Microsoft has been teasing gamers with a new version of the Xbox One known as Project Scorpio since last year’s E3, and today the company officially unveiled the console’s hardware specs.

Redmond had been promising Scorpio would be “the most powerful console ever” and that it would be able to run games at 4K at 60 frames per second. From what we’re seeing online, Scorpio delivers on both fronts.

It’s especially encouraging that the news is coming from respected places like Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry, a division of the gaming site dedicated to extremely technical deep-dives into popular hardware.

While Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter admits up front that he doesn’t have the console yet, he did spend time with a prototype unit at Microsoft’s Redmond campus and has seen Scorpio in action with his own eyes.

He says that the final console is at least six months from release and what he saw doesn’t fully represent the final product, but it’s still very interesting. Here’s a table of the specs compared to the Xbox One and One S, as well as the PS4 Pro.

Project Scorpio Xbox One PS4 Pro
CPU Eight custom x86 cores clocked at 2.3GHz Eight custom Jaguar cores clocked at 1.75GHz Eight Jaguar cores clocked at 2.1GHz
GPU 40 customised compute units at 1172MHz 12 GCN compute units at 853MHz (Xbox One S: 914MHz) 36 improved GCN compute units at 911MHz
Memory 12GB GDDR5 8GB DDR3/32MB ESRAM 8GB GDDR5
Memory Bandwidth 326GB/s DDR3: 68GB/s, ESRAM at max 204GB/s (Xbox One S: 219GB/s) 218GB/s
Hard Drive 1TB 2.5-inch 500GB/1TB/2TB 2.5-inch 1TB 2.5-inch
Optical Drive 4K UHD Blu-ray Blu-ray (Xbox One S: 4K UHD) Blu-ray

That 12GB of GDDR5 RAM is impressive; in the video Leadbetter says that 4GB is reserved for the system, while a full 8GB is available to the GPU. This will give developers a lot of headroom to pack in those high-res textures that look so good at 4K.

We can also look forward to decent performance, at least as far as the select games that were shown off go – apparently 900p and 1080p Xbox One games should be able to run at 4K natively on Project Scorpio. A tech demo of Forza showed a running game at native 4K locked at 60 FPS with 60-70% GPU use.

We definitely suggest that you read the full report from Digital Foundry. The wording is a bit flowery but it goes into a lot of interesting details, especially if you’re interested in system architecture and design.

As a PC gamer myself who abandoned consoles in the last generation, this is fantastic news – a consumer console that can run games this well can only be good for the industry. As a cheaper way to bring higher resolution games at better frame rates, Project Scorpio may be perfect; well, cheaper than the PC hardware needed to do it currently, that is.

The big factors, as always, will be price and real-world performance; we wait with bated breath to hear more about those in the coming months.

[Source – Eurogamer]