Update, 4/6/2017, 2:19 pm PDT: Removed an identical paragraph in the story.
Microsoft didn't offer many details about its next console, code-named Project Scorpio, when it was announced at E3 2016. The company said Project Scorpio would feature an eight-core CPU and have six teraflops of GPU power, but that was about it. Now we have a better idea about what's under the next Xbox console's hood thanks to Digital Foundry's in-depth reporting from its visit to Microsoft's offices in Redmond, Washington. Microsoft confirmed the validity of the specs to us shortly after the original story came out.
Scorpio's heart lies in its CPU, which no longer sports AMD's Jaguar cores and instead uses eight custom x86 cores with a 2.3GHz clock speed. Some believed the new AMD Ryzen CPUs might power the Scorpio, but the report suggests that these custom cores are still based on Jaguar. For GPU power, the console uses 40 custom AMD Radeon compute units clocked to 1,172MHz. It also sports 12GB of GDDR5 memory and a 1TB HDD.
Just like the Xbox One S, the Scorpio will support 4K Blu-ray discs. Combined with the upgraded CPU, improved GPU power, and increased memory, Microsoft's next console seems poised to overthrow the PlayStation 4 Pro as the most powerful console when it debuts later this year.
|Console Specs||Project Scorpio||PlayStation 4 Pro|
|CPU||Eight custom x86 cores (2.3GHz)||Eight x86-64 AMD Jaguar cores (2.1GHz)|
|GPU||6 Tflops, 40 customized AMD Radeon compute units (1,172MHz)||4.2 Tflops, 36 improved AMD Radeon GCN compute units (911MHz)|
|RAM||12GB GDDR5||8GB GDDR5|
|Memory Bandwidth||326GBps||218 GBps|
|Storage||1 TB (2.5")||1 TB (2.5")|
|Optical Drive||4K UHD Blu-ray||Blu-ray|
With the exception of the Nintendo Switch, the main attraction in today's consoles is 4K gaming. According to Digital Foundry, it seems that Microsoft's plan is to have Xbox One titles, which often feature 900p or 1080p resolutions, upgraded to run on the Scorpio at native 4K. We expect future titles will target 4K out the gate while limiting older consoles to lower resolutions, much like recent games for the PS4 Pro and PS4.
Even with the spec sheet out in the open, a few questions have yet to be answered. At the top of the list is price. The PS4 Pro (and the 2 TB version of the Xbox One S) costs $400. The improved performance inside Project Scorpio suggests it will have a higher price when it comes out, but the actual number is still unknown. There’s also the issue of virtual reality: At the E3 briefing last year, Xbox head Phil Spencer mentioned that the console would also deliver on “high-fidelity VR.” The report didn’t seem to mention the topic at all, and Microsoft has yet to dish out new details on its VR prospects.
We probably won’t have to wait long for the full details, including price and release date, on Project Scorpio. E3 begins in about two months, and we expect Microsoft to show off the new console and the software to accompany it during its annual showcase.