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Xbox boss Phil Spencer on Scorpio and the future of console cycles

"Consumer expectation is that, if you wanted to, you could go buy a new cell phone every year. I don’t want to get into that mode with a console."
"Consumer expectation is that, if you wanted to, you could go buy a new cell phone every year. I don’t want to get into that mode with a console."

- Xbox boss Phil Spencer on the perceived death of traditional console cycles.

During this week's E3 conference Microsoft confirmed the long-rumored existence of Project Scorpio - an all new, more powerful take on the Xbox One that offers 4K and VR support. 

Initially announced on stage by Xbox chief Phil Spencer, the man himself has now shed more light on the system in an extensive interview with Wired

Outlining what many suspected - that the hardware was designed with 4K gaming and virtual reality firmly in mind - Spencer also moved to quell fears that the console business is about to turn into a fragmented world of expensive yearly upgrades and mid-cycle exclusives. 

Addressing those concerns, he explained that the majority of developers are already used to working around different hardware capabilities, and as a result doesn’t believe the release of upgraded consoles will affect the quality of Xbox One titles across the board. 

"The capability to build a game that actually takes advantage of different hardware capabilities is part of any third-party dev ecosystem, or anybody who’s targeting Windows and console at the same time,” said Spencer, speaking to Wired. 

"We’re going to have versions of those games that will work on Xbox One and Xbox One S, as well as supporting Scorpio," he added, suggesting no players will ever be forced to drop cash on the slimline Xbox One S or the Scorpio. 

In fact, Spencer doesn't want people to think this means the end of the console cycle as we know it, and while Microsoft might now be juggling three different Xbox One systems, the Xbox boss says each device has a unique place in the market. 

"Consumer expectation is that, if you wanted to, you could go buy a new cell phone every year. I don’t want to get into that mode with a console," continues Spencer. 

"I see the next inflection point as 4K, and I want to make sure we have a console there to support that, and Scorpio will do that. We’re not on a hardware tick-tock that says I need to put out a console every two years or every one year to get people to upgrade. That’s not the console model."

You can hear more of Spencer’s musings by reading the full interview over on Wired.

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