Microsoft Announces Project Scorpio, ‘The Most Powerful Console Ever’

Microsoft Announces Project Scorpio, ‘The Most Powerful Console Ever’

Project Scorpio is official, and it’s coming in the holiday of 2017. Microsoft is calling it “the most powerful console ever.”

Of course, you already knew that — we broke news of the existence of Scorpio last month. But now it’s official. Microsoft pulled out a sizzle reel full of developers to talk about how excited they are to make games on Scorpio, and they’re saying that all future Xbox games will be compatible with both that and the older Xbox One and Xbox One S models.

Microsoft says the machine will run at a performance of six teraflops and support both 4K gaming and ‘high fidelity VR.’


  • There is no way high fidelity animation can be kept at 4k 60 with only 6 teraflops. Dont be fooled by the buzz words. While it is possible to achieve 4k 60 the downgrade to visuals will be severe.

    Regardless I look forward to pissing away my hard earned money on a new ps4 and xbone next year.

    • Yeah but nobody said that, they said they can achieve 4K and 60hz on console which hasn’t been done before 🙂

      Pretty impressive intentions coming from Microsoft, the PC / Xbox One cross buy idea is solid just need it to become a long term thing

      • No one is denying the intentions are impressive but you just parroted what was said without going into detail what said numbers imply. Thats what I did. Id love to put this pc masterrace bullshit to rest with consoles being able to run such high fidelity but you need to address the fact that the hardware just isnt there with what was said.

        Again, regardless its something I am looking forward to seeing.

        • I’ve been a console guy for over 20 years & I truly believe PC is winning because consoles are losing the ease if use that made them so attractive in the first place.

          If I have to install games & wait for patches before they even work, why don’t u just get a pc?

          • PC will never compare in regards to ease of use but your probably right to a degree with that reasoning. Laziness and cash will always be the consoles draw. The idea that you can own the same machine for 5+ years with no additional hardware upgrades required. Great. Sure you may have to wait for game installs and patches but never does it take any effort on my part. Its all automatic. Ive never had to scour google for a .dll file for a playstation game.

          • It may not be as hard, but the days of me getting home & slapping a cart/ disk in the machine & immediately jumping into the game are gone.

            I’m not throwing my ps4 in the trash or anything, but I’m seeing less & less reason to buy into next gen.

            Even handhelds require updates now. Its shit.

          • Sold my XB1 because i was sick and tired of the constant updates and yet my ps4 only updates now and then i just don’t know why the xb1 needs to update apps and so much and the controller is not as good as the 360 one which i have for my pc and 360 it just drives me mad with the updates.

          • To be fair, Steam’s made leaps and bounds in that area, too. I haven’t had to open a browser to look up ‘how to get [game] to run’ in years. Everything ‘just works’.

            And holy shit is it fast. Steam’s servers crap all over the PSN. It takes me less time to download an entire 35GB game on Steam than it does to install a 3GB day-one patch on PS4.

            The gap, it has shrunk significantly.

  • And still more expensive than a PC that can do twice as much? And also play many Xbox games?

    • There will still be the exclusives that are console only and the obvious benefit of being able to play most games without the hackers and script kiddies messing with the world.

      In a world where I can buy both new consoles for less than the price of a 1080, I’m still gonna have all three (xbox, ps and pc). Why restrict what games I can play?

      • Exclusives? XBox is not getting them anymore, really. Most of the titles announced as “exclusives” end in PC as well.

        • Yeah I still play halo and the other exclusives. For me, the main reason I multiplayer on consoles over pc is the hackers etc. I am moving more towards pc as my friends are getting to the point they want pcs. I just keep my gaming options open anyway.

  • Does it come with a business hammock? Or at least directions to the nearest hammock district?

      • My brother’s girlfriend texted me yesterday to ask what a teraflop is and if 6 is a lot. All of her friends are just incessantly repeating “6 TEAFLOPS OMG” at each other.

        Tickets on the hype train are already being scalped for a fortune on Ebay.

  • Wait I’m confused, so current gen is about to be last gen, again? Release XboxS to finally get it to what it should of been in the first place and then it’s redundant next year…

    Seems legit

    • … yes and no. Sony and M$ are entering some form of weird reality where they think the two can co-exist. There’ll be the XB1S/PS4 which will be the base/bargain level option and the Scorpio/Neo as the “ultra premium” option. both will receive the current gen games one will just look better that the other.

