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Project Scorpio: Microsoft serves up specs for souped-up Xbox One

Project Scorpio: Microsoft ser...
Microsoft has revealed the hardware specs of Project Scorpio, a souped-up Xbox One
Microsoft has revealed the hardware specs of Project Scorpio, a souped-up Xbox One
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Microsoft has revealed the hardware specs of Project Scorpio, a souped-up Xbox One
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Microsoft has revealed the hardware specs of Project Scorpio, a souped-up Xbox One

Officially, we've known since E3 last June that Microsoft has planned to overhaul its Xbox One console, and unofficially, for months before that. But apart from claims that it is going to be "the most powerful home console ever made," we didn't have any solid details. Now the company has released Project Scorpio's specs to the world, revealing a beefy machine designed for 4K gaming without dropping below 60 frames per second.

Mid-lifecycle hardware upgrades are hardly a new thing: last year Microsoft dropped the smaller, tidier Xbox One S, while competitor Sony released both slimmed-down and beefed-up versions of the PS4. But Project Scorpio is a far more dramatic step up.

Demonstrating the new hardware to Digital Foundry on Friday, Microsoft confirmed the rumors that the GPU would be capable of 6 Teraflops of processing power. In other words, it can perform a blistering six trillion floating point operations per second, which is a notch above Sony's PS4 Pro at 4.14 Teraflops, and far beyond the first generation PS4 and Xbox One, at 1.84 and 1.32 Teraflops respectively.

That's bolstered by 12 GB of GDDR5 RAM and a 2.3 GHz custom CPU, and includes a stock-standard 1 TB hard drive. Deeper under the hood, Project Scorpio is apparently the first home console to use a vapor chamber liquid cooling system. In practical terms, that all means that the console can run games in 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) at a consistent 60 frames per second.

Project Scorpio may have earned the title of Most Powerful Home Console, but it's yet to be seen if that's enough to help it catch up to the PS4's sales. As of February 2017, the PS4 has sailed past the 55 million mark, while the Xbox One lags behind at just under 29 million units sold. Power alone may not be enough for people if the quality of the games, and particularly exclusive titles, aren't there.

One advantage Project Scorpio does have is the included 4K-capable Blu-Ray player – something sorely and strangely lacking from the 4K-focused PS4 Pro.

The final surprise is that Project Scorpio is still called Project Scorpio – most of these console code-names are dropped at the first major reveal, but maybe Microsoft is saving the official title for this year's E3 presentation. Other details likely to be given at that show are the price, the specific release date – currently set for a late 2017 window – what the actual box looks like, and possibly news of a rumored VR system to take advantage of all that extra grunt.

The Xbox team's design goals for Project Scorpio can be seen, talking head-style, in the video below.

Source: Xbox

Xbox - Project Scorpio

6 comments
Derek Howe
I'm sure the VR headset's that will work with it are going to be the same ones that Microsoft is working with their partners on (Acer, Lenovo, HP, Dell, Asus, 3Glasses).
samintegrity
Wow!! the most powerful console ever, cant wait to have one, lets hope it comes with Al, Even Facebook has finally introduced its own <a href="http://www.geeksng.com/2017/04/meet-facebook-messenger-m-assistant.html">Artificial intelligent assistant on Messenger</a>stuffs like this need to be featured on consoles too
Daishi
The first Xbox One used an AMD APU rather than featuring a dedicated GPU. I was wondering if we were going to see a new generation of APU's after Ryzen but 4k at 60fps is almost certainly going to require a dedicated GPU.
guzmanchinky
If you've tried good VR, playing anything on a monitor is pointless.
FabianLamaestra
"and possibly news of a rumored VR system to take advantage of all that extra grunt." I thought this thing was going to work with the Rift out of the box?
Daishi
It looks like it's using a single custom chip rather than a separate GPU. From another source "It's a 16nm FinFET chip produced by TSMC. Its seven billion transistors contain a custom CPU cluster, 40 customised Radeon compute units". They spoke about understanding the AMD CPU architecture enough to know which bottlenecks to address so it sounds like they worked closely with AMD to make a new custom APU that would kit 4k at 60FPS. Even with full control of the environment that's an impressive figure on an APU. Now I'm wondering how much of the work is proprietary to MS and how much will bleed out to PS4 or AMD's APU line.