Microsoft kind of launched its first 4K-ready Xbox game console last summer, but the Xbox One S didn’t actually support 4K games, it was just a modestly updated Xbox One with support for 4K video streaming.

Want to play 4K games on an Xbox? You may be able to do that later this year.

That’s when the company’s next-gen game console is expected to launch. Eurogamer and Digital Foundry got an early look at the game system code-named “Project Scorpio,” and reports it offers 6 teraflops of performance and can handle 4K gaming at 60 frames per second.

Project Scorpio’s hardware includes:

  • 2.3 GHz 8-core custom 16nm x86 CPU
  • 1.172 GHz 40-core custom GPU
  • 12GB GDDR5 memory
  • 326GB/s memory bandwidth

The system also has a 1 TB 2.5 inch hard drive and a Blu-ray drive with support for 4K Ultra HD discs.

But those specs only tell part of the story. For instance, game developers only get access to 8GB of the graphics memory, because the operating system uses 4GB.

Overall, Project Scorpio looks like the most advanced game console to date, which is hardly surprising. But what’s particularly interesting is that the hardware is designed to scale up existing 1080p games to look good on 4K TVs.

There are a few things we still don’t know about Project Scorpio. Microsoft hasn’t announced the actual name yet, for example. And the pricing remains a mystery, although Eurogamer speculates that a reasonable target would be $499. While that’s fairly expensive by game console standards, it’s a lot less money than you’d probably have to pay to build a gaming PC with similar performance.



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12 replies on “Microsoft’s next Xbox console cranks it up to 6 teraflops (Project Scorpio)”

  1. “…it’s a lot less money than you’d probably have to pay to build a gaming PC with similar performance.”

    While probably is mentioned, that’s a tad bit of a lie. RX 480 builds can be found for 499$ and that’ll perform the same (if not the better) with all the other advantages PC has. Either way, I doubt this thing is even going to retail for 499$ for some time, that’s some real wishful thinking from Eurogamer IMO.

    1. I think the real benefit is that games can be optimized for 4k in ways that PC games will struggle to do outside of brute force. Also the memory bandwidth is going to be higher with the RAM being GDDR5 as appose to GDDR4 that is common place. There other tweaks tweak with cache and bandwidth benefits that I doubt AMD or Intel will make common place anytime soon. I’m a PC gamer but I think this is a great alternative if you don’t want to build your own or worry about the hassles that come with it.

      1. It’s a bit of a trade – off on PC. The RAM in the RX 480 for eg. has a memory bandwidth of ~ 256 / GBps and DDR4 is noticeably slower than that. However GPUs in PCs have dedicated memory, thus resulting in more RAM overall. Microsoft has made some other improvements that allow for better performance such as the dedicated DX12 processing unit, however that is only to compensate for the mediocre at best CPU which can be outmatched by a budget processor like the G4560, resulting in similar performance overall.

        Overall, as a high end option for someone who doesn’t want to go through the hassle of setting up a PC, it isn’t really that bad. However, this also depends on price which we’re yet to see, but it hopefully shouldn’t be over $599.

      1. The GPU in the Scorpio has 40 CUs opposed to the 38 in the RX 480, however they’re clocked lower and the RX 580 will probably achieve the same performance with a boost in clock speed and equal or lower price to the RX 480. The RX 480 can definitely handle 4K.

        1. You’re forgetting that Consoles have the opportunity to optimize their games for their exact hardware spec-sheet. With the Xbox you will be ensured a “catered” 4K gaming experience.

          On a PC, the RX480 may be technically superior, but it will not play games in 4K as reliably as the Xbox will.

        2. It’ll give a boost in performance sure, but developers can only do so much to optimize for it, and it also depends if they’ll go out of their way to fully utilize the system’s capabilities to the max or they’ll go full on lazy and port over PS4 Pro titles or bump the resolution without doing much else, which depends on how well the console sells, and at a higher price it might be a bit of a hard sell.

    2. The PC has disadvantages too,
      * no physical media
      * poor ease of use
      * noisy
      * more expensive
      * less than 100% backwards comparability, lots of stuff on Steam is outright broken thank to the passage of time.

      That is why people buy consoles, price will almost certainly be 499 any higher would be suicide in the console market.

      If Scorpio can deliver 4K experiences consistently then it should do well and DF pointed out that Scorpio outperformed the PC version of Forza at 4K 60fps which was using very expensive top of the line Nvidia hardware.

      The bigger issue as I see it is branding, ditch the Xbox One brand name but I fear MS will still cling to that, just release a firmware update for older X1 units calling them “insert name edition” and your done.

      1. PC has physical media, however it’s not very popular in PC gaming.

        Poor ease of use? Windows 10 is not by any means hard to use, and if you’re referring to the console thing about “just plugging in and playing”, same can be said for PC. You can get someone else to build it or get a pre – built system (though building it yourself is actually pretty simple), plugging in the peripherals and monitor, installing Windows (which is a bit longer than setting up your account on consoles but similar) and then installing a game.

        Noise depends on the components, and believe it or not consoles can also get noisy under heavy load, since they’re also PCs.

        They can be more expensive, but they can also offer better or equal performance for the same or lower price. I guarantee you, you will be able to build a equally or more capable rig for the price of the Scorpio. Then you also have the cost of a yearly subscription to play online, which is free on PC. You can also get games for free if you’re into pirating, though I wouldn’t count that as much of a point for those who don’t support it.

        Yeah, PCs don’t have 100% backwards compatibility (that would be damn impressive) but it’s by a long shot leaps and bounds ahead of current generation consoles.

        Nope, it didn’t outperform “top of the line nVidia hardware”, it’s running Forza 4K at the original XBONE’s graphical settings, which is probably a combination of medium and high (which the RX 480 can run as well). They were IIRC talking about the GPU not being fully utilized (which will help out the Scorpio here, but not significantly), and how they could use it for better texture filtering for example. However that’s a fairly lightweight game, and other titles (even some first parties) will very likely aim for 30 FPS.

        They apparently mentioned that it was a part of the XBOX ONE family quite a lot when Rich from DF was visited them, making me think it’s rather likely that they’re going to have it branded an XBOX ONE device.

  2. Sounds only like a slight improvement over the PS4 Pro.
    Seriously both consoles are mid-gen refreshes. The PS4 Pro is better, simply because SONY achieved the same thing MS’s doing 12 months earlier.

    Seriously, people in general are just better off with a regular PS4. If you want more, convert to PC Gaming.

    Now if MS used a:
    – Zen CPU (eg/ R5 1300X, 4core/8thread, 3.0GHz)
    – Vega GPU (eg/ low-end RX490 Vega, 56CU, 1.0GHz)
    – Priced it at a fair $599
    – Slapped a successor name “Xbox Four”
    – ….and called it a day, well, then it would be a sensible product

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