After months of rumors and speculation, Microsoft has finally revealed some details of Project Scorpio to Eurogamer.net. As is expected the console is 100% compatible with Xbox One titles, and Xbox 360 titles via Backward Compatibility as well. Due to the full power of the Scorpio Engine, the console will also make “your existing library of games run smoother, look better and load faster.” Additionally, Microsoft has “taken a harder route” with a “radical architectural overhaul” to allow for the “full power of the new console to be deployed on older games,” ultimately helping Project Scorpio improve the experience for Xbox One games in five specific ways.
Leading off is the fact that Scorpio will load Xbox One games faster. Scorpio will accomplish this in three specific ways, a CPU boost, an improved hard disk speed, and a file system cache. Technical Fellow at Microsoft, Andrew Gossen explains to Eurogamer:
There are three ways we say that – one of which is the CPU boost. The 31 per cent CPU boost in terms of clock will help games that are CPU-bound in terms of their IO…. The second one is that we’ve that we’ve improved the hard disk speed. We’re actually promising developers a 50 per cent improvement in overall bandwidth for the purposes of driving 4K textures, but this also helps us in this situation where you’re running existing Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles. They will also benefit from the faster hard disk.
Next up is Project Scorpio’s smoother performance and lack of screen-tearing. According to Eurogamer, the full power of Scorpio will be deployed to run your Xbox One games. Andrew Gossen explains:
“We bring to bear all 40 compute units and the full 1172MHz clock-speed [of the Scorpio GPU], we’re bringing those to bear on all the games possible… Now, I have a caveat a bit later about all the compatibility testing we do for these and some of the implications, but we can bring all the 40CUs, all 1172MHz, of course the full 2.3GHz on the CPU… We’ve taken the approach that we do with 360 [games] on Xbox One, where you will never see a torn frame, because we have enough performance there to ensure that.”
Third is the fact that Project Scorpio will use the maximum possible resolution on dynamic titles. As per Andrew Gossen, with the performance of the Scorpio engine, titles will hit the maximum render resolution, but can’t be boosted to 4K.
“With the additional performance of the Scorpio Engine, we expect to see those titles hit the maximum render resolution that those titles support… As you know, we can’t boost it to 4K, but definitely the maximum resolution the game supports, we should be able to run it”
Fourth is support for improved texture filtering on Project Scorpio. In the words of Technical Fellow at Microsoft, Andrew Gossen:
“We built into the hardware the capability of overwriting all bilinear and all trilinear fetches to be anisotropic… And then we’ve dialled up the anisotropic all the way up to max. All of our titles by default when you’re running on Scorpio, they’ll be full anisotropic.”
Lastly, is the fact that Project Scorpio will use next-gen media block to provide 4K60 video capture with no performance hit, utilizing the HEVC codec for pristine visual quality. According to Eurogamer, the game DVR on Project Scorpio will work for backward compatible titles, and users will also have the ability to scan through captures with extreme precision. The publication explains.
“The hardware team is leveraging the new console’s next-gen media block to provide 4K60 video capture with no performance hit, utilising the highly efficient HEVC codec for pristine visual quality. GameDVR works for back-compat titles too, which has some key benefits…. Users will have the ability to scan through their captures with ‘to-the-frame’ precision, allowing them to extract the precise screenshot they want. You won’t be able to capture at 4K”
It no doubt will be interesting to see how things fold out moving forward, and as Microsoft continues to develop the console. Be sure to keep it tuned to OnMSFT, as more Project Scorpio details will definitely emerge as E3 approaches. Feel free to drop us a comment below with your thoughts, or bookmark our Project Scorpio news hub to ensure you can catch up with all the day’s biggest news.Further reading: Microsoft, Project Scorpio, Xbox