that will sport more powerful hardware and support playing games at 4K Ultra HD when it arrives in next year. While it may feel like Microsoft jumped the gun by pointing to a new console a year in advance while refreshing it's current generation Xbox One, the motivation was to avoid screwing gamers over.

Imagine of Microsoft would have kept mum about Project Scorpio and offered up the canned response of not talking about future products or rumors, as companies like to do when pinged about their roadmaps. Then a year later, it brings out Project Scorpio. Gamers who already upgraded to the Xbox One S assuming it was all Microsoft had in the pipeline for the moment would be understandably ticked.

Project Scorpio

That's essentially the explanation Microsoft's Albert Pinello gave TechRadar in a recent interview about Project Scorpio.

"We wanted to let people know in advance so that we didn't run into the opposite problem which is next year we announce Scorpio and we have people that bought Xbox One S and went 'Why didn't you tell me this was coming a year later? I would have waited.' I'm glad we give people that option, to figure out what makes sense for them, what's important to them," Pinello said.

"I think we have a great product [in the Xbox One S]...I'm very confident in that product and the value that it delivers, and I'm glad we told people that something else was coming next year, and to give people the opportunity to wait if they think it's going to be better for them. I think we've given them enough information that they can understand what's coming," Pinello added.

Pinello contrasted Microsoft's strategy with that of the mobile phone market in which there are new hardware releases on a yearly basis. He doesn't see that happening, but with the stars aligning at this moment for the Xbox One S to release and Project Scorpio a year later, it was important for Microsoft to let gamers know what's around the bend.

What happens after that is anyone's guess. Sony's taking pre-orders for its PlayStation 4 Pro, which like Project Scorpio is an upgraded console with more horsepower for developers to tap into without leaving behind current generation console gamers. But will Sony announce another console when Project Scorpio arrive? And will Microsoft follow suit a year or so after that with yet another revision? Only time will tell.