Yesterday Phil Spencer sat down with Giant Bomb and talked with them for over 40-minutes about the Xbox One S, Scorpio, Windows 10, and Microsoft in general.
Specifically to PC Gaming, Spencer goes into detail about UWP and the Windows 10 Store. He admitted that Quantum Break didn’t do super well and that Gear of War Ultimate Edition only did okay, but Killer Instinct and Forza Motorsport 6: Apex both did well – probably because they were both free-to-play. He wants gamers to be able to choose where and how they want to play, and joked about how Games for Windows Live basically existed in order to try to get PC gamers to buy an Xbox 360. Whereas Spencer is more interested in simply having people play Microsoft game, no matter where the play them.
He also entertains the possibility that more Microsoft games will come to Steam because it is – in effect – the home of PC Gaming, but Spencer is also committed to Microsoft having its own store and is just as committed to improving it. It seems as though everything is in early access these days, from games to the APIs they run on. UWP has already seen its fair share of improvements, with more still to come.
On the Xbox side of things, he clarified that the Xbox One S wasn’t designed to be more powerful to the classic one Xbox One, but due to the benefit of being created more recently, with perhaps more recent hardware, it might be a few degrees better. Then there’s HDR, which will make games run prettier, but not necessarily better.
Scorpio, however, is over four times as powerful as the Xbox One. All that horsepower is meant to facilitate 4k gaming, but Spencer is leaving it up to the developers to decide how in which they want to utilize all that extra horsepower. They could run at 4k, or they could run at 1080p, with all sorts of graphical options enabled, and then upscale to 4k. Whatever happens in fully in the hands of the developer, and Microsoft isn’t twisting their arms one way or the other. He also clarified that Scorpio won’t necessarily improve the performance of current Xbox One games, though he does use Halo 5 as an example. That game has dynamic resolution scaling, so the Scorpio might allow it and other games that scale as it does to maintain higher framerates without sacrificing the resolution.
Spencer also touched on VR, but not to a great extent. He still views the PC as the main VR platform, and didn’t specify which hardware the Scorpio might support.
I’ve always liked Phil Spencer, and the interview is a perfect example why. He seems to come from the Jeff Kaplan (Blizzard’s Lead Designer on Overwatch) school of transparency and honesty. Of course part of that credit has to be given to Jeff Gerstmann for asking such great questions.