Microsoft has finally revealed details about its new gaming console, dubbed Project Scorpio, revealing that the hardware is about much more than just raw power and the ability to handle 4K gaming with ease.
Rather than simply introduce an upgraded console with very minor tweaks and additions, Microsoft has stayed true to its performance targets outlined at last year’s E3 by introducing a custom-designed GPU which sits alongside 12GB of fast GDDR5 memory and an entirely custom eight-core CPU.
We may have had relatively recent upgrades to Microsoft’s own console in the form of Xbox One S, as well as a new PlayStation 4 Slim and PlayStation 4 Pro console releasing after that, but none of those upgrades have really offered anything revolutionary, which appears to be what Microsoft is aiming for with Project Scorpio.
Rather than pushing out new hardware which makes hefty promises – which is what consumers feel was the case with Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro when it transpired that it come equipped with an array of visual issues – Microsoft is looking to take console gaming to the next level with a set of specifications and advancements never before witnessed in a video-gaming console:
- GPU: 40 customized compute units at 1172MHz
- CPU: 8 custom x86 cores clocked at 2.3GHz
- Internal Memory: The aforementioned 12GB GDDR5
- Memory Bandwidth: 326 GB/s
- Internal Hard Drive: 1TB 2.5-inch
- Optical Drive Experience: 4K UHD Blu-ray
For those that simply look at numbers and words and fail to relate those back to real-world experiences, the new 8 custom x86 cores found in Project Scorpio is equatable 31-percent increase in speed over Microsoft’s current Xbox One hardware. With Project Scorpio, Microsoft is looking at the wider and bigger picture, rather than purely focusing on generating the necessary power to competently handle fluid native 4K gaming at 60fps, as Group Program Director of the Xbox Core Platform, Kevin Gammill, highlights:
To me, [4K] means a very specific set of things. It’s a lot more than delivering than those eight-million-plus pixels to the screen while playing games. It’s about delivering those pixels with 4K assets, so they look great. It’s about delivering those pixels with HDR and wide colour gamut fidelity. It’s about delivering those pixels with no loss of frame-rate compared to the 1080p version of that title – that’s super-important to us. Spatial audio adds to the immersive experience as well: to truly land that gameplay experience, it’s not just about what you see, but what you hear.
With all of the above in mind, it looks as though Microsoft has more than met its core deliverables with the production and capabilities of Project Scorpio. Now, we just need to see some of the games and experiences running on it to see what we are in store for.
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