In an interview published earlier today by Eurogamer, Xbox boss Phil Spencer told the site that Microsoft considered releasing a more powerful Xbox One unit this year, but decided against doing so as the result would have been a product less powerful than the now-confirmed Project Scorpio that served little purpose to consumers.
Spencer explains that the whole point of the Scorpio is to give consumers a device that provides native 4K gaming with all the power needed to do so, but if the upgrade had been pushed out at the end of this year, the resulting console would have landed somewhere between 1080p and 4K.
We could have done a new update this year. We actually looked at it. We went all the way to, we had the spec in front of us, should we ship something that’s less than Scorpio this year, but in truth you can’t do a true 4K console this year.
I just didn’t think anything between what is effectively a 1080p console and the 4K console, like, from a consumer television standpoint there’s nothing in the middle. So let’s go focus on 4K and next year was the right year to do that.
Seemingly not wanting to leave fans without some new hardware in 2016 though, Microsoft will be releasing the slimmed-down Xbox One S later this year, which offers 4K support for blu-ray and video (not games) and a very slight boost in power.