Microsoft’s Xbox One turns four this year. Before the year is out, the company plans to provide its aging console with a beefier, more capable sibling: Project Scorpio.

It’s been about a year since news of the company’s plans to breathe new life into the brand leaked, but Xbox chief Phil Spencer traces Scorpio’s roots back to 2014, shortly after he stepped up from head of Microsoft Studios to become head of Xbox.

“It was pretty close after that that we started on what our hardware roadmap was gonna be,” Spencer told Gamasutra during a recent visit to Microsoft. “The ideas behind [the Xbox One] S were in flight slightly, because we knew we would do something in terms of a hardware refresh. But in terms of something more powerful, that kind of came in at that time.”

How the plans for the console we know as Scorpio came together, and what it means for game developers going forward, is what we tried to figure out during that visit. While Microsoft is being very careful about how it metes out details about Scorpio (the console’s name and price were not discussed), Gamasutra was shown the Scorpio dev kit and sat down to chat with some of the folks involved with its design.

For developers, Scorpio -- and its cousin across the aisle, Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro -- present familiar opportunities and challenges. By expanding “the Xbox One family of devices,” as Microsoft representatives are fond of saying, the company has significantly blurred the line between being a PC game developer and a console game developer...


Read more: Gamasutra - Inside the next Xbox: Project Scorpio and its brand-new dev kit