How The 'Xbox Scorpio' Might Dictate The Future Of Gaming

By Staff writer , Dec 17, 2016 05:10 AM EST

With the exception of the last generation of consoles that saw a roughly eight-year run on the market, the traditional console cycle has averaged around five to six years. But this time around, however, highly influenced by the wave of high-end graphics cards required by the growing Virtual Reality trend, both Sony and Microsoft are testing the market with some so-called mid-cycle upgrades.

The Pro and The Scorpio are the future

The PlayStation 4 Pro and next year's Xbox Scorpio will offer gamers the chance to play games in 4K - a resolution that, until recently, was only possible in the field of PC gaming. Perhaps more importantly, the incorporation of HDR gaming has also offered a new level of visual fidelity that offers a much wider color gamut to players.

Traditional Console Cycle no more?

Adding in the recent releases of the Xbox One S, along with the PS4 Slim model as well, we have never new consoles launched to the market this much that are so near to the start of a new console cycle - both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One released only three years ago - which now raises the question: is the traditional console cycle now dead?

The Scorpio will be a great test

2016 and 2017 with the Xbox Scorpio will certainly prove to be an interesting test for the console market. Right now, it's far too early to judge the reception towards the PS4 Pro, but the Xbox One S has been selling well, even allowing the Xbox One to outsell the PlayStation 4 for a few months.

According to Mat Pocatello

NPD analyst Mat Piscatella, who joined the data firm with years of experience at Activision and WBIE, has recently commented that the state of the console cycle is rather 'evolved' than 'died.' Nintendo seems to have already been experiencing the change for years. He also stated that we will have to wait and see what the Switch will result to.

Why the iterative approach?

While the longstanding five-plus year console cycle was beneficial for developers to work with and optimize on a set specification, the iterative approach that most companies are starting to incorporate will also bring some advantages as well. Furthermore, by offering several configurations that still stick to the same architecture, there will be an opportunity for price/benefit ratios appealing towards both enthusiast and mass market audiences.

Iterative approach makes sense

The iterative release schedule would appear to make a lot of sense for the console manufacturers. This will greatly enable them to maximize returns and keep average pricing high, and as long as the ecosystem and gaming experiences are kept consistent all over the numerous variations of the consoles, Sony and Microsoft won't really care which version of their hardware a player owns, as long as that player remains invested in Xbox Live or PlayStation, Network. With all things said, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox Scorpio is going to serve well towards the future of the gaming console industry.

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