      • It’ll be interesting to see if sales of both PS4 and XBone fall off a cliff for the next 12 months while everybody who hasn’t already bought in sits around waiting for the new and improved versions?

        I think they’re going to need to get into some serious price-cuttery if they want to keep any kind of momentum going until then.

        • I think you’re right, sales will definitely slow this “holiday season” for both companies, especially with the Neo due out in March. (rumored).

          • I find it especially bizarre that MS announced Scorpio this far out… they could have kept it under wraps until next year’s E3 if they’re not releasing until xmas 2017. Now they’ve got 18 months of people waiting for the shiny new thing (and / or getting pissed off that their current shiny new thing is already no longer the shiny new thing).

  • Xbox One More Shot At Not Being The Default Second Place.

    Word is that being acknowledged as universally slightly inferior on performance/graphics for all cross-platform titles has been driving everyone at Microsoft around-the-bend bananas for the last few years. They did not intend to bring an ‘also ran’ machine to the market. This is their answer to that default assumption.

    What’s incredibly amusing is that a few ‘insider’ folks apparently expected this E3 to be basically a hardware announcement rematch, with a different winner this time. Only Sony pretty much isn’t going to turn up. It’ll be hilarious if Sony decides that they actually quite enjoy winning the console wars by double the opposition’s sales, and would like to continue… by waiting til they have the xbone 2 specs and simply one-upping them at a similar or cheaper price point. If they CAN.

    Things are going to start getting real interesting next year.

    • Interesting insight.

      I have both current consoles, so no real bias here…but, well played Sony!

    • It is Sony, surely they have the spare pocket change to to exactly this.

      Not that MS aren’t bulging in the back pocket area either.

      I’m getting a pc.

    • The Xbone and PS4 have very similar APUs, Microsoft simply made the wrong strategic decision about the projected availability of GDDR5 and went with DDR3 instead, having to go with a significantly smaller GPU (12 CUs vs 18 in the PS4) to leave room on the die for the ESRAM to try to compensate for the DDR3’s terrible bandwidth. These brief numbers indicate that they’re not doing that this time, it’ll be GDDR5 or low end GDDR5X, with a full-fat GPU.

      The numbers also point to what it will be based on. The recently announced Radeon RX 480 (2304 cores, probably 36 CUs) will cost $US 199 and will likely do ~5.5 TFLOPs. AMD have already announced that there will also be a $US 299 card coming, let’s call that the RX 490, and with as little as 2560 cores (40 CUs) it would do 6+ TFLOPs even at conservative clocks.

      Based on rumours/leaks about the die size on those parts, the new Scorpio APU should come in around the same size (and thus cost) as the original PS4 APU, and maybe a little smaller than the original Xbone APU.

      If Sony simply make a new and improved version of their existing APU within a similar die area budget, which would be sensible, they should have something that looks very similar to what this new Scorpio APU will probably look like.

      • Wouldn’t Microsoft still need to reserve space for the ESRAM in the new system’s APU though? GDDR5 RAM might be faster than what they put in the original Xbox One, but is it going to match the performance of the SRAM? If a game relies on that performance, then it would be a problem if it was missing.

        Of course, if no games actually made use of the SRAM, then perhaps this point is moot.

        • but is it going to match the performance of the SRAM?


          The GDDR5 available a few years ago could handle 5.5 GT/s, and the PS4 has a peak memory bandwidth of 176 GB/s. The ESRAM in the Xbone peaks at 192 GB/s, theoretically, while the main DDR3 memory peaks at 68.3 GB/s. So yes, the ESRAM can theoretically outperform the GDDR5 in the original PS4.

          These days we have better GDDR5, up to 8 GT/s (as seen in the GTX 1070 and the forthcoming RX 480, both of which can do 256 GB/s), and there’s also GDDR5X now, which at present can do 10 GT/s (as seen in the GTX 1080, which can hit 320 GB/s). Either option comfortably exceeds the peak theoretical performance of the Xbone’s ESRAM.

          One imagines there’ll simply be a partition of the main memory to stand in for the ESRAM for the games that need it.

          • Bandwidth is only part of the picture though: DRAM is generally optimised for large capacities, while SRAM is optimised for low latency. This is why the CPU’s register file and L1/L2 caches are SRAM, and why their capacity is so much smaller than the main DRAM.

