The NPD Group, commonly known to gaming fans for its work tracking monthly game sales, has predicted that the upcoming Project Scorpio could help the Xbox One take back the top sales spot from PlayStation 4.
Following the recent reveal of Scorpio’s system specs, NPD’s Mat Piscatella told GamesIndustry.biz (via VG 24/7) that the Scorpio is going after a “niche audience,” but it has the potential to expand to wider consumer appeal.
“I remain bullish on the Scorpio in the U.S. market, particularly in the launch year. I think Scorpio has the potential to push ahead of the PS4 in the US in 2017,” Piscatella said.
“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.”
Piscatella established that the Scorpio’s success will be largely reliant on its software support, as with most hardware launches. “No matter how amazing the tech specs are, if attractive content doesn’t show up, the mass market won’t adopt.”
Offering a counterargument, DFC Intelligence head David Cole told GI.biz that Microsoft is limiting itself to the “bleeding edge of game consumers” and is more concerned about the system than the games being played on it.
“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.” Cole said. “Project Scorpio does not give [developers] 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.”
Numerous first and third-party games are rumored to be getting the Scorpio’s 4K treatment, and the system will reportedly improve on the current Xbox One’s backward compatibility support. Unfortunately, fans will have to wait until E3 2017 for the Scorpio’s full reveal to learn about any specific software support, as well as the price and final name. As for its launch, gamers should be getting hands on the new console sometime in fall 2017.