Microsoft unveils specs of its Project Scorpio gaming console

Microsoft has unveiled some of the specifications of Project Scorpio, its upcoming video-games console.

Details of the console were shared with Eurogamer and Digital Foundry.

The new console has been designed to play games at ultra-4k resolutions and at high-frame rates (of 60FPS). It will come with a central processor with eight cores that run at 2.3GHz. In comparison, the PS4 Pro’s eight core processor runs at 2.1Ghz, while those in the Xbox One run at 1.75GHz.

Xbox_Project_ScorpioAccording to Eurogamer, the Scorpio console’s graphical processing unit is 4.6 times more powerful than the chips in the Xbox One and comes with 12GB of GDDR5 memory, divided up into 12 1GB chips. There’s 326GB/s of memory bandwidth in total.

The Scorpio features an all-new AMD GPU with 40 “customised” Radeon compute units, versus just 12 on the Xbox One and Xbox One S). The GPU is clocked at 1172MHz, a significant increase over the Xbox One GPU’s 853MHz clock speeds.

“Microsoft has doubled the amount of shader engines and render back-ends, and quadrupled the GPU L2 cache size, which it claims has boosted the GPU fill-rate by 2.7x. That’s more than enough, it says, for native 4K gaming,” Ars Tecnica explained in a comprehensive analysis of the specs.

“So, eight cores, organised as two clusters with a total of 4MB of L2 cache. These are unique customised CPUs for Scorpio running at 2.3GHz. Alluding back to the goals, we wanted to maintain 100 per cent backwards compatibility with Xbox One and Xbox One S while also pushing the performance envelope,” Microsoft’s Nick Baker told Digital Foundry.

Piers Harding-Rolls, a games industry analyst at IHS Technology, was quoted by the BBC as saying that the powerful hardware will help Microsoft make the Scorpio stand out from the Xbox One and Xbox One S and give it credibility among gamers who want the latest hardware.

It’s uncertain how much the console will retail for, but Seth Barton from game news site MCV believes that the Scorpio’s hardware suggests that it will cost at least £400.

“For most it simply remains a very powerful console, without a clear marketing plan or a price,” he said. “And so we’re no closer to seeing how Microsoft is going to turn the silicon into a saleable product.”