            The Xbox One’s ESRAM is only 32 MB, so you’re definitely not going to be dealing with large streaming reads. Instead, it is likely to be used as a scratch pad for lots of small reads and writes.
            You might get similar performance from DRAM if the reads and writes never left the CPU cache, but if anything was forced to go to DRAM, you’d get a noticeable stall.

            Of course, if not many games used the SRAM because it was too difficult to take advantage of, then this is moot and they could get rid of it. If it is a minority of games, then perhaps it’d be cheaper for Microsoft to work with the developer to put out a “Scorpio support” title update.

    • I doubt Sony will change the specs on the Neo at this point. They’ll just release it as planned and then probably stick to the usual 5-6 year cycle for PS5.

      PS4 came out in 2013, so we can probably expect PS5 in 2018 or 2019. If they decide on xmas 2018, it wouldn’t surprise me to see an announcement in late 2017 – probably just in time for the Scorpio launch. If they announce that PS5 is coming in 12 months with better specs than Scorpio, that would take some of the wind out of the sails of Microsoft’s launch. Wouldn’t be the first time Sony have done this – look at what happened with the Dreamcast launch with Sony there in the background making noises about the PS2.

  • 6 terraflops is around the 390X from AMD
    the new 480X will have 5-5.5 teraflops of performance
    and spoiler alert the 390X can NOT do 4K at 60hz. 30hz AT BEST

      • but the issue is. Gimping of the quality.
        on Pc’s we already turn of the Anti Aliasing as its not needed on 4K. because the pixle pitch is quite good. issue with living rooms is. pixel pitch on those are much lower. so AA will be required for a decent experience 2X even . and putting all the settings down to LOW might give you 60 FPS. would have to try it.
        but needing the AA will make any card wish for its own death at 4K

        My prediction is
        A fury or Fury X is AMD’s best bet I would expect AMD to have a 14nm refresh of the Fury X to be installed in the New Playstation.

    • I agree that this is marketing speak for “highly optimistic” performance, but it’s not really that simple. Consoles run with a hell of a lot less overhead than a PC and the games are optimised for a specific hardware setup. That brings a lot of performance gain over PC for the same hardware.

      But it’s never going to hit the marks they say. Not consistently. Seeing that a lot of what makes people feel sick in VR is latency and low framerates, I’m thinking this is not a great idea. Until VR is running at 100ish frames consistently, people are going to be throwing up and getting migraines.

  • I don’t see the need to upgrade myself. I have a decent PC and most multiplatform games come to PC so I’ll still get the best looking version, plus a few of the exclusive Xbone games I’m interested are also coming to Windows 10, so I’ll happily trudge along with my old Xbone.

  • Or you could buy a gtx 1070 for less money, stick it in an old pc for 6.5 teraflops in the gpu alone. Xbox already behind the second rate GPUs at announcement. Thats pathetic.

  • most power ever until a newer and more shiny one comes out 3 yrs (or less)

    ah well

  • So basically it’s a new console with native backwards compatibility. Seems smart in the sense of strengthening and growing your current brand but I see two problems:

    First, the Xbone is not a good brand. It has a terrible history, poor “good will” and a not really strong user base. Recovering from a poor first impression, especially one that has been sustained for a couple years is much harder than trying something entirely new. Second, people crave new things, or at least things that seem new. This Scorpio (and PS Neo) will lose much of that novelty hit, especially since the only differential they seem to be offering is a technical improvement over current specs. That’s not different or new enough. Perhaps it would be fine if there wasn’t going to be a competitor offering something completely new (the NX), but if the NX is actually exciting, novel and good, these “.5” versions of old hardware cannot hope to compete in hype.

    • I dunno… the 360 dominated the market for a really long time. The PS3 was late to release, released with weird architecture that devs took ages to figure out how to use, was too expensive and hard to get hold of, and wasn’t competing particularly strongly on exclusives (back when Halo was really, really good). Having a head-start gives you a strong install base, so MS was able to enjoy market domination for many years, before Sony started to catch up.

      Microsoft, internally, still sees the XBone/PS4 as a reversal of the natural order that they enjoyed for so long with the 360, and wants to return to primacy.

      And I have a feeling that both parties would like to update their hardware more often to try and stay ahead of the reality that they’re fielding brand new machines inferior to 75% of Steam’s install base.

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