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Project Scorpio Specs Put It In Pole Position For Console Power Race

by Matt Bertz on Apr 06, 2017 at 09:17 AM

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We didn't expect more news on Microsoft's upcoming Project Scorpio console until we got closer to E3, but the technical wunderkinds at Digital Foundry recently saw the system in action, and came away impressed by the forward thinking architecture and powerful performance. From what they saw, it sounds like Scorpio could be the system of choice for anyone serious about 4K console gaming. 

"We saw a Forza Motorsport demo running on the machine at native 4K and Xbox One equivalent settings, and it hit 60 frames per second with a substantial performance overhead – suggesting Scorpio will hit its native 4K target across a range of content, with power to spare to spend on other visual improvements," Digital Foundry's Richard Ledbetter wrote.

Looking at the specs, you can see the technology leap feels more like a brand-new console as opposed to an Xbox One refresh. Scorpio holds considerable advantages in processing/GPU power, memory, and bandwidth over the current systems as well as the PS4 Pro. The power gives the system the ability to upscale Xbox One games to 4K. If you don't have a 4K television, you still gain performance/loading benefits and supersampled resolutions. 

Chart courtesy of Eurogamer

In addition to sheer graphical power, the Scorpio also improves audio fidelity with support for Dolby Atmos. The performance boost also positively affects Xbox GameDVR functionality, allowing it to capture 4K feeds at 60 frames per second. A new "retroactive screen capture" software allows users to scroll through individual stills to grab the best screen rather than rely on timely button presses. 

To dig into the nitty gritty of the system's performance, we highly recommend you read Digital Foundry's expose


Our Take
The technical prowess of this machine is impressive, but Microsoft can't simply outmuscle Sony if it hopes to catch up to the PS4 install base. Microsoft also needs to address its lagging first-party game lineup, which is suffering from underperforming legacy franchises, cancelations, and a lack of interesting titles in 2017.