The Road to E3 2017: Rounding Up Rumors, Project Scorpio, and Xbox E3’s Conference

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Finish the Fight.

To round out the final of Xbox based articles for E3 2017, we’re going to be delving in what can we expect from their press conference. Note, this isn’t predications but a rounding up of rumors and hints that Phil has dropped in the months leading up to E3 2017, as of today we’re 11 days to E3 2017 and all will be revealed.

For Microsoft, Project Scorpio will be the one act to steal the show. Strangely enough, we don’t know anything outside of the internal specs and what the machine can do. Microsoft showed off Scorpio’s internal specs a couple of weeks ago, which touts 4K resolution and some cool features but we don’t know anything and many including myself are wondering what the hell are we going to play it on and just how much it’s going to cost.

So, here’s what we can expect in realistic fashion from Microsoft’s E3 Presser:

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Project Scorpio: Name, Price, Design, and Launch Date:

As noted above, Microsoft has already demonstrated what this thing can do, but a huge question remains. Microsoft is going to give us a price, a hard launch date, and the console’s real name. To throw a prediction in here, I’ll predict that it’s just going to be called “The Xbox.” to signal a new direction for them.

How much will Project Scorpio cost?

This is where things are finicky, since Microsoft revealed Project Scorpio last E3, there has been this huge debate on how much will it cost? Phil Spencer has said on Podcast Unlocked and elsewhere that Project Scorpio is a “Premium” console, Microsoft has said that the Xbox One S will lead most  of the sales, even after Project Scorpio launches this Holiday.

I know I said that Project Scorpio will $399 USD, but I don’t believe that at all. I believe that Project Scorpio will be $499 USD because of what comes inside the box, and is more realistic than $399 USD.

The original Xbox One launched here in the United States at $499, compared to the PS4’s $399. The price was due to Kinect being paired up with the OG Xbox One, the misstep with Kinect and the whole 2013 debacle is what led to Playstation’s dominance and is what ultimately cost Microsoft this generation. I don’t think that Microsoft will make the same mistake, but the game has changed since the generation began.

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The internals.

Here are some pricing predictions:

  • Microsoft pushes the $499 USD prediction that I have and sells it for the hardcore, to demonstrate it’s graphical power and sells it to gamers who have 4K TV with HDR setups.
  • Microsoft wants to push Xbox Live further and push it’s user base by selling Scorpio aggressively at $399 USD or lower which means to reel in the gamers who don’t have 4K TV setups.
  • Maybe the Xbox One S gets the aggressive pricing to compete with the PS4 and PS4 Pro, while the Scorpio is $499 USD and is some sort of “entering the gates.” if you will.

Personally, I think Microsoft will come out and place it at $499 USD because of the power in the box and what you can do with it and it will be marketed at that price for the hardcore Xbox or hardcore gamers who have the 4K TV and can push it to the potential that the box will have. Realistically, $499.

When will Scorpio launch?

In my predictions, I said Scorpio will launch in early Fall to coincide with Shadow of War and be ahead of games like Call of Duty: WWII, Star Wars: Battlefront II, and what not but that’s just a prediction. If we were thinking realistically, I would put it around October to November so you can sell it at a discount at Black Friday and boost the sales of the Scorpio.

When I say October to November, I mean around the point of late October to Early to Mid November in ahead for Black Friday. I’m pretty much certain that Phil Spencer and company wants to get as much people on board, so in order for that to happen Scorpio launches then so they can push Black Friday deals and 4K TV’s will certainly be on discount by Black Friday, so it goes hand and hand.

Exclusive Games

I’ve heard alot of rumors around and especially today that Microsoft’s Conference will be an hour long but I’m pretty sure that’s false. I’ve read rumors that Bethesda has an Exclusive Xbox One game but I’m not sure about that since we don’t know anything about what Bethesda has lined up this year.

In my predictions, I said that we will see new exclusives that become iconic and legendary much like how Halo and Gears have become. I believe this to be the case because they need to compete and match the quality of exclusives that Sony has lined up for the next couple of years. I say it’s the right time to announce a few new games that will be showcased on Scorpio, the lineup is extremely dry as of today also focusing on exclusives like Cuphead, Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, Ashen and maybe an Ori 2.

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Star Wars: Battlefront II

4K Third-Party Games

We know from leaked documents that Star Wars:Battlefront II, FIFA 2017, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Call of Duty:WWII will be running in 4K resolution whether that be “Native” or “Sparse” 4K assets and also we know that Todd Howard said that they’ll be upping the graphic fidelity  on Fallout 4 and Skyrim. We also know that Battlefront II will be in true 4K native, running at 60FPS which should blow the socks off of everybody and I think that this will help Scorpio.

I believe that within third-party perimeters that Scorpio does well. If developers are already building 4K games on PC and on the Pro, then it stands to reason that they should also build 4K games on Scorpio and it’s going to boost their return if there is more 4K capable hardware out there in the wild.

There’s a big rumor out there which I believe to be true is that Ubisoft is going to have some sort of deal arrangement with Xbox for Assassin’s Creed: Origins ( Rumored title.) and also there’s a rumor going around that EA will have an unannounced game that will be shown on Microsoft’s stage.

Wrapping Up

Xbox is behind Sony, extremely behind when it comes to exclusive games and is terribly behind when it comes to units being sold. There’s more Playstations out in the  wild then Xbox One’s. Xbox ditched Kinect, made a complete 360 turn, ditched it’s controversial policies and began an onslaught of good-will but that’s not enough to catch up to Sony. Sony has marketing deals with Call of Duty, Star Wars:Battlefront, Destiny, Far Cry 5, and Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s a far cry from the marketing deals of the last generation, all of those games excluding Far Cry 5 and Red Dead will be heavy-hitters as we chug along towards the Holidays.

Xbox is suffering and this has to be the year that will change everything for them. They have to come out at E3 and give their all because there’s alot riding on Project Scorpio and their conference. Xbox’s current strategy is that Project Scorpio will be the best place to play games on, but the issue there is how are they going to showcase games running at 4K when most people will be watching in 1080p displays?

It’s too early right now to tell if Scorpio is a W for Microsoft, I’m pretty confident that it will be an amazing system but I’m worried about the messaging and the games, if Microsoft doesn’t show strong new franchises then Playstation will continue to dominate into the Holidays and Scorpio will be left in the dust.

Come back tomorrow for Road to E3 Part 3, where I’m going to look into Bethesda.

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2 Comments

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  1. It has to come down to exclusives for them this year. The new system is all well and good but there needs to be something to come with it. Crucially, new and interesting IPs. I don’t think there’s a huge crowd baying for another Halo and Gears game.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 343i already has stated that Halo 6 won’t be there, and it’s too soon now for a Gears 5. New hardware is cool and all, but if they don’t manage to push out new exclusives to showcase on the Scorpio then I feel like the Scorpio will be lost to the wind.

      Personally, I feel like it’s a mix of exclusives, messaging, and how they approach their current situation. If they message the Scorpio the way they did with Xbox One, then it has to be over for them. The whole 2013 situation shouldn’t happen again, it’s a situation that was damaging to the brand and to the system. I believe that we’ll get new and interesting exclusive franchises at this E3, I heard that they have big things coming.

      Liked by 1 person

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