Scorpio could see Xbox push ahead of PlayStation in 2017

The launch of what will be the world’s most powerful ever console later this year could be enough to hand sector momentum back to Xbox.

That’s the prediction of NPD Group’s Mat Piscatella, who told Games Industry that he was satisfied that yesterday’s tech announcement was enough to deliver the gains Microsoft hopes for.

"I remain bullish on the Scorpio in the US market, particularly in the launch year. I think Scorpio has the potential to push Xbox One sales ahead of the PS4 in the US in 2017,” he stated.

Adoption among the core gaming audience could be significant. And, while this is a niche audience to target, it’s the niche which is necessary to put the Scorpio on the path for longer term mass market adoption.”

He did add, however, that the tech will need to be backed up with a big E3 games roster.

"Ultimately, however, people buy consoles to play great games,” Piscatella continued. No matter how amazing the tech specs are, if attractive content doesn’t show up, the mass market won’t adopt.”

It should be noted, though, that NPD’s assessment was a lot more positive than other received by the site.

"Microsoft once was going to go after a broad consumer base but now they are stuck targeting the bleeding edge of game consumers that want the highest performing hardware and are more concerned with specs than actual games," DFC Intelligence head David Cole said.

"In DFC’s latest report on upcoming games we noted that more and more developers are opting not to release Xbox One versions of their games this season. Project Scorpio does not give them reason to change that because it is really targeted towards core Xbox fans that are already converted. For Scorpio to succeed Microsoft somehow needs to convince non-Xbox owners to convert."

Much, too, will also come down to price. The tech included in Scorpio will almost certainly mean it costs more than PS4 Pro. How much more could ultimately be the determining factor in its eventual success.

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