Let’s Talk About Project Scorpio

It’s pretty clear that the script has been flipped this generation where Xbox 360 managed to gain and hold a big lead against the WiiU and PS3, Sony has managed to do the same this time with the PS4.

After a rough first year, Microsoft has managed to turn the fortunes of the Xbox One around, thanks in large part to Phil Spencer and the team’s focus on consumers rather than policies and procedure. While the system has recovered a lot of ground since 2013, a large gap remains between their console and Sony’s PS4. Interestingly enough, this perceived loss of dominance is not something that has been lost on the company.

Part of the effort to reclaim that status comes with their mysterious new hardware called Project Scorpio. The new system is expected out this year and while we have not yet seen any games running on it, the hardware specs were finally released and detailed by Digital Foundry, a site that specializes in analyzing performance and hardware. The short version is that they came away impressed with what Microsoft is doing.

I’m by no means a specs guy, so I couldn’t tell you what 6 teraflops can accomplish. From what I’ve read however, it seems to be a pretty big deal. Instead of trying to throw numbers at you, I’ll let the good folks at Digital Foundry do that for me. The following data comes right from them, so if you want to know more, head over and check out their massive coverage.

Project Scorpio Xbox One PS4 Pro
CPU Eight custom x86 cores clocked at 2.3GHz Eight custom Jaguar cores clocked at 1.75GHz Eight Jaguar cores clocked at 2.1GHz
GPU 40 customised compute units at 1172MHz 12 GCN compute units at 853MHz (Xbox One S: 914MHz) 36 improved GCN compute units at 911MHz
Memory 12GB GDDR5 8GB DDR3/32MB ESRAM 8GB GDDR5
Memory Bandwidth 326GB/s DDR3: 68GB/s, ESRAM at max 204GB/s (Xbox One S: 219GB/s) 218GB/s
Hard Drive 1TB 2.5-inch 500GB/1TB/2TB 2.5-inch 1TB 2.5-inch
Optical Drive 4K UHD Blu-ray Blu-ray (Xbox One S: 4K UHD) Blu-ray

In addition, they put together a neat little video as well, which I’ve included below for you.

Obviously, there are still some big questions left lingering such as what the machine actually looks like and how it impacts upcoming games compared to the standard Xbox One versions. The biggest question of all may be the price however. Sure, the specs are impressive, but the console does represent the best of the best (for right now) so a machine with all that detail and tech is surely going to run a higher price. Reports I’ve heard have all centered around $500, which to me sounds like a pretty good deal for something this powerful. Again, we’ll see.

Ultimately this is a very cool and promising start to what will undoubtedly be a powerful system. Still, the end all be all of any console is the software that supports it, so on that end, it looks like E3 2017 will be our first look at the console in action. I’m sure we’ll revisit this topic sometime in June.

What are your initial thoughts on the upcoming console? Are you interested or in a wait and see sort of mode?

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4 Responses to Let’s Talk About Project Scorpio

  1. I read something a few years ago that opined specs don’t really matter at the end of the day, because throughout console history there have been examples of the less “powerful” console crushing the competition in sales (NES>Master System, PS1>N64, Wii>everyone else). So while I’m sure it’s an unpopular opinion, I really don’t care so much about specs as I do about game lineup. Will Scorpio have more/”better” games than XboxOne? Or is it just a repackaging of the same thing with just a few tweaks?

    • I’m with you there. You can have the best, high end machine there is, but if there’s nothing worthy to play on it then what’s the point? I mean, look at Nintendo. They never have the machine with all the horsepower, but they still manage to push out visually stunning titles.

      With E3 so close, I’m expecting Microsoft to pull out all the stops. We’ll see I guess.

  2. Hatm0nster says:

    I heard that it can upscale current Xbox One games, so it has that going for it. I wonder who exactly they’re marketing this to though. Being powerful is great, but it won’t matter if it doesn’t have many decent games that will only be available on that system. At the moment, I feel like this is going to be similar to what happened when the original Xbox and PS2 were competing. The Xbox was more powerful, but it only had a handful of decent games and wound up losing out to the PS2 for the most part.

    • Actually yes, I heard Xbox One and Xbox 360 games as well, so that’s something! I’m pretty curious to know more, and I definitely agree that software will make or break this thing in the long run. Thankfully, E3 isn’t too far away at this point. Expect lots of Crackdown 3, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Forza 7 and who knows what else.

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