However, the folks at Digital Foundry were given exclusive access to Microsoft’s Xbox Skunk Works and what the team is cooking up for Project Scorpio. Needless to say, Project Scorpio is a beastly machine, far outpacing the power of the Xbox One S and even the admittedly potent PlayStation 4 Pro.
Here's the rundown Microsoft’s new gaming console hardware specs:
- Eight “custom” AMD x86 CPU cores clocked at 2.3GHz with 4MB L2 cache
- 40 "custom" AMD Radeon GPU compute units operating at 1172MHz
- 12GB of GDDR5 memory over a 384-bit interface with maximum memory bandwidth of 326GB/sec
As for the last bullet point, the Xbox One S features an 8GB DDR3/32MB ESRAM memory arrangement. ESRAM is no longer part of the equation for Project Scorpio, and Microsoft explains why. "We simply go and use our virtual memory system to map the 32MB of physical address that the old games thought they got into 32MB in the GDDR5,” said Nick Baker, Microsoft General Manager of Xbox Console Architecture. “So latency is higher, but in terms of aggregate performance, the improved bandwidth and improved GPU performance means we don't hit any issues."
The audio subsystem is mostly a carryover from the Xbox One/Xbox One S, but has gained spatial surround effects. Project Scorpio will also support Dolby Atmos Gaming/Headphone profiles along with Microsoft’s proprietary HRTF format. And as we’ve reported previously, the GameDVR now supports 4K60 with full HDR.
So, what does all this power mean for actual gaming? Xbox One games that run in 900p or 1080p should be able to run natively at 4K on the new console ForzaTech demos have been running flat-out at 60fps in 4K on Project Scorpio.
"Instead of saying, 'How are we going to wrestle to get the performance on this?' we're actually saying we can make this quality trade-off or this quality trade-off and spend that time iterating, heading towards much better image quality,” said Chris Tecton, Turn 10 Studio Software Architect. “So instead of stressing about getting to a final resolution or a final frame-rate, we can really drive it all into quality."
Microsoft’s E3 2017 media briefing is set for June 11th, so hopefully we’ll hear even more info about Project Scorpio at that time.
(Images Courtesy Microsoft)