Revealed at last year’s E3, the latest console from Xbox was revealed to be dubbed Project Scorpio. This upgrade for the Xbox One platform was shown off in a pretty concept heavy trailer that talked in grandeur, but didn’t really pin down what the console actually was, what it does, or how it does it. Exclusively shared on Eurogamer, we finally have some specifications for the unit, one that attempts to bring the Xbox One library to stunning 4K quality.
Those that are into the latest and greatest technology will happily find an incredibly detailed discussion of the guts of the new console. While these new parts aren’t leaps and bounds over what is already being run in the Xbox One or PS4 Pro, when compared side by side, there is quite a bit of extra power. Powered by the Scorpio Engine, this new unit will readily be able to take just about any game that’s running in at least 900p and scale it up to run at a 4K framerate, while also giving developers more power to utilize to bring out some amazing quality. While ridiculous framerates and seemingly limitless speeds have always been a staple and pull for PC gaming, it looks like console players will be getting a taste of that power for themselves sooner than we thought.
“We have this developer tool called PIX [Performance Inspector for Xbox]. It lets us do some GPU trace capture. He and his team did a really deep analysis across a breadth of titles with the goal that any 900p or better title would be able to easily run at frame-rate at 4K on Scorpio.” – Kevin Gammill, Group Program Director of the Xbox Core Platform
Once again, there is a ton of technical talk being done with this reveal, which is appropriate given Microsoft wants to let everyone know exactly what they are offering. What we can take away from this is that Scorpio is pretty much ready for consumers, I imagine the bulk of what will be done for the rest of the year will be marketing and testing. This new unit could very well be the push that brings our games into 4K in a way that is quick, easy to use, and effective.
Personally, I’m impressed by how much custom hardware is being injected into this console. It’s interesting to see that Microsoft is sticking with the format of the Xbox One software, instead of creating a whole new console environment. Since the optical drive is a 4K Blu-Ray one, there could be a format shift for the actual games. We could see at least one or two games that are only playable on Scorpio (as was the strange case for a few games on the New 3DS), but this was something Microsoft wants to avoid, if their initial pitch is to be believed. What’s most exciting is that this home console box will be basically putting Ultra PC performance levels for those playing in 4K and those playing in 1080p won’t be left out either, as Microsoft is working to ensure the system looks great on lower resolution displays. This also means that 4K movies could also be easily integrated into the living room, hitting two major mediums with a single purchase.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t any real concrete details about whether games will need a hefty patch file, or if the box will just natively support higher resolutions and performance. The article explains that the demo they were shown wasn’t a simple upscaling; there is at least some work that needs to be done to a game to get it looking its absolute best. It does seem that there will be a quick baseline that will easily be achieved by just running the games in the box, but more software information is definitely wanted.
I’ve yet to make the leap to 4K, but with a simple setup device like Project Scorpio, it may be time to start saving some cash. Thankfully, with this reveal from Eurogamer, we likely have until the holiday season to do so.
This in-depth reveal also points towards a monumental show at E3 later this year. Microsoft is already getting an edge on the competition, so maybe we’ll see Sony step up their game soon as well. Nintendo will probably focus on software, but they always have. Either way, E3 should be a blast for everyone involved.
All screenshots, quotes, and original story were exclusively released by Eurogamer. Please check out the original article and much more here.