Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room: Gamescom 2017 wasn’t the most exciting for Microsoft. Sure, a handful of impressive games were exhibited during the course of the roughly one-and-a-half-hour presentation – Cuphead, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Strange Brigade, State of Decay 2, and Player Unknown’s Battelgrounds – but the problem is, we’ve seen them all before and, moreover, aside from Cuphead and State of Decay, none of these titles will actually be exclusive to the Xbox One anyway.
The most interesting thing to emerge from the largely underwhelming showcase, in all honesty, was the news that Microsoft is releasing a pair of special edition consoles later this year. The first of which being the Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition of the forthcoming Xbox One X.
Admittedly, there’s not an awful lot to distinguish it from the standard Xbox One X. Aside from the packaging, which is wonderfully reminiscent of the original Xbox, the only noticeable differences are the inclusion of a space-saving vertical stand, a “custom printed exterior”, and the words ‘Project Scorpio’ proudly emblazoned on the unit itself and the accompanying controller.
Otherwise, it offers the same overwhelming power that Microsoft has been boasting about since the mid-gen update was first announced during its E3 2016 press conference. Namely, ultra HD, 4K resolution; a 6 teraflop GPU; HDR functionality etc. etc.
Microsoft also unveiled a Minecraft-themed, limited edition version of the Xbox One S.
Decorated in Minecraft’s unique, instantly recognisable pixel art style, both the console and limited edition controller resemble the game’s ubiquitous grass blocks, which will thus, according to the reveal trailer, appeal to those who “just love dirt”. That’s a genuine quote, by the way.
As that singular description might suggest, it’s truly something to behold and is already polarising the gaming community. Because I know you’re just dying to know, for my part, I think it’s rather charming.
Anyway, to get down to brass tacks, the Project Scorpio edition launches alongside the standard Xbox One X on November 7 costing $499.99/£449.99, while the Minecraft version of the Xbox One S will be available slightly earlier on October 3 for the princely sum of $399.99/£349.99. Both are available for pre-order right now.