The first confirmed details for Xbox’s’ next iterative console, codenamed Scoprio, since its surprise E3 2016 reveal have surfaced. As expected, the fine reporters at Digital Foundry took a trip to Redmond and got a first-hand look under the hood of Microsoft’s upcoming console powerhouse. Details like the final industrial design of Project Scorpio or its final name are being kept under wraps for now but we know a lot more about its hardware.
So here is what will be inside the box when Project Scorpio launches later this year:
Project Scorpio Specs
- 8 X86 Cores @ 2.3GHZ
- Custom Radeon GPU @ 1172MHZ with 40 cores.
- 12GB DDR5 Ram
- 1TB HDD
- 4K Capable UHD Bluray drive
Here is how Digital Foundry summarized the new “Scorpio Engine”, the system on a chip that will power the new console:
“Core to the new console is the Scorpio Engine, the new SoC (system on chip) developed once again in conjunction with AMD. In common with many aspects of the box, engineering the new processor was based on a revolutionary workflow – one that could only really be achieved on a mid-generation refresh design.”
There was also of course talk of how Scorpio will usher in the era of 4K gaming with frame rates as high as 60 FPS. Once again quoting Digital Foundry:
“Scorpio will hit its native 4K target across a range of content, with power to spare to spend on other visual improvements. And while 4K is the target, Microsoft is paying attention to 1080p users, promising that all modes will be available to them.”
Going Pro To Pro
On paper project Scorpio isn’t just going toe-to-toe with the PlayStation Pro but surpasses in available memory, GPU clock speed and CPU speed. The Scorpio GPU is 25% faster (in terms of raw MHZ) when compared with the pro. Microsoft’s next box has 40% more memory when compared with Sony’s enthusiast grade console, although only 8GB of the DDR5 memory in Scorpio will be accessible for games – the other 4GB is reserved for the system’s OS and background tasks. Finally Xbox Scorpio’s CPU’s clock rate is higher than PS4 Pros but only by a marginal 9%.
What this means in terms of identical games being played on the Xbox Scorpio versus the PlayStation 4 Pro has yet to be determined. When comparing the baseline PS4 to its Pro counterpart it has been a mixed bag – sometimes games on the Pro will sport higher frame-rates and higher quality textures but at other times have shown unstable framerates when compared to the base PS4. Certainly, the Xbox One from 2013 weeps in comparison to the beefed up specs of Scorpio, however. We just don’t know how this much additional power will translate over to cross-generational games since Microsoft has stated that the Xbox One family of games will all be playable on the Xbox One (2013), Xbox One S (2016) and Project Scorpio.
Burning A Hole In Your Wallet
For everything we do know about Project Scorpio on the technical side, there are several unanswered questions when it comes to the release of Scorpio as a consumer product. Microsoft has made no mention of how much the new console will cost – Sony’s rival PlayStation 4 Pro is priced at a staggering $499 CDN, a $150 premium for the privilege of owning a 4K capable console. With Scorpio’s increased power could its price be even higher than that of the PS4 Pro? Assuming that it is, will existing Xbox owners want to shell out more than half a thousand dollars for a bump in resolution?
Simply put there is a lot that we don’t know about how Microsoft will position Scorpio and there’s no point in speculating how it will be received by the public once it does become available. Microsoft is expected to take the wraps off of everything Project Scorpio during their pre-E3 press conference this June.