Phil Spencer Responds to Developer's Worries About Supporting Both Xbox One and Xbox Scorpio

By Ben Petchey

June 15, 2016

Game developers are quite rightfully concerned about the Xbox Scorpio. After all, supporting yet another console isn’t exactly cheap. How can they build a game that takes advantage of the Xbox Scorpio’s power and also make the experience the same for Xbox One users?

Phil Spencer responded:

“When we were talking to people about the design point for Scorpio, we talked to the people in the PC community because the PC community has been doing this for a while. And frankly, we know this. There’s no developer out there today, except for in maybe a first party, that’s only focused on one platform. Some are still going PS3, 360, PS4, Xbox One, and PC. When you say PC there’s probably a minimum [spec], a recommended [spec], and then an uber-config that they’re focused on. So what we’ve been talking about for the last couple of years is how do we unify that PC and console development ecosystem on Xbox so that if I’m a DirectX 12 developer they run on both consoles and Windows. If I’m using Xbox Live, that’s available on console and Windows. So my social connection, my graphics layer all works. The engine and middleware providers are almost all on console and Windows. We’re continuing to grow the capability of the Universal Windows Platform to literally allow you to build one game that would run on console and on PC. So that’s an enabler. You still have a scenario of whether the different configs [and resolutions is something you’ll support] and I think that will all be part of install base size.”

Spencer continued:

“Xbox One is at an install base now where as a developer you’re going to look at that design point of the Xbox One and Xbox One S capability and there’s enough – I mean, there’s tens of millions of customers there. So you’re going to say, “Absolutely, I’m going to focus on that config.” And then we want to create that same capability with Scorpio and we kind of bridged to some of the 4K capability in PC to say, ok, here’s a common design spec here. And then other people will go and do unlocked frame rate 6K games on PC and we want to freely support those as well. So I don’t think Xbox One actually becomes a challenge in support because you’ve got so much capability in that PS4/XBox One compute spec that people will see that install base of players there that will always be worth [targeting] for an awful long time. On the PC side, developers have been doing this for quite a while, right? You kind of look at, whether it’s GPUs that created real massive consumers that you still see in the PC space or in console generations, like I said, there are still people building Xbox 360 games and PS3 games. It’s really all about an install base of players that are buying and playing games.”

The Xbox Scorpio was announced during Microsoft’s E3 conference, and offers 6 teraFLOPS of computing power with a 8-core CPU and over 320 Gb/s of memory bandwidth. It will also deliver “true 4K gaming and high fidelity VR.”

You can check it out here.



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Ben Petchey

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