It was almost a year ago that I first heard rumors about Project Scorpio, the updated version of Microsoft’s Xbox One console. Though I made the upgrade to an Xbox One S last August, I still had plans to upgrade to Scorpio whenever it released. All I knew about the console was what was announced at E3, how it would run at six teraflops of power, compared to the 4.2 that my PS4 Pro was running, and how it would be made so that all games going all the way back to Xbox 360 Backwards Compatibility would work with it.
“No one gets left behind.” The words that Phil Spencer said which instantly won me over. Knowing that my library of over 300 Xbox 360 and One games combined would carry over without any problems, I was set to make the jump to Scorpio, but I wanted to know more about Scorpio to seal the deal.
Last week the details started to come out. According to Digital Foundry, Project Scorpio will run what is known as the “Scorpio Engine,” which consists of eight custom X86 CPU cores clocked in at 2.3 GHz (compared to the 1.75 used on the Xbox One Original and Xbox One S,) the memory will be bumped up to 12GB of DDR5 (as opposed to the 8GB DDR3) and the ESRAM has been eliminated. With the memory upgrade, bandwidth increases from 219GB/s on the X to 326GB/s. As for the GPU, the number of customized units make a leap from 12 (with 768 unified shaders) to 40 (and 2,560 shaders.) Needless to say, this is quite a performance boost, on paper at least.
But it gets better. Microsoft showed a demonstration of Forza Motorsport running on Scorpio. Keep in mind this is a series that runs effortlessly at 1080p, 60 frames per second on X1 and X1S, showing to those who want to say otherwise that it CAN be done. Reports are that it took Microsoft only TWO DAYS to get the game to run unoptimized on Scorpio, and in doing so, they were able to get locked 4K, 60 fps performance, while only using 60-70% of the total GPU capability. Granted this isn’t optimized, aside from 4K textures, but it shows a lot of promise. Even when more cars are added to the engine, the utilization still sits at 88%. That is just insane.
Of course, when I hear all this news and about how impressive it is, the hypocrisy of the games industry goes full blown. Remember how the mainstream press loved to brag about “Resolutiongate” when it was between 900p and 1080p? Then the PS4 Pro comes out and they now say using “checkerboard resolution” is ok? Now that Microsoft claims that Scorpio can do full 4K, they do a complete 180 and act as if resolution doesn’t matter. They are now claiming the Xbox has no games because of Xbox Play Anywhere having games on both Xbox One AND PC.
Where were they when Andrew House made comments about the PS4 exclusive library in 2015 being “a little sparse.” Oh, that’s right, too busy whining about “Resolutiongate.”
Hypocrisy. Hypocrisy never changes.
Thankfully Phil Spencer spoke out about that in a post he made today regarding Scorpio. In it he says:
We’ve created the most powerful console with you in mind. We’ve created the most powerful development platform with our industry’s creators in mind. And, we’re unifying players across PC and console with Xbox Live, the fastest, most reliable multiplayer network and Beam, the next generation streaming service. Ultimately, we know you care most about great games, whether they be exclusive, multiplatform, independent or AAA. We are proud of the diverse lineup of games coming this year that will only be playable on Xbox One and will play better on Project Scorpio. We designed Project Scorpio to be the best console to play the blockbuster multiplatform games from our publishing partners, made it easy for recently released titles to upgrade to true 4K and for beloved, backward compatible titles to play better than ever before.
Notice he mentions exclusives. I’m hoping this means that there will be exclusive Xbox console games announced at E3. Most likely they are not going to be games that are exclusive to Scorpio, hence the “no one gets left behind” philosophy, but I do hope that there will be console exclusives that will show off what both systems can do. But sadly, I don’t think we’ll be seeing anything else come from E3, but I’m curious to see what Scorpio will look like and how much it will retail for. I’m guessing it will not exceed $500 for the base 1TB model.
Currently Playing: Bulletstorm: Full Chip Edition (Xbox One S)
Waiting For: Prey