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What We Know About Project Scorpio

Project Scorpio Xbox One

During Microsoft’s E3 press conference last year, a new more powerful Xbox One was announced as Project Scorpio. It has been dubbed to be the most powerful console ever.

Project Scorpio boasts a GPU 4.5 times more powerful than the current Xbox One and Xbox One S. That’s more power than the current PS4 Pro. Xbox aims to achieve 4K gaming from Project Scorpio.

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer’s update on Scorpio Progress

Recently the boss of Xbox Phil Spencer has shared over Twitter how the new console development is coming along.

“Great day, Scorpio update w/ team. Played my first games on early Scorpio unit. Games played great, console looked right, proud of the team” Spencer was then asked what does the system have that makes him praise it even more since E3.

Spencer responded with this “Actual games running where I can see the fidelity on screen, feel the gameplay. For me that’s when it becomes real,”

Today someone asked if the rumours that Scorpio won’t be able to play native 4k is true. Spencer responded with “Honestly my focus is just on getting games ready to show and play. That will be the explanation. I’m confident in the results.”

Phil Spencer also responded to another user who asked if the Scorpio will be able to play native 4K games which he replied with “yes”.

Project Scorpio is definitely an interesting prospect, I personally think the push for 4K is too early and I would prefer 60fps on all games over a better resolution. However, with the bolstered power from the Scorpio, it will be interesting to see if Microsoft and other developers choose to utilise the power to achieve 60fps.

Nevertheless, it seems like Project Scorpio is making fine progress.

Scorpio is a “full-blown” upgrade but not a new console generation…

Ori and the Blind Forest developer Thomas Mahler recently has said that the Scorpio is a next gen device that allows you to stay on the same platform with the same library of games. This is something Microsoft preached at E3 2016 too.

“All consoles now are x86 PCs and the architecture will remain the same, that’s why Sony was able to quickly iterate on the PS4 and make a beefier version of it,” said Thomas Mahler.

“Scorpio is a next-gen machine with the added benefit that all your old games will still be compatible. From this point on, similar to PCs, you’ll not lose your library when you buy a next-gen system.”

Head of games at Xbox marketing Aaron Greenberg also had a similar statement. Greenberg believes that the future of console gaming is without new console generations.

“We think the future is without console generations,” Greenberg said. “We think that the ability to build a library, a community, to be able to iterate with the hardware – we’re making a pretty big bet on that with Project Scorpio.

“We’re basically saying, ‘This isn’t a new generation; everything you have continues forward and it works.’ We think of this as a family of devices.”

Greenberg goes on to say that “if the Scorpio is a success, then they will think about the future of console gaming.” Essentially Microsoft is testing the business model of incremental console upgrades all within the same console generation.

I personally believe this is the future and I also believe that in order for consoles to stay relevant in the long term future, it must do this. When PC’s, smart phones and tablets upgrade every year, consoles must find a way to keep up with the rapid rise of technology.

It makes sense seeing as the current gen consoles are based off PC architecture which I would assume means that games that are developed on consoles are developed on PC in a similar fashion now.

This means that if someone upgrades to a better version of the Xbox, they can play it at a higher graphical setting, and someone with an older Xbox can still play the same game with their friends, but at a lower graphical setting, just like you see with PC gaming.

No longer will you have to ditch all your old games when upgrading to a next gen console.

What we know now..

So, Project Scorpio is set for release sometime during the holiday 2017 period. I predict it will be sometime in November or late October. No price point has been given but Phil Spencer has previously said that he wants the console price to be at a “console price point”. Given the specs, I think it will be around the $500-$600 price point.

Currently we only know that the is a 8 core AMD custom CPU, and the GPU is an AMD graphics chip with 6 teraflops of performance. It will support 4K. There is no confirmed list of what games will run at native 4K and whether every game will run at native 4K or will some just be upscaled.

Project Scorpio is certainly sounding like it will be able to achieve 4K at 60fps. Could it take consoles to the same performance and visual fidelity level of a PC? Is it truly going to be a next gen console that keeps everyone on the same platform? Only time will tell. 2017 is going to be one interesting year for games that’s for sure.

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