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What is Project Scorpio and is it better than the Xbox One S?

4K gaming is coming to a Microsoft console, but what is Project Scorpio all about, how does it compare with the Xbox One S and PS4 Pro and when is the release date? Here is what we know about the new Xbox.

Sony beat Microsoft to the punch with a 4K console, but the PS4 Pro has got off to a rocky start and one that is likely to get even rockier now that Project Scorpio is looming.

Project Scorpio is the codename for Microsoft’s forthcoming console, which will build on the Xbox One and the more recent Xbox One S with the promise of true 4K gaming. Here is what you need to know.

Project Scorpio: What is it?

A new Microsoft games console that was first shown at E3 2016 and will be fully revealed in June 2017 at another E3 reveal. It will take on the PS4 Pro when it goes on sale.

In terms of aesthetics, all there is to go on is a render of the developer kit, which shows a black and white device with styling akin to the Xbox One and Xbox One S. On the front is a frames-per-second display.

Until the big E3 reveal in June or if a major leak happens before then, we will just have to guess what Project Scorpio will look like. But we think a radical departure from the current Xbox consoles is unlikely.

Project Scorpio: Graphics potential?

The PS4 Pro is more powerful than the Xbox One S, but Project Scorpio aims to put Microsoft back on top for this generation of consoles, meaning better graphics for all who buy one.

It will do this with a set of specs unlike any games console before it, which means a step closer to the graphics enjoyed by our PC gaming overlords.

The processor is said to be a steroid-enhanced version of the Jaguar core CPU in the Xbox One S with eight X86 cores and a clock speed of 2.3GHz, 40 customised compute units at 1,172MHz and 6 terraflops, 12GB of DDR5 RAM and memory bandwidth of 326GB/S.

Meanwhile the hard drive is of the one terabyte, 2.5-inch variety and it will have an optical drive for playing UHD Blu-Rays as intended, something missing from Sony’s PS4 Pro.

This is all according to Digital Foundry, which was invited by Microsoft to see Project Scorpio in action. The developer console is actually more powerful than the one destined for the shops.

The Xbox One S offers eight cores of processing at 1.75GHz and a Radeon GPU clocked at 1.23TFLOPS and 8GB of DDR3 RAM, while the PS4 Pro manages 4.2 terraflops, 36 compute units at 911MHz and 8GB of DDR5 RAM.

Project Scorpio: So what is the point?

Microsoft has said it wants no one left behind so all games will run on any current generation Microsoft Xbox, but the Project Scorpio will offer improved resolutions, more detail and higher frame-rates. 

The level of improvement and how many developers will take advantage of the added processing power remain unclear, but the potential for even prettier games is strong. True 4K gaming is the next major milestone, even if 4K TV adoption is still low.

Project Scorpio: What about VR?

Based on what we have seen so far, Project Scorpio has another aim and that is offering virtual reality (VR) gaming to the masses. Besides admitting support for its own Mixed Reality headsets and we know a few developers are working on VR demos, including Bethesda.

Project Scorpio: Release date and UK price?

There is no known UK cost for the new Xbox One. It is, of course, going to cost more than the Xbox One S and Xbox One because of the superior hardware and 4K Blu-Ray player. But we do have some indicitation as to when it will launch as Microsoft has said the ‘end of 2017’. We shall keep you posted.

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