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article imageMicrosoft's next Xbox to feature new 'Motion' design language

By James Walker     Feb 20, 2017 in Technology
Microsoft's next-generation Xbox console, Project Scorpio, will feature a new visual design language called "Motion." It is designed to make the most of Scorpio's record-breaking processing power, although what it will look like is currently unknown.
Recently, details of Project NEON, Microsoft's upcoming Windows 10 UI overhaul, were published online. It was previously thought that Project Scorpio, set to arrive late this year, would either use the same interface as the current Xbox One or a revised version based on NEON. According to a Microsoft engineer, it'll actually have a unique design language called "Motion."
Spotted by established Microsoft leaker WalkingCat, a post on Eric Fiscus' LinkedIn profile reveals Microsoft is currently prototyping "Motion" especially for Scorpio. Fiscus teases new features that will be enabled by Project Scorpio's graphics hardware, including 6 teraflops of processing power. The message, since deleted, also confirms the Holiday 2017 Scorpio target launch window.
The new Xbox One Home screen in the Windows 10 Xbox One Experience preview release on 18/09/2015
The new Xbox One Home screen in the Windows 10 Xbox One Experience preview release on 18/09/2015
Microsoft Xbox
"I'm currently prototyping Xbox Scorpio Motion Design language, which is targeting Holiday 2017," Fiscus' profile read. "What are we going to do with 6 teraflops of graphical processing power? Find out next year on Christmas morning ;)"
With nothing else known about the new design language, it's only possible to speculate and make educated guesses. Perhaps most obviously, the explicit reference to Scorpio's power suggests the new interface is likely to be embellished with rich graphical effects. The "Motion" branding could imply Microsoft is aiming for a new fluidity, filled with movement and animation.
This would align well with its Project NEON work for Windows 10. The core focus of NEON is making Windows look prettier and feel faster. Animations, minimalism and a focus on typography will be core elements. It's possible Microsoft is using a subset of NEON's UI elements for Motion, emphasising aspects like the animations but leaving out less console-focused components.
Groove Music Project NEON concept artwork [Image via MSPoweruser]
Groove Music Project NEON concept artwork [Image via MSPoweruser]
Motion may also be intended to better expose Scorpio's new features. As well as all the capabilities of the existing Xbox One interface, Scorpio will include an advanced robust UI that will allow it to run more powerful Universal Windows apps. It's thought controls like a file browser will be included, letting apps prompt you to open and save files.
Microsoft is expected to reveal much more about Scorpio at its E3 press event in the summer. The company is focusing on creating a high-performance console for gaming enthusiasts, shrugging off the Xbox One's reputation for being occasionally underpowered.
With a new design and a software overhaul, Microsoft intends Scorpio to be the must-buy console this holiday season. It'll face stiff competition though, including Sony's PS4 Pro and the soon-to-be-launched Nintendo Switch.
More about Microsoft, Xbox, xbox one, project scorpio, Gaming
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