Heavy Gaming Specs Confirmed For Xbox Project Scorpio: 4K at 60FPS and Much More
Stephan Jukic – April 5, 2017
Finally, A Serious Listing Of Confirmed Specs For The Xbox Project Scorpio: 4K at 60FPS and More
After rumor upon rumor and only a few minor “confirmed” tidbits of information that really revealed something about the eventual specs of the highly anticipated Microsoft Project Scorpio 4K-capable gaming console, we finally have serious confirmation of what this console will be capable of. In fact, what’s been revealed pretty much encompasses all of the core performance features of the upcoming device.
Microsoft has revealed the Scorpio’s major hardware specs and assuming they don’t undergo any further tweaks, we can honestly say that this console means business, for all kinds of gaming and also for some very impressive 4K media playback, but more on this second detail in a bit.
Moving to the specs themselves, the Scorpio is going to run 4K games at 60 frames per second, offer video capture and playback at the same speed and will come with eight custom X86 cores clocked out at 2.3GHz, with a GPU that delivers 40 customized Radeon compute units at 1172MHz. Furthermore, the console will include a massive 12GB GDDR5 memory, 326GB/s of memory bandwidth, 6 TFLOPs of GPU power and as a sort of finishing touch, will include a 4K ultra HD Blu-ray drive.
The Scorpio in other words puts existing consoles like the PS4 Pro and its own cousin the Xbox One S to shame in terms of raw 4K gaming and video power. For gamers who play with the Scorpio on a non-4K TV, the console will automatically downscale graphics to 1080p resolution. Games and other content will be transferred via HDMI 2.0 and Dolby Atmos support will also be part of the Scorpio package. Another good thing about the Scorpio is that it’s games will be largely cross-compatible with the two older Xbox consoles and Xbox One games or software of any kind will have “100% compatibility” with the Scorpio as well.
Technical improvements like those mentioned above will also offer stabilized frame-rates, a supposed total lack of screen-tearing and improvements in texture filtering and loading times. For gamers who own lots of Xbox One and Xbox One S titles, this is great news:
As Andrew Goossen, Technical Fellow at Microsoft explained recently to Eurogamer.net:
“In designing for compatibility, there are two choices that we can take from a performance perspective. One of which is to design hardware to emulate the performance capabilities of the original [console] as much as possible, or the other one is to say, we’re just going to turn on all the performance and we’re going to deal with all the issues.”
From what Goossen has explained, Microsoft took the hard second approach and as a result, games for older consoles played on the Scorpio will benefit from the full force of the console’s massive hardware and processing capabilities.
This contrasts with consoles like the PlayStation 4 Pro, which take the “emulation” approach for rendering older PlayStation games. Thus, with the 4K-capable PS 4 Pro, when games are played on it, the console effectively acts as if it were an older counterpart and deactivates its newer features which are designed for newer games. This is a simplified means of ensuring mostly trouble-free compatibility with older PS4 games and for many users it works well but it also means that those games gain little extra benefit from what the PS4 Pro is really capable of.
The Scorpio’s more complex approach does something much more interesting. As explained above, the heavy-duty new processing powers of the Scorpio are indeed applied to older games and used to actually improve them in whatever way is possible. The result is the above-mentioned load-time enhancements, faster frame rates, smoother overall gameplay and graphics enhancements like texture filtering.
Moving onto the Scorpio’s more unique graphics and video chops, Microsoft is planning on adding in GameDVR support, allowing for 4K video capture at 60FPS without performance issues thanks partly to the use of the high efficiency video compression codec HEVC H.265 for 4K video compression. GameDVR is also of course compatible with older game video capture and thus even if a lot of the content captured through it is in 1080p resolution, HEVC and an ultra-high bit-rate will deliver retroactive screen capture videos of what Goossen claims will be “really high quality”.
Finally, as far as 4K ultra HD movie and Blu-ray playback is concerned, the Scorpio is fixing up to be one hell of a 4K home entertainment system as well. Between its hugely powerful processing specs, support for 4K video capture, High Dynamic Range and bitstream audio pass-though with formats like DTS:X, Dolby Atmos sound and others, the Scorpio will without a doubt be one very robust 4K Blu-ray player.
All of these things are probably going to come at a steep price too though. Eurogamer is predicting a release or pre-order retail price of $499 for the Scorpio. This is well above the current price tags of the PlayStation 4 Pro and the Xbox One S and it’s a lot cheaper than what you’d pay for any stand-alone 4K Blu-ray player if that’s the only feature of the Scorpio which interests you. However, for owners of 4K HDR TVs who want the benefit of serious gaming chops and a full 4K home video media package, even this supposed release price probably won’t be a deterrent. We’re hoping the Scorpio gets cheaper as quickly as possible when it hits shelves.
Story by 4k.com