Microsoft’s Xbox division have never been ones to shy away from a good boast. When they claimed last year that their forthcoming console, codenamed Project Scorpio, would be the most powerful ever made, it was all too easy for us in the gaming press to arch a skeptical eyebrow. We’re happy to admit when we were wrong however. In an exclusive with EuroGamer’s Digital Foundry, Microsoft have revealed the scope of Scorpio’s capabilities and, holy crap, they aren’t playing around.
You can read the entire and very exhaustive Digital Foundry piece right here, but it does help if you can speak tech. In case you don’t, here’s a fast break down in laygamer’s terms.
The CPU is comprised of eight custom cores running at 2.3GHz, up from the Xbox One’s eight Jaguar cores at 1.75GHz and the PS4 Pro’s eight Jaguar cores at 2.1GHz.
Its GPU packs an astounding 12GB of crisp GDDR5 memory, compared to the Xbox One’s 8GB of DDR and the PS4 Pro’s 8GB of GDDR5. It’s also packing a 1TB hard drive, a 4K UHD blu-ray drive.
So what’s the takeaway? Scorpio is a 30% improvement on CPU speed over the Xbox One and its GPU is a whopping 460% more powerful. What about its direct competition? Is it more powerful than the PS4 Pro? Yes, absolutely. Is it a monster? Undoubtedly.
What Scorpio’s specs make clear is that this is a console built from the ground up for running natively in 4K. While EuroGamer points out that users on 1080p TV’s will still be well served by the machine, its those with newer 4K HDR TV’s that will get the best experience.
So what’s the downside? We’d have to point to the 1TB hard drive in this case. Why so little space, Microsoft? Also, since it seems you’re going for broke in every other regard, if you’re going to stick with 1TB then why not use a solid state and bring the load times down? Given that Xbox have been good about letting users install replacement hard drives in both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, we’re sure that functionality will be in place here too. It just sucks Scorpio won’t have that functionality out of the box.
Microsoft hasn’t announced official pricing just yet, though EuroGamer’s exclusive predicts at a US$499 price point. Hopefully Xbox will have lots more to say about Project Scorpio at E3 2017 in June.