Earlier this year, both Sony and Microsoft announced new consoles that will serve as “mid-generation” upgrades to the current PS4 and Xbox One models: the PS4 Pro and the code-named ‘Project Scorpio’, respectively.
Sony recently unveiled the PS4 Pro last September, which is scheduled to arrive this coming November. Project Scorpio, on the other hand, won’t arrive until the holiday season next year.
On the technical front, Project Scorpio is primed to be much more superior to the PS4 Pro. According to Microsoft at this year’s E3, the console will pack 6 teraflops of computing power, which easily trumps the PS4 Pro’s 4.2 teraflops output.
Assuming Microsoft makes good on their word, it would actually be a nice comeback story, considering how the PS4 dominated the Xbox One right out of the gate in this generation.
However, Sony shouldn’t worry too much about Project Scorpio, even if it really does turn out to be hardware-superior. There’s one PS4-exclusive game currently in the works that has the potential to be the “killer app” for the PS4 Pro: the Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Yep, that game.
Dreams do come true
After years and years of endless fan requests, Square Enix finally gave in and green-lighted a Final Fantasy VII remake, which was announced to delirious fans at E3 2015. And the game won’t simply receive a graphical touch-up similar to remastered games: it will be a full remake from the ground-up.
A recent gameplay trailer already shows how beautiful the game is on the current PS4 model. Now, imagine it with the PS4 Pro treatment.
If Final Fantasy VII Remake stays home on the PS4 as an exclusive, it’s a safe bet that a lot of Xbox One and Project Scorpio would-be buyers will seriously take the game into consideration.
It’s not every day that a classic game of this magnitude gets a full remake. So it’s not far-off to also assume that those not really sold on the PS4 Pro yet will finally get in line for a possible Final Fantasy VII Remake PS4 Pro Bundle.
FFVII Remake release date hurts Scorpio
Just recently, it was reported that Final Fantasy VII Remake might be set for a 2017 release. And guess what else will be arriving in 2017? Project Scorpio, as mentioned earlier. Final Fantasy VII Remake will undoubtedly hog a huge chunk of the spotlight, which may affect Microsoft’s efforts to market Project Scorpio.
Microsoft can churn out all the Halo games they want as launch titles, but none of them would be enough to outshine the much-anticipated remake. And that’s based on fans’ reaction alone at the announcement trailer. Seriously, they went nuts.
Even if Final Fantasy VII Remake arrives in 2018 according to a contradictory report, it will still cast a shadow over Project Scorpio. People will debate whether to pick up the technically superior console or give in to their childhood memories and go for the PS4 Pro instead.
This could also lead to Xbox loyalists holding out on Project Scorpio until Square Enix decides to port the game to other platforms. The main point is that the impending release of Final Fantasy VII Remake will cast a cloud over people’s decision to immediately lunge at Project Scorpio upon release.
Episodic format works in Sony’s favor, too
If there’s one thing that nitpickers can hone in on Final Fantasy VII Remake is that it’s going to be released in multiple parts or “episodes” similar to the current Hitman game (also from Square Enix). At first glance, it may seem like a cash-grab move by Square Enix, although each episode will reportedly be a full game.
But when you really think about it, the piece-by-piece format will relieve pressure from Square Enix. It allows them to develop the game in full without cutting off segments or features from the original.
A game like Final Fantasy VII Remake isn’t something that should be crammed just to meet a deadline. So Square Enix can take all the time they need. After all, fans have already waited years for this to happen.
If the report above holds true (the second one) and the game is released in successive years beginning in 2018, then the same argument above will apply. People may stick to the PS4 Pro – or even just the PS4 Slim – until at least they’ve had their fill of the full Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Also: If the first episode or part of the game receives universal acclaim, or at least enough glowing reviews, then it will drive the hype train even more. That, of course, will entice people to buy the PS4 Pro instead of Project Scorpio, regardless if the latter launches successfully or not.
This entire article, of course, hinges on Square Enix’s decision to keep Final Fantasy VII Remake locked on PS4 consoles. If they have a change of heart and release the game for the Xbox One and Project Scorpio, too, then the PS4 Pro will have lost its potentially dominating edge over its rival.
But the good news is that, thanks to the PS4 Pro being released first, Sony can start developing a Project Scorpio counter earlier, too. Heck, they may be doing it right now as you read this last sentence.
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