Xbox “Project Scorpio” Preview

Posted on June 13, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Xbox One with 0 Comments

Xbox "Project Scorpio" Preview

As expected, Microsoft announced two new consoles today, the cost-reduced Xbox One S and, more dramatically, the next-generation Xbox “Project Scorpio,” which won’t ship until late 2017. Here’s a quick peek at what we know now.

It’s exactly what you thought it was. A PS4K competitor. 4K gaming. Virtual reality. Higher-end specs. And so on. More details below.

It will play Xbox One games. It’s sort of interesting that the word “One” doesn’t appear in the current name of this console, but make no mistake, this is an upgraded Xbox One console, not a completely new design. To that end, today’s Xbox One games will all run on Scorpio.

It will be compatible with Xbox One accessories. No worries on the hardware front either: Scorpio will be compatible with “all” Xbox One accessories, Microsoft says.

4K gaming. With the Xbox One S, Microsoft is adding 4K video playback support for both Blu-Ray and streaming. But Scorpio will be able to play 4K games as well. Today, that requires serious PC hardware, so I’m very interested to see what Microsoft delivers here, hardware-wise. “Project Scorpio will be the most powerful console ever created, with 6 teraflops of GPU delivering a premier console gaming experience including true 4K gaming and high fidelity virtual reality,” Microsoft says.

“High fidelity” VR? Yes, Scorpio will provide a virtual reality gaming experience. But there was no information about how that would be delivered: As part of the console or perhaps in partnership with an existing VR vendor.

When? Scorpio will ship in time for the 2017 holiday season, Microsoft says. I’m thinking November 2017, which is four years after the original Xbox One release, or exactly half the time between typical console releases.

Why announce it now? I’ll let Microsoft’s Phil Spencer handle this one. “The reason that we announced Project Scorpio today is to give our developers and partners the ability to embrace its capability early, in order to start realizing their visions for the future and deliver even more great games for you,” he explains.

How much will it cost? It’s way too early for Microsoft to announce such a thing. But just guessing, I think it needs to come in at $500 to $600 for enthusiasts to bite. Final pricing will be based on component costs and of course whatever Sony is doing with PS4K.

It’s early days on this one, but the news matches what we heard previously and this strategy makes a lot of sense. Looking forward to learning more.

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