Project Scorpio

Microsoft reveals Project Scorpio 4K-ready console at E3

Project Scorpio was annouonced at E3 2016. Image: IDGNS

15 June 2016

‘No boundaries’ is the tagline Microsoft keeps touting for Project Scorpio, a hardware refresh/upgrade for the Xbox One announced during its press conference at this year’s E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. But don’t expect to hear much more about it until next year – the console’s not coming until Christmas 2017.

Microsoft did have a reel full of developers talking about the console’s capabilities, mostly spouting buzzwords, from ‘No compromises’ to ‘Best framerate’ to ‘Most powerful GPU in a game console today’.

Very few actual details were revealed, though. The few solid numbers we did hear were in-line with the leaks earlier this year, down to the repeated mentions of 6 teraflops of graphics compute power. That’s a huge jump from the original Xbox One’s 1.32 teraflops.

As Brad Chacos from IDG was quick to point out, eight CPU cores and this sort of performance suggests Microsoft stuck with AMD’s APUs for Project Scorpio – presumably ones rocking Polaris graphics cores similar to what’s inside the new Radeon RX 480, which AMD says has “more than 5 teraflops” of graphics performance.

AMD, in fact, confirmed that it is the chip supplier.

“We are proud that Microsoft has chosen to expand their Xbox One family of devices with two new consoles featuring AMD’s high-performance semi-custom SoCs that support revolutionary new technologies like HDR, 4K and high fidelity VR to enable the next generation of immersive gaming experiences,” an AMD spokeswoman said in an e-mail.

Microsoft also says the new console is capable of 4K gaming, but whether you’ll be playing Halo 6 in 4K on a console is doubtful. Expect games to be able to scale lower resolutions up to 4K at the very least, though.

Support for virtual reality was also announced, by way of Bethesda’s Todd Howard, but no solid plans were in this showcase.

Project Scorpio is Microsoft’s Hail Mary move this generation, as the Xbox One’s been soundly beaten by Sony’s PlayStation 4 since launch in 2013. This time Project Scorpio’s specs reputedly beat Sony’s own PS4 refresh, and Microsoft no doubt hopes to capitalise on that.

IDG News Service

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