by Dave Thier via Forbes

We all knew that Microsoft was working on a more powerful Xbox codenamed “Scorpio,” but a lot of us didn’t expect to hear about it this year. The machine isn’t coming out until holiday 2017, and a year and a half is a very long way off to announce a brand new machine, especially when you’ve got a console you’re trying to sell in the meantime. I wasn’t the only one surprised by the move. PlayStation Head Andrew House told The Guardian that he didn’t see it coming:

“I was surprised by the step of announcing something over a year ahead of time,” he told The Guardian. “The dynamics of the tech industry are such that there’s a much heavier emphasis on immediate gratification than there was. A lot of that is to do with how Apple has very cleverly and elegantly managed the ‘available now’ approach. So yes, that was a slight surprise to me. We experienced this ourselves, when, in 2013, very much in line with our previous strategies, we announced a concept and a name for PlayStation 4, and everyone said ‘where’s the box? How dare you?!’ That was the point we realised, well, we hadn’t changed but the world around us had.”

It’s interesting to hear House reference the original PS4 reveal in that statement, especially because we all know how that story ends: well.

According to Phil Spencer, the team decided to go ahead and let the world know about Scorpio so far in advance so that developers would have plenty of time to get things ready for launch (and, one supposes, because we had all found out about it anyway). It’s still a major risk: without more information, it’s hard to know if a new customer should wait for a more powerful machine or stick with what’s on offer now. This is theoretically mitigated by the fact that the games will work on both machines, but questions remain regardless.

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