Without Console Exclusive Games, Is Xbox’s Project Scorpio Even Worth Buying?

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past few months, you have seen both Nintendo and PlayStation flourish while the Xbox has been playing catch up since the 2016 holiday season.

Nintendo released the Switch earlier this month and it has already broke old Nintendo console records for a launch weekend, beating the Wii and N64. PlayStation in recent months has released the PS4 Pro in November and the PSVR in October and both have been incredibly successful. In the fourth quarter of 2016, Sony‘s sales went through the roof and was pretty much carried by the PlayStation 4’s sales and as the company itself wasn’t doing too hot.

Microsoft is on the down slide and it doesn’t look like the Xbox is going to be relevant until Project Scorpio is finally released in late 2017.

Xbox has tried to get fans of the console excited with introducing ideas like the Game Pass which is basically like Netflix but with video games. Game Pass has over 100 titles ready to be downloaded like Halo 5: Guardians and Payday 2 and only cost about $10 per month. It’s not a bad idea but instead of streaming games, you have to download the entire file to your console and you only get to play for about a month or so. This means a lot of installing and uninstalling that could be a pain in the you know what. Here’s the thing I have to ask myself as an avid Xbox fan since the beginning…

Is Project Scorpio even going to be worth the money?

Let’s look at the features that the “most powerful console ever created” as said by Monolith’s studio head Kevin Stephens. Just recently announced, Scorpio will support VR. No word as to what kind of headset it will support (Microsoft brand only or third party headsets) but Microsoft has come out with their own headset which will more than likely be compatible with the console.

In short, the graphics core will be more than capable of going head-to-head with top-end graphics card; the brand-new Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 has 6.5TFLOPs of performance. By the time Scorpio launches, it will be the equivalent of a mid-range PC in 2017, which is how most consoles tend to launch. It will also run at natural 4k and will have at least a 1TB HD. On paper, the console to end all consoles (sarcasm) sounds pretty great, but it’s lacking something.

WHERE THE HELL ARE THE EXCLUSIVES!?

Exclusives, Exclusives, Exclusives drive sales in this business and the Xbox not only had a flop with Halo Wars 2, but they even cancelled Scalebound, and action RPG that was being talked about as a rival to PlayStation’s JRPG exclusives. There was uproar from fans and developers alike because now if you get hired by Microsoft to created a new game, you are nervous because you don’t know if your game will even hit the shelves. And it’s almost a slap to the face of the fans who now primarily play multiplayer titles that are available on multiple platforms.

When asked about exclusives for Project Scorpio, a senior Microsoft spokesperson said it was “up to developers” to decide if they want to develop games exclusively for Project Scorpio. “I don’t know about that. We’ll see. It’s up to the game development community; what do they want to do,” said Shannon Loftis, GM of Game Publishing at Microsoft.

Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, posted on the official Xbox website a few weeks ago to tease “an Epic Xbox 2017 Games Lineup” and listed Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2, Cuphead, Below, and Sea of Thieves, among a few other lower-profile releases. At a glance, there aren’t high expectations here unless Sea of Thieves really lives up to its potential and it’s hard to get excited for a followup to the disappointing Crackdown 2 until more of the third installment is showcased.

It’s hard to see anyone paying $100-$200 more for a better running version of their current system. I’m sure some will upgrade but unless you really hate how slow the Xbox is, I wouldn’t recommend buying Scorpio at release.

 

Nintendo Switch Outsells Wii At Launch

It was pretty obvious that the Nintendo Switch was going to be a popular console but no one saw these numbers coming for opening weekend alone.

The Switch console boasted impressive records on its first weekend out of the gate, as the developers said it beat every launch sales record for any Nintendo system in the Americas in history. The Friday and Saturday sales alone outsold any previous Nintendo system in North, South and Central America, including the United States and Canada.

Switch sales surpassed the Wii console, which seemed to pop up in just as many homes of parents and grandparents as it did long-time Nintendo fans. That console sold 600,000 units in six days in the same region, but without hard sales figures it’s hard to make a direct comparison.

Also, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the best-selling stand-alone launch game in Nintendo’s history, outselling a personal favorite of mine, Super Mario 64. Those numbers were not compared to a game that came with a console like Wii Sports, which was sold with every new Wii at launch.

Things To Know Before The Nintendo Switch Comes Out Tomorrow

With the Nintendo Switch coming out tomorrow, I figured that I would give you some things that you should know before you pick up your console.

  • The Graphics On The Go Will Run At 720p

When removing the tablet from the TV dock, you will be going from a high-resolution display to a 720p touchscreen that’s likely a little smaller than your big screen at 6.7 inches. Graphic transitions and framerates should stay the same, and according to some early reviews, the system may even run games better off your television screen due to compression issues.

  • The Joy-Cons can be manipulated in a few ways.

When the tablet is docked, the pair can be locked into a grip to be used as one controller. If you’re with a friend, you can separate the gamepads, using them vertically or horizontally in a manner that almost seems like an upgraded version of the original NES controller. In handheld mode, the controllers can be locked into the sides of the tablet.

  • It’s going to cost you more than you think

The Switch only has 32gb of storage space so if you’re planning on getting more than four games, I would recommend buying a micro-SD card to up the memory. The Joy-Cons don’t come with a charging grip but you can get a charging grip for $30. Nintendo is putting out a pro controller that is extremely similar to the Xbox One controller that cost around $70 that resembles a traditional gamepad and makes for a more comfortable experience while gaming at home.

  • Besides The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The WildThe Launch Lineup Is A Bit Thin.

When you think Nintendo, Zelda always comes to mind. This is a big selling point for the Swtich so far and reviews are already dubbing the new adventure the game of the year, but there just isn’t much else right now. 1-2 Switch, a multiplayer game that pits players to “face-off” and use the Joy-Con motion controls for some friendly competition, has potential and could be the surprise hit that Wii Sports was for the Wii. There will be great games coming out like Mario Kart 8 and Skyrim and of course, most owners will be waiting for Super Mario Odyssey this winter.

I just wanted to give you guys a reminder of whats ahead for the hybrid system and hope you guys enjoy the console as much as the actors in the commercials do!