Project Scorpio: What we know so far, and what we hope to find out

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The time is coming for the curtain to rise on Project Scorpio. It's now confirmed that we'll be getting huge info bombs about Microsoft's newest console tomorrow, April 6th, and we're all extremely excited to see what's in store. Just so we're all on the same page going into the announcements, let's take some time to go over what exactly we know about Scorpio right now - and what we're hoping to hear from the news explosion tomorrow.

What is it?

Project Scorpio is a "premium gaming device" that's meant to be geared towards the most "hardcore" in the Xbox audience. This is for the sort of people who would buy an Xbox Elite controller - the people who really care about squeezing the best possible performance out of their games, and are willing to pay some extra money for it. It will almost certainly come at a higher price tag than its sister, the Xbox One S, but it's going to have the hardware to back that price tag up.

We'll be looking to get specifics on this during the big info drop tomorrow, where we'll hopefully get a good look at the system and an explanation of what role it'll be playing in the Xbox family.

Project scorpio: what we know so far, and what we hope to find out - onmsft. Com - april 5, 2017
The initial e3 announcement of project scorpio

What is it not?

There's one thing that the Xbox team has been very adamant about since the announcement of Scorpio: This is not, in any way shape or form, a replacement for the Xbox One or Xbox One S. Project Scorpio will not be getting exclusive games or anything else that will divide the Xbox community. Scorpio's purpose is to give hardcore Xbox owners an opportunity to get the strongest possible Xbox hardware - those who aren't that dedicated to gaming as a hobby won't be punished for keeping their money in their wallets.

Whether or not the "sitting alongside Xbox One" plan is going to stick in the long run is something I'm curious about. The Xbox One is quite a few years old at this point, which makes it a bit awkward that we're getting such a huge upgrade now, of all times. Will the Scorpio's effective lifespan be tied to the lifespan of Xbox One? Or does Scorpio have potential to stick around after Microsoft's moved on to a proper new generation of consoles? We won't find this out tomorrow, but it's something that'll be in the back of my mind.

What can it do? 

Scorpio has a whole lot of little gems under the hood that'll make it run like butter, but there are two main selling points that we know about which will really be showing off Scorpio's power: True 4k gaming and virtual reality. The console is supposedly going to be sporting a significantly stronger GPU than the Xbox One S, which will most certainly be capable of delivering PC gaming levels of quality. While it definitely won't be packing a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080, this thing is going to have some serious horsepower making it run.

This is what's going to be on the minds of all the hardware geeks tomorrow, and I would wager quite a bit that we'll get an answer: What's making Scorpio tick? With a console that's being sold on superior hardware alone, it's a reasonable assumption that some specificity regarding that hardware will be coming along sooner rather than later.

Project scorpio
A gorgeous little promotional image for scorpio

How much will it cost me?

This one is purely up to speculation. As it stands? We have absolutely no clue. It's an exceptionally reasonable assumption that it's going to be quite a bit pricier than the Xbox One S, but by how much? Beyond that, there are some other questions we need to start asking. Will there be a VR headset bundled with this VR - focused console? If not, people buying it are going to need to think about dropping another ~$600 picking themselves up a headset. One thing is for sure: If you're planning to get in on Scorpio, you're probably going to need to open that wallet up wide.

Are there curveballs coming?

If I were to write a "Guide to tech announcements" guide, the first rule would be to expect the unexpected. The best part of these big info drops is always the curveball: the surprise bit of information that really shakes things up. While I'm not necessarily optimistic about any big curveballs, on account of this info drop not taking the form of a big conference, we should always stay open to something mind blowing happening.

Want to read up on our past speculation on Scorpio? You can do so on our Project Scorpio news hub. Tomorrow morning we'll be here swinging in full force, reporting on all the juicy information that happens to come out. Be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay privy to all the latest news!

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