While Sony debuted its PS4 Pro in November last year, it’s been a minute since we’ve heard about Microsoft’s highly anticipated “Project Scorpio” Xbox console. That said, it looks like great things come for those who wait.
On Tuesday, Eurogamer shared information regarding a whitepaper released to Microsoft’s development portal, sharing details on what the team aims to accomplish with its next console.
Titled, “Reaching 4K and GPU Scaling Across Multiple Xbox Devices,” the document reveals details regarding the Scorpio’s hardware. The first thing that Eurogamer addressed was the new RAM featured in the Scorpio. Gone is the ESRAM (embedded static RAM), which was applied to the Xbox One and designed to be much faster than DDR3.
“ESRAM remains essential to achieving high performance on both Xbox One and Xbox One S,” the whitepaper reveals. “However, Project Scorpio and PC are not provided with ESRAM. Because developers are not allowed to ship a Project Scorpio-only SKU, optimising for ESRAM remains critical to performance on Microsoft platforms.”
While ESRAM sounds great on paper, the whitepaper mentions ESRAM’s latency advantages are dulled as “Scorpio’s far higher system memory bandwidth outstrips ESRAM’s wide bandwidth capabilities.”
To some, “ESRAM” and “system memory bandwidth” is all techno mumbo jumbo, but here’s where things get really interesting – the report stated the Scorpio’s six teraflop GPU is rated at 4.5 times greater than the Xbox One’s performance. The Scorpio is expected to handle GPU architecture as modern as the AMD Polaris and will also be capable of delta color compression (DCC), like the PS4 Pro.
However, despite the major leap in GPU hardware, Eurogamer believes the Scorpio CPU has not improved in-step with the GPU. Microsoft advised developers to run GPU elements at double the speed while CPU elements are incorporated and Eurogamer believes the suggestion is only necessary because the Scorpio’s CPU is a weak link.
Ultimately, the anticipated Scorpio is tasked to deliver 4K gaming and Eurogamer believes Microsoft’s upcoming console will do just that. Be sure to read the full report from Eurogamer and stay tuned as we learn more about the Scorpio in the months ahead.