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Microsoft Already Has Ideas for What Comes After Xbox Scorpio

Microsoft’s Project Scorpio won’t be out until 2017 but that isn’t stopping the company from thinking even further into the future about what might come next. That’s the takeaway Xbox boss Phil Spencer gave Thursday in response to a question from a fan on Twitter.

For the uninitiated, Project Scorpio is an upgraded, more powerful version of Xbox One, first announced by Microsoft at E3 2016. Spencer has previously gone on record saying that Scorpio won’t shorten this console generation’s life cycle because it’s still technically an Xbox One, just more powerful. All games that run on Project Scorpio must be playable and have the same key features on Xbox One, according to Microsoft’s requirements for developers.

On Thursday, a Twitter user tweeted at Spencer and asked if Project Scorpio will be the last console generation for Xbox. The fan might have been responding to the comments made by Xbox marketing executive Aaron Greenberg earlier this week, in which he said that the idea of a console generation, as it is traditionally known, might be over.

Spencer responded that the Xbox team is already working on ideas for what might come after Project Scorpio, giving credit as well to the gaming industry’s creators and early adopters.

Not surprisingly, Spencer didn’t give any additional details and strictly speaking, he didn’t directly answer the question as it relates to console generations. The Xbox team could indeed have plans for Scorpio’s successor, but that console might also be considered part of the Xbox One family, and therefore, the same generation. This would jive with some other comments that Microsoft made in the aftermath of this year’s E3, stating that consoles could start following the smartphone business model of incremental upgrades every 1 to 2 years. Gamespot notes that Greenberg’s remarks this week seemed to double down on that strategy.

“For us, we think the future is without console generations,” Greenberg said. “We think that the ability to build a library, a community, to be able to iterate with the hardware–we’re making a pretty big bet on that with Project Scorpio. We’re basically saying, ‘This isn’t a new generation; everything you have continues forward and it works.’ We think of this as a family of devices.”

Fans probably shouldn’t read too much into Spencer’s (or Greenberg’s) comments, as it would actually be more newsworthy if Microsoft said they weren’t already working on the future of Xbox. It should also be noted that with Sony’s PlayStation Neo rumored to beat Scorpio to market, Spencer and Greenberg also have an incentive to make sure the Xbox One stays front and center in the minds of gamers until Scorpio arrives. Messaging like this will definitely accomplish that goal.

Project Scorpio will arrive during the 2017 holiday season.

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