Microsoft Gives Gamers Early Look at Project Scorpio Next-Gen Console

Microsoft Gives Gamers Early Look at Project Scorpio Next-Gen Console
Graphical Power Will Be Groundbreaking
It's All About High-Resolution Gaming
There's a Custom CPU Inside
It Will Be the First Liquid-Cooled Game Console
It Displays High Dynamic Range Color
Microsoft Confirms Xbox One Backward Compatibility
It Will Integrate With Windows PC
There Are Some Similarities with the Xbox One S
Final Details Will Be Announced at E3 Show
Pricing and Availability Details Will Come Later
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Microsoft Gives Gamers Early Look at Project Scorpio Next-Gen Console

Microsoft’s Project Scorpio console has captivated the gaming industry. But unlike previous console launches, Microsoft isn’t waiting until its hardware’s big unveiling day to discuss what it's planning. Instead, the company recently invited Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry to learn about the console, discuss the device’s features and explain why Microsoft believes Project Scorpio will be the most powerful game console ever released. Additionally, Microsoft has promised backward compatibility with Xbox One. It also seems likely that users will be able to play their titles on Windows PCs if they choose. This eWEEK slide show will discuss what Microsoft has revealed and mention some of the unanswered questions about Project Scorpio.

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Graphical Power Will Be Groundbreaking

Microsoft’s Project Scorpio, which likely will get a new name later this year, will come with a 6-teraflop GPU—the first console ever to feature that much power in its graphics card. To put that into perspective, the exceedingly powerful PlayStation 4 Pro console has 4.2-teraflop GPU.

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It's All About High-Resolution Gaming

Project Scorpio will output games at 4K resolution, Microsoft has confirmed. That’s important. The television and entertainment markets are quickly moving toward broader 4K adoption and players expect their games to support the technology.

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There's a Custom CPU Inside

Although some hoped Microsoft would use AMD’s recently announced Ryzen processors in Project Scorpio, it’s not happening. The company confirmed to Digital Foundry that its next console will be running a custom octa-core CPU with a 2.3GHz clock speed. It should be substantially more powerful than the Xbox One’s CPU, Microsoft says.

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It Will Be the First Liquid-Cooled Game Console

Microsoft noted on its Project Scorpio homepage that its next console will be the first to use liquid cooling. According to Digital Foundry, Microsoft is planning to house the high-end components in a “compact” box, and liquid cooling will be integral to the console operating properly.

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It Displays High Dynamic Range Color

In addition to resolution, Microsoft said it will ensure outstanding color quality in its next game console. The company plans to fully support high-dynamic range (HDR) and push developers to support the technology in their games. Colors should be more vibrant and accurate, creating a better visual experience.

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Microsoft Confirms Xbox One Backward Compatibility

Microsoft has confirmed that Project Scorpio will be backward-compatible with the Xbox One, which means users will be able to play all their older games on Project Scorpio and get a superior picture with smoother frame rates. Microsoft and its third-party developers also will make new Project Scorpio-exclusive games.

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It Will Integrate With Windows PC

Microsoft has said on numerous occasions in recent months that it’s committed to creating a broader gaming ecosystem in which users can pick up a game on the Xbox, continue playing on a Windows PC and go back to the Xbox whenever they wish. That will hold true for Project Scorpio, and many suspect Microsoft will deepen the console’s integration and relationship with Windows 10.

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There Are Some Similarities with the Xbox One S

In its interview with Digital Foundry, Microsoft said it designed Project Scorpio with its ports in the same position as those on the Xbox One S. And there are some suggestions that the console also has similar dimensions. Ultimately, Microsoft wants to make it easier for users to disconnect the Xbox One S and plug in Project Scorpio as seamlessly as possible.

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Final Details Will Be Announced at E3 Show

Microsoft might have revealed quite a bit about Project Scorpio already, but the company plans to share all the final details, including the console’s design, at the E3 gaming expo this summer. Hopefully at that time Microsoft will reveal games, the console’s design and other critical components that go into making gaming hardware a success.

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Pricing and Availability Details Will Come Later

Microsoft also hasn’t announced details on Project Scorpio’s expected launch date and how much it will cost. The company has said that the console will be available sometime during the holidays, but hasn’t suggested a price. Given the features, though, expect the console—which will get a new name when it’s announced at E3—to come with a relatively hefty price tag.

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