It sounded more like the title of an upcoming spy movie than the teaser for a new games console, but when Microsoft announced last year that they were working on Project Scorpio it sent fans wild with anticipation. Further details have now been announced about the tech company’s ‘most powerful console ever’, and industry experts are predicting it could turn out to be an even bigger hit than Sony’s PS4.
What Do We Know About Project Scorpio?
Project Scorpio is the codename for Microsoft’s new Xbox console. The official name is set to be revealed in June and it should be available in time for Christmas. Apart from some big, but vague, promises about being the best console ever, little else was known about the new product until Microsoft shared some more specifics last week.
The main selling point is the huge increase in power, courtesy of a custom GPU of 40 compute units. This is up from 12 on the original Xbox and, running on what is called the Scorpio Engine, the new Xbox hits a clockspeed of 1172MHz. It all combines to give the desired effect, so that newer games can be played at ultra-high 4K resolutions and at higher frame rates.
The word from those who have seen demos is that performance was ‘remarkable’, with Microsoft hitting all its targets and leaving plenty of power to spend on other visual improvements. While the focus has been on 4K, the software giant has also not forgotten about 1080p users and said that all modes will be available to them.
Virtual reality is also set to be a big feature of Project Scorpio, although for now Microsoft does not have its own VR headset and there are no plans to develop one. Instead, the new Xbox will support all Windows Mixed Reality headsets, including models from Dell, Lenovo, Acer and Hp.
What Do Microsoft Still Have To Do?
The early indications are that the new Xbox will be well worth the wait, but there is still a lot of work for Microsoft to do before the planned December release. One of the key considerations will be cost, and all that power certainly won’t come cheap. Reports suggest the starting price could be around $499, the same as the cost of the original Xbox One at launch.
For all of Project Scorpio’s impressive hardware, there is also a lack of exclusive titles in comparison to the Sony console. It is hard to compete against the PS4, which can offer games such as Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Persona 5, Bloodborne and many more. Microsoft will hope to use compatibility with players’ Xbox libraries, allied with the improvement in performance, to entice gamers. Judging by what has been seen so far, Project Scorpio has the potential to be a huge success when the final product comes out later in 2017.