Project Scorpio: Microsoft’s latest addition to the Xbox family
Image Source: Xbox
If you consider yourself as a gamer, that is, a person who consumes video games of any form, then you should know what The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, mean to the Western gaming world. Managed by U.S.’ Entertainment Software Association, held every May or June, the E3 is the biggest video game expo in West. Its Eastern counterpart is Japan’s Tokyo Game Show, held every September in Chiba.
Last year’s show, though, is a big moment for Microsoft as they have officially announced the newest member to their Xbox family of consoles: Project Scorpio. At the end of their E3 presentation, Microsoft showed a video about how they asked around and took feedback from users and game makers. They present Project Scorpio as their answer to the demands of 4k gaming and VR gaming. Their promise is that all the games that run on the current Xbox 1 family of consoles and all the accessories that work on that console will also work on the Project Scorpio console.
Image Source: Xbox
Xbox promises that Project Scorpio be the next industry leading console. The most powerful console ever built that will enable true 4k gaming, with graphics power of 6 teraflops, 320 GB/s memory bandwidth and 8 CPU cores. Techradar claims that the console is 5 times more powerful than the current Xbox 1.
Advanced Micro Devices will be the ones to provide Project Scorpio with high-performance semi-custom SoCs that will be able to support HDR, 4K and high fidelity VR.
As for VR Microsoft, though they don’t have their own VR headset in development yet, intends that Project Scorpio will be powerful enough to let gamers experience it, so they will be bringing mixed reality headset support by 2018. And Microsoft also announced that it will be able to support all Windows Mixed Reality headsets, which include models from Lenovo, Dell, Acer and HP. The thing is that these headsets will be a separate purchase.
As stated earlier, Project Scorpio will be able to play any games that can be played on Windows 10 or Xbox 1. If Project Scorpio is intended as their next gen flagship console then this can be considered as a case of backwards compatibility, which is always seen as a plus by many gamers.
Project Scorpio is reportedly going to be using an internal PSU. All Xbox, except Xbox 1 S, uses an internal PSU. Xbox 1 S comes with an external PSU. The idea was by separating the power supply from the console, Microsoft was able to achieve better airflow.
As a machine that is able to offer 4k gaming, Project Scorpio will also feature HEVC and VP9 codecs for decoding 4K streams. It will also leverage HEVC for encoding 2160p, 60 frame-per-second (FPS) video for Game DVR and streaming. Its all mainly so that gamers can watch and capture 4k videos of their gameplay.
Image Source: Xbox
As of now the machine is dated for a Holiday 2017 release, no specific date has been given yet and there has been no news for a price either. But last February, the Xbox team has tweeted that the Project Scorpio will be on exhibit in the upcoming E3 expo in 2017. The tweet claims that there will be big news on Sunday, June 11, during the event. They have also released this page in their website with the same video featured during its unveiling in E3 last year.
Finally the console wars are getting hotter. If Sony has nothing new to present this year all points to a fight between Sony’s PS4 Pro, Microsoft’s Scorpio and Nintendo’s Switch by 2018 and while Nintendo Switch isn’t doing hot recently Sony has been enjoying a lot of releases. Only time will tell if Project Scorpio will be a success or a flop.