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 Post subject: Microsoft's "Project Scorpio"
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:03 am 
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So it's been known for some time that Microsoft has been developing a significantly upgraded variant of their Xbox One console, to compete with Sony's already-released PS4 Pro. The new machine, which has so far been known only by the code-name "Project Scorpio", is slated for release sometime this winter, toward the end of 2017. MS has consistently touted it as the most powerful console ever designed, apparently hearkening back to their original design philosophy for the very first Xbox.

Last week, Eurogamer.net published a lengthy article detailing the Scorpio's technical specs, and they are indeed impressive. Their article is much too long to quote from, so I'll instead fall back on Gamespot's summary for that.
Gamespot wrote:
Project Scorpio Specs Revealed, Capable Of Native 4K/60 FPS
Microsoft offers another glimpse at Project Scorpio.
Last updated by Oscar Dayus on April 6, 2017 at 11:14AM

Microsoft has revealed fresh new tech specs about its upcoming upgraded Xbox One console, Project Scorpio.

According to a new report from Digital Foundry, the console's specs are beyond what we've seen in the current console generation. Scorpio was able to run a Forza Motorsport demo at 60 FPS in seemingly native 4K, with graphical settings at an "Xbox One-equivalent" level.

In terms of specs, the console boasts a 1 TB hard drive, as well as 12 GB of GDDR5 memory--the same type of RAM contained in the PlayStation 4, though Sony's device only contains 8 GB.

That 12 GB is split into two portions: 8 GB is accessible to developers, while 4 GB is reserved for system use. That's an increase over Xbox One's 8 GB overall memory, which was split the same way into portions of 5 GB and 3 GB, while GDDR5 represents a speed increase over Xbox One's DDR3 RAM.

Digital Foundry--which was shared this information by Microsoft itself--says Scorpio will run all Xbox One games "better," whether they're patched for the new console or not. This is because the console uses no emulation--Xbox One games will run natively using the system's internal power.

Scorpio's GPU--which is 4.6 times as powerful as Xbox One's--is described by Digital Foundry as "a beast." Combined with a faster CPU, the result is a more stable or higher frame rate, no screen tearing, and faster load times. All of that is also reportedly true for backwards-compatible Xbox 360 games, even though changes in hardware between Xbox One and Project Scorpio mean Microsoft has had to go through every existing game individually to make them run on Scorpio.

Scorpio also contains some improvements to Xbox One's features. Game DVR now lets you capture 4K, 60 FPS, HDR gameplay, and it will also allow you to scrub through captured gameplay to find the best screenshots. However, the new console does not contain a Kinect port--you'll need a USB adapter to use your Xbox One camera device.

The site says Scorpio's internal design brief was to scale existing titles up to 4K--and this latest batch of information suggests Microsoft has succeeded. it should be noted, however, that the demo only contained one test version of an unconfirmed Forza game--though the build apparently was built using the same tech used to make Forza Motorsport 6. Additionally, titles that were originally 30 FPS will not go over that unless patched to do so, while the level of optimization seen in all titles could vary.

Users who own 1080p televisions will still be catered for, too: "ultra HD-rendering should super-sample down for those 1080p displays," says the site, meaning games should look sharper, even if you don't own a 4K set.

Although no price has officially been confirmed, Digital Foundry and Eurogamer estimate from the specs they've seen that the console will cost US $499--the same price as the Xbox One at launch.

I hope they bump up the size of the internal HDD, because at this point, 1TB is frankly way too small. Especially since we can probably expect games designed specifically for this hardware to be significantly larger than "regular" Xbox One games, which routinely exceed 40GB in size.

But other than that, I'm excited for it. The idea of a mid-generation hardware upgrade for consoles is something that truly hasn't been attempted before (unless you count Sega's unsuccessful 32X add-on for their Genesis, 20 years ago), and suggests these companies are trying to move beyond the entire concept of hardware/software generations being distinct and separated. In other words, make the console market more like the PC gaming market. And with software libraries increasingly becoming strictly digital, rather than physical, that only makes sense.

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 Post subject: Re: Microsoft's "Project Scorpio"
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:54 pm 
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CWS wrote:
But other than that, I'm excited for it. The idea of a mid-generation hardware upgrade for consoles is something that truly hasn't been attempted before (unless you count Sega's unsuccessful 32X add-on for their Genesis, 20 years ago), and suggests these companies are trying to move beyond the entire concept of hardware/software generations being distinct and separated. In other words, make the console market more like the PC gaming market. And with software libraries increasingly becoming strictly digital, rather than physical, that only makes sense.


You mean aside from the Nintendo GameBoy SP, Nintendo DSi and Nintendo *new* 3DS, and of course, the mentioned in post PS4 Pro? Also one could argue the TurboDuo, Sega CD, N64 RAM expansion, Sega Saturn RAM expansion, as well as the mild hardware improvements one the XBox 360 S, PS3 Slim, PSP Go, PSVita Slim, etc.

It's hardly a new idea or concept, honestly. And yes, the DSi and *new* 3DS have software that requires the upgraded system, rather than just the original model. Something which Sony and Microsoft said the PS4 Pro and Scorpio will not have.

That said, I am looking forward to the Scorpio, I think it'll be a pretty sweet piece of hardware. Even if, on paper, it barely looks more powerful than the PS4 Pro.

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 Post subject: Re: Microsoft's "Project Scorpio"
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:04 am 
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Zanth wrote:
CWS wrote:
But other than that, I'm excited for it. The idea of a mid-generation hardware upgrade for consoles is something that truly hasn't been attempted before (unless you count Sega's unsuccessful 32X add-on for their Genesis, 20 years ago), and suggests these companies are trying to move beyond the entire concept of hardware/software generations being distinct and separated. In other words, make the console market more like the PC gaming market. And with software libraries increasingly becoming strictly digital, rather than physical, that only makes sense.
You mean aside from the Nintendo GameBoy SP, Nintendo DSi and Nintendo *new* 3DS, and of course, the mentioned in post PS4 Pro? Also one could argue the TurboDuo, Sega CD, N64 RAM expansion, Sega Saturn RAM expansion, as well as the mild hardware improvements one the XBox 360 S, PS3 Slim, PSP Go, PSVita Slim, etc.
I meant to include the PS4 Pro in this concept, since it's part of the same (current) hardware generation. But if memory serves, most of the other examples you've listed were considered to be either add-on peripherals or cosmetic and/or ergonomic enhancements, as opposed to a significant across-the-board performance upgrade.

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