Microsoft couldn’t wait until E3 in June to unveil the Scorpio, so the company shared some details with Digital Foundry and we now know all of Project Scorpio’s tech specs. As expected, it’s going to be by far the most powerful gaming console out there.
The console GPU will be able to process six trillion floating point operations per second, or six teraflops for short. It’s 4.5 times more powerful than an Xbox One, and 1.4 times more powerful than a PlayStation 4 Pro.
While this sounds impressive, it’s about as powerful as an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, and it’s less powerful than a 1080, 1080 Ti, etc. PC gamers will probably laugh at Microsoft’s claim that you’ll be able to play games at native 4K at 60 frames per second.
In order to do this, Microsoft has worked with AMD to put 40 customized Radeon compute units in a single chip manufactured by TSMC. These units run at 1172MHz, which is going to be challenging for the cooling system.
On the CPU front, the Scorpio will use an eight-core CPU clocked at 2.3GHz. There will be 12GB of RAM, with 4GB of RAM allocated for the operating system alone. In order to take advantage of all those chips, memory bandwidth has been increased to 326GB/s. Finally, Microsoft has optimized Direct3D 12 APIs so that API calls are handled natively by the GPU.
Overall, it’s a great update for the Xbox One but not necessarily a gaming revolution. Of course Project Scorpio is less powerful than an expensive gaming PC. But it seems like a good compromise for those who just want a console in their living room.
Digital Foundry couldn’t share photos of the final form factor, but it is reminiscent of the Xbox One S in many ways. It’ll have the same connectivity (no Kinect port). It’ll have an integrated power brick and a 4K Blu-ray player. It’ll have the same audio chip with a couple of new features, such as spatial audio. This could be useful for a VR headset for instance.
Microsoft hasn’t been secretive about Project Scorpio. The company had said it was working on a new console back in June 2016. This isn’t a successor to the Xbox One S, it’s going to live alongside the Xbox One S.
All Xbox One games should work on the Xbox One S and the Scorpio. They are just going to look better on the Scorpio, with a better framerate, less tearing and better loading times. Sony already launched a more powerful PlayStation 4 Pro late last year. So it looks like both Sony and Microsoft are moving away from brand new console generations.
Microsoft will spend more time talking about Scorpio games at E3. I’m sure you can expect better looking versions of Gears of War 5, Halo 6 and Forza 7. And I hope we’ll learn more about pricing and availability in June as well.