Microsoft’s Scorpio is shaping up to be a beast. But this begs the question, will it succeed? Looking at the Xbox One’s glaring failures and mistakes, the Kinect, cost, and this “entertainment center” focus all tied to a singular problem: backpedaling. When Microsoft saw the large number of dissatisfied consumers when they were first unveiling the console – which at the time cost more than the PlayStation 4, they backpedaled. But it doesn’t stop just there, as Microsoft has a weak point that PlayStation has been beating them to for years.
It isn’t graphics, but exclusives. Looking back at the recent cancellation of Scalebound, the Xbox One was wobbly from the start, but prior to E3 2017, PlayStation has it beat when it comes to games. The Nintendo Switch was like the perpetual wrestling villain to throw the PlayStation 4 a folding chair to hit it on the head.
Even if the PlayStation 4 might be weaker graphically, it still has the upper hand. The plethora of titles coming out for the PlayStation 4, even those that aren’t exclusives, and might be released on multiple platforms, the stable of exclusives for Xbox is weak, and it’s been weak for a while.
Unlike Nintendo, which has solid, though drawn out IPs with Zelda, and the many variations of Mario titles, has a core fan base. With the Switch, there’s countless possibilities and Nintendo never has really been trying to butt heads with either Sony or Microsoft, they have their market of fans, and the Switch has a mystery behind it that only time will tell.
Microsoft on the other hand is fighting a losing battle. It would be a shame to see the Scorpio fail, but it’s not unrealistic to see that it will. Halo Wars 2, Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2 and Sea of Thieves aren’t enough to pull the Scorpio up against the tyrant that is the PlayStation 4.
Nioh was a surprise hit. With its strong ties to Onimusha and the Souls series, many players were hooked. Microsoft doesn’t have any heavy hitters. Not anymore. Gears of War and Halo once were these massive titles, and Microsoft’s biggest problem was making their exclusive titles available on PC.
Why should this even matter for the Scorpio? If Microsoft does keep its exclusive titles on the Scorpio and PC, it makes owning a Scorpio irrelevant. If you have a PC, you can easily pick up a Scorpio title without having to splurge the retail price for one but get the same experience — and with PC hardware being more powerful, maybe even a better one.
There’s always the devil’s advocate that if the Scorpio can land some solid titles, exclusive IPs, that neither Sony or Nintendo will be able to stand up against in sales. But with the Switch sales pouring in, along with the exclusives lined up for the PlayStation 4, the Scorpio has a hard road ahead of it, paved by Microsoft’s poor decision making on exclusive new IPs.