We’ve finally learned the first real details of Microsoft’s “Project Scorpio,” the name for the company’s high-performance Xbox One console designed to allow for more gorgeous, fluid game experiences.
This is not a brand-new Xbox, mind you, but an overpowered version of the Xbox One that can support more visual improvements, like native 4K and 60 frames-per-second performance, which make games look more realistic.
All the details were unveiled in a Eurogamer story on Thursday morning, in which the company sent its video unit Digital Foundry to Redmond, Washington, to see Project Scorpio in action for the first time.
Eurogamer suggests Microsoft will debut Project Scorpio to the public at E3 2017, the annual games conference in Los Angeles that takes place in June, but the company did release the final specifications for the console, which reveals a much more powerful machine than the Xbox One — and even a bit superior to Sony’s new PlayStation 4 Pro, a similar high-end PS4 console designed to make games better-looking.
A chart with the full specs for Project Scorpio can be found over at Eurogamer, but here's a rundown of what to expect:
- The CPU contains eight custom x86 cores clocked at 2.3GHz, which are 31% faster than those in the Xbox One- The GPU is made with 40 custom compute units running at 1172MHz- The memory is 12 gigabytes of GDDR5 RAM running at a bandwidth of 326GB/s- The built-in hard-drive is 2.5 inches and contains 1 terabyte of space- The optical hard drive will support everything up to 4K ultra-HD Blu-ray discs
In contrast, the current Xbox One only has 12 compute units in the GPU, 8 gigs of DDR3 RAM running at a lower bandwidth of 68GB/s, and comes with just 500 GB of space standard.
In other words, the new Project Scorpio will be technically superior to the Xbox One in every single way.
Some other nifty features worth noting:
- A better color compression system- A new audio processor for spatial surround sound, including support for Dolby Atmos- A next-gen codec that allows you to capture your content in full HDR, which in many ways is more vibrant and impressive than 4K- The GPU delivers on the 6.0-teraflop performance target promised earlier last year by Microsoft- Project Scorpio will be 100% backwards compatible with all Xbox One and Xbox One S consoles- Of the 12 gigabytes of memory, only 4GB is reserved for the system itself. Developers will have 8GB of memory to play around with for their games, to ensure quality performance, quick loading times, and better visuals
And here's what we still don't know about Project Scorpio, but hope to learn soon (possibly E3?):
- How much it will cost- When it will go on sale- If it will support any VR headsets or solutions, and which- If it will support Microsoft's augmented reality headset, the HoloLens- Which games will take advantage of the performance bonuses from Project Scorpio
For more on Project Scorpio, including interviews with the team behind the new Xbox and a look at how well demos run on the console, check out Eurogamer’s big feature story.