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Microsoft confirms Project Scorpio, will co-exist alongside Xbox One and Xbox One S

By Shawn Knight
Jun 13, 2016
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  1. Those hoping to see Microsoft announce a more powerful version of the Xbox One at E3 got their wish. On Monday, the Redmond-based company confirmed the existence of an upgraded console optimized for 4K content and high-fidelity virtual reality experiences out of the box.

    Yes, Project Scorpio is very real.

    Microsoft said the hopped-up Xbox One will possess six teraflops of GPU processing power and an octa-core CPU that’ll run games at 60Hz. Bethesda executive producer Todd Howard said he thinks it’s “gonna be magical” with Microsoft touting it as the most powerful console ever. I wonder what Sony's PlayStation Neo will have to say about that?

    Unlike the jump from Xbox 360 to Xbox One, games moving forward will be compatible with the current Xbox One, the new Xbox One S coming in August and Project Scorpio (accessories will also work between the two consoles). The difference, of course, is that games played on the newest console will be rendered with greater graphical fidelity.

    Microsoft made multiple references to virtual reality with Project Scorpio but failed to detail what VR hardware the console would be compatible with. If you recall, Microsoft forged a partnership with Facebook’s Oculus VR a year ago which likely means the Rift will be the go-to headset for Project Scorpio.

    It seems that the familiar release cadence of consoles as we’ve known them for decades is indeed changing. It may be commonplace in a few years to see new consoles roll off the assembly line each year, much like smartphones do today. The real question is – will this fly with gamers?

    Project Scorpio is set to arrive next holiday season (2017).

    Lead image courtesy Bloomberg / Getty Images

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  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,319   +709

    We all know which VR headset will be the "go-to" for Microsoft's console - and that will Microsoft's. Their not about to let a third party make all the cash from an expensive peripheral and Facebook is gonna crap their pants when a very Occulus-like set of googles debuts along with the "Scorpio". Not that it matters, because the only way VR will ever take off is if it uses open software standards and gets a lot cheaper. Even then it will be a smaller niche than motion control, which was exactly the fad I said it was and is quickly fading away. VR won't be a mass market seller until its delivered through a pair of normal-looking glasses or is totally holographic.
     
  3. ghostf1re

    ghostf1re TS Enthusiast Posts: 94   +38

    I think saying it needs to be delivered through a pair of normal-looking glasses isn't at all practical. You would need an enclosure to block out ambient light and any of the real world around you in order to be fully immersed in virtual reality. It simply wouldn't be possible in a simple pair of glasses. I absolutely agree it will not take off until it's a lot cheaper. buying a $400 console, then a $600 virtual reality headset is just entirely too expensive to the average consumer.
     
  4. Axiarus

    Axiarus TS Addict Posts: 218   +92

    Like it or not, this is the future. Consoles just wont be able to last seven years anymore. This is, however, great for Microsoft. 6TFlops will be behind by holiday season 2017 but it is still pretty powerful for a console.
     
    Reehahs likes this.
  5. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Guru Posts: 469   +97

    I've read some extremely angry people writing about these significant mid cycle upgrades. Seems like they are probably in the vocal minority. I think Sony and Microsoft are walking a line. As they have it planned out, it doesn't seem so bad. But when the quality of support for base original console becomes very second priority to the upgraded model, there leaves some room for concern. If software developers begin to complain about developing for a 2 tier console environment, you may see these companies lift restrictions on developing for the base console, if not later this gen, then next gen when they do mid-cycle upgrades again.

    Then again maybe next gen won't warrant a mid-cycle upgrade. 4K better be here to stay for a long time and VR should hopefully fade out. If no significant changes in resolution occurs next gen, then a mid-cycle upgrade becomes a hard sell.

    I see that there actually is a need for a 4k gaming capable system. 4K sets are selling and taking hold. The question would be, could Sony or Microsoft really wait out the rest of this console gen for 4k support? 5 years down the road when we are due next gen stuff we would be thinking just how extremely dated these 1080P consoles are. 4k support would be way too long overdue by next gen, so these upgrades needed to happen.
     
  6. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,630   +431

    You need to ask AMD that. They are the only ones that can supply the CPU and GPU in one package powerful enough to be put in a console. The problem is, they and developers are struggling with 1080/60 right now, and the current price for the console isn't cheap to make or sell. Asking for a console to do 4K gaming before it's mainstream on PC's and in peoples homes with adequate content first is asking for a miracle.

