The tech that will be powering the Xbox Scorpio has finally been revealed and as Digital Foundry continues to release more details about their inside look into the making of the console it becomes increasingly clear just how much work the Project Scorpio team put into it.
Microsoft's work on Scorpio began years ago when they started profiling existing games to determine how to best scale them up to 4K, which in turn led to intricate customization of the AMD hardware. The resulting console is one that leverages the vast understanding of AMD architecture that they gained in order to create a custom 40 Radeon compute units Scorpio Engine that is ramped up to 1172MHz - versus 853Mhz from the Xbox One, and is capable of achieving the six-teraflop performance promised at last year's E3. The CPU, in turn, uses eight custom x86 cores clocked at 2.3GHz and there are 12GB of GDDR5 RAM available with a memory bandwith of 326GB/s, in addition to a faster 1TB 2.5-inch hard drive, and a UHD Blu-ray drive. In regard to input and output ports it is described as being identical to the Xbox One S, meaning the that the display output is HDMI 2.0, the HDMI in port remains, and there is no longer a Kinect port. Similarly, the power supply is internalized and consists of a 254W universal voltage PSU.
The end result is, that in contrast to the Xbox One, the Xbox Scorpio's CPU is 31% faster and the GPU is 4.6 times more powerful, not to mention that fast memory access is drastically increased all of which will come into play when streaming at the 4K ultra HD target resolutions. According to the Scorpio team this 4K target is about being able to deliver pixels with 4K assets so that they look great, something that will be accomplished by delivering them with HDR and wide color gamut fidelity. It's also about delivering those pixels with no loss of frame-rate compared to the 1080p version of the same game. In fact, Microsoft stated commitment towards making all improved Scorpio modes available regardless of what display is connected to the console. Since Scorpio will be able to run all Xbox One games better, patched or not, this means that even players using 1080p TVs will still receive an enhanced graphical experience and will have the option to choose between optimized performance modes when available or to super-sample the 4K image down to 1080p. Given Microsoft's recent commitment towards backwards compatibility this also means that all these benefits will apply to Xbox 360 games as well.
I'm sure that at this point you all have the burning question of, "well, but is it better than the PS4 Pro?"And the answers is, that according to Digital Foundry, from a purely numbers standpoint the Xbox Scorpio vastly outpaces the PS4 Pro and is in every sense a higher-spec machine. I'm sure this will also be reflected in the price tag which was conspicuously absent from today's big reveal.
For your viewing pleasure here's a side by side hardware comparison between Project Scorpio, Xbox One, and PS4 Pro:
Since this was only a tech reveal neither details regarding the final official name, nor the form factor of the console, or more importantly, the cost and release date have been provided at this time. However, Digital Foundry speculates that based on what they saw it's not going to be cheap and will be starting at at least around $499 USD which was also the launch price of the original Xbox One. In regard to the release date, I'm sure we'll soon find out since E3 is just around the corner.
Now that you've seen what makes Microsoft's new technological beast tick, what do you think? Is it enough to make you want to get an Xbox Scorpio?