Microsoft is hoping to usher in a new era in console gaming just over a year from now. While the company is just a month away from launching the Xbox One S refresh in the United States, Project Scorpio is the console that really has gamers talking. During E3, Microsoft provided scant details on the console, only cluing us in to the fact that it would support virtual reality, 4K gaming, and push 6 TFLOPs of computing power.
Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz, CD Projekt Red’s Principal Narrative Designer, had a few things to say about that last bullet point regarding compute performance. If you recall, AMD’s newly introduced Radeon RX 480 offers peak performance of 5.8 TFLOPs, which puts it in close contention with Project Scorpio. But of course, trying to compare consoles to PCs using this stat alone isn’t exactly apples to oranges, but Tomaszkiewicz explains, “For sure [Scorpio] will have better looking games,” Tomaszkiewicz said. “If this was available when we were working on Wild Hunt I would expect similar quality that we have on PC right now or even better maybe.”
While that may be true, we have to take into account two things. For starters, once new console hardware is introduced, it’s frozen for years at a time without any updates. So even if a truly kickass console powered its way onto the market, it would only be a short while before PCs would handily clobber it in performance. Secondly, Project Scorpio won’t be arriving until late 2017 at the earliest (barring any delays), so while 6 TFLOPs might sound good today, by this time next year the PC industry will be on a new cycle of high-end (and mid-range) GPUs with far superior performance.
Tomaszkiewicz definitely agrees with this assessment, adding, “New graphic cards are being released very often and more often than the new consoles being released. So I think it will put Scorpio on par with the PC is that we have at that point. But I think PC is growing so fast that it’ll outpace [Scorpio].”
Whatever the outcome, we can’t argue with console makers providing more powerful options for gamers (like PlayStation Neo), even it means fragmenting the user base a bit in the process. However, at least on the Microsoft side of things, the line is steadily becoming blurred between PCs and the Xbox One family of products thanks to Windows 10. With gaming interplay between both console become more accessible and Xbox One titles coming to Windows 10 with greater frequency, the mighty wall between both fervent camps is starting to crumble.