    5 years down the road 1080p TV's will still be the most popular choice. More people watch TV than play games. Don't forget that.
     
    BSim500, Auth3ntic0 and psycros like this.
  7. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,169   +577

    Agreed. I'd also like to add that the challenge is going to be even harder when games still have to work on the regular Xbone and PS4. These new consoles are nearly 3 times as powerful. Devs have two choices, either spend allot of time optimizing for both (essentially the same as PCs) or optimize for the newer console and let the old one suffer. I can say with certainty that we will see devs tackle both options unless MS and Sony require them to optimize for both, which in turn could scare away devs.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
    Auth3ntic0 and psycros like this.
  8. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Guru Posts: 750   +270

    Playing with VR already, I'm not sure how a console will have a good VR experience with high fidelity graphics. The best experience for us right now is the Vive, and that's mainly because of the 90fps...
     
  9. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,319   +709

    The future is looking more and more like a convergence between PCs and consoles. In some ways Valve is ahead of the game with Steam machines, but the excessive cost and lack of an included controller means its going nowhere for now. If their smart, Valve will offer developers every carrot in their cupboard to optimize games for Steam controllers - templates should included with the games. They should be working on a keyboard add-on as well, like the snap-on mini keyboards for X360 controllers (essential for deeper games as well as search and social). The idea of PC gaming on a big screen in the living room becomes a lot more appealing when you have a system that's priced realistically and fully supports your games..kind of like consoles do now.

    Also, where are the Chinese knock-off Steam controllers? Didn't Value post their CAD/CAM models for the world to use? Of course the weak sales of SMs might be a big part of why there's no third party aftermarket.
     
    Evernessince likes this.
  10. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 1,902   +528

    Just as a side-note, unlike what Sony said about the Neo, MS isn't going to enforce games to be released on both consoles, so we'll most like have Xbox Scorpio exclusive games (more than just VR stuff).
     
  11. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,917   +683

    To be fair to Sony here, their system is a little easier to optimize for (unified memory) and is a bit more powerful than the Xbox One. It's less of a leap from PS4 to Neo. They may just be able to run games at 30fps or at a lower resolution on the PS4 and then on Neo crank it up to 1080/60fps.

    While with Microsoft, it is going to be quite a leap, I wonder if they'll keep the memory system the same? Or if they'll get rid of the eSRAM and just replace it all with GDDR5? The fact Microsoft isn't going to force devs to release for both consoles makes me wonder if they will change the core structure of the Xbox One Memory System to something a little easier to work with.
     
  12. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Guru Posts: 198   +272

    I'll take a solid 1080/60fps over 4K/20-30fps any day...
     
    Burty117 likes this.
  13. poohbear

    poohbear TS Addict Posts: 104   +62

    Ppl comparing this to PCs are missing an important point: devs only have to optimize for 2 different configurations that use similar hardware. It's not like PCs where there is literally hundreds of different configurations & different hardware. It should be straight forward & easy to have configuration 1 xbox one, configuration 2 Scorpio, in the settings menu. U don't even need a settings menu, the OS will automatically choose the setting.
     
  14. That Other Guy

    That Other Guy TS Rookie

    This feels more like a powerful gaming pc(scorpio) compared to an older gaming pc(xbox one) games can be played on both, but will look better and smoother on the newer one. I doubt very much its going to put much, if any, extra work on software devs. just better cpu and gpu... its not like they are changing architecture of the whole system. pretty smart too to allow both consoles to play the games released; with likely the only exception being VR for obvious reasons.
     
  15. noc81

    noc81 TS Enthusiast Posts: 79   +29

    Good discussion on 4k.. I'd just like to add a few things: the overall lack of 4k content today, the massive space it takes up even with better compression, the current lack of a storage option large and cheap enough to hold 50-100 4k games, the lack of readily available high-speed internet connections capable of streaming 4k content/games (you'd be amazed how many people only have access to 3mbps or less), and an easily distributed (ie, disc-based) media option large enough to hold a 50-150gb game.

    Until that all happens, it doesn't matter how popular 4k tv sets are.. Sure, just rendering a game at a higher resolution is great, though it'll just make it easier to spot the lagging texture quality. I can't imagine how huge a fully 4k-capable game will be.. but I'm sure it will be a few years until we find out.
     

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