While we all wait for the arrival of the Xbox Project Scorpio to come out at some point in 2017, we can at least for now contend ourselves with the imminent release of the Xbox One S game console from Microsoft. It may not be the supposedly insane powerhouse that the Scorpio is supposed to be but it still offers some very cool new tricks, especially for fans of 4K video and gaming.
According to a recent official confirmation from Xbox executive Mike Ybarra, the Xbox One S will be able to upscale all existing Xbox games to 4K thanks to the upcoming console’s powerful new AMD SoC (System-on-a-chip), which will provide a CPU and GPU boost to the gaming platform while also increasing power efficiency despite a 40% smaller console size. Ybarra recently tweeted these details to the public from his official account as a Microsoft representative.
We can also probably expect the Xbox One S to utilize AMD’s new console-centric upscaling technology as the means by which it achieves its 4K upscaling. This technology is the same as that which will be used in PlayStation’s 4 Neo console for that device’s own 4K upscaling chops.
Details on the exact specs of the Xbox One S’s AMD SoC are still unknown and specs leaks haven’t yet emerged but the $299 One S base console with 500GB internal storage is expected to be a direct competitor to the PlayStation Neo whenever it comes out for 4K console gamming enthusiasts. The PlayStation Neo is rumored to be getting a formal unveiling for consumer release in late 2016.
What’s most interesting here is the way in which Microsoft is trying to at least partially compete with the reportedly heavy duty power of the 4K Neo console even with this intermediate release Xbox console, well before the release of their Project Scorpio device, which will be the TRUE competition to Sony’s Neo console when both finally share space on the market. Given the Xbox One S’s very near term release and 4K capabilities, it seems that Microsoft is trying to steal a lot of the wind from Sony’s Neo release even before it becomes official.
4K gaming is finally coming to the TV console technology landscape with the Xbox One S
The AMD dynamic upscaling technology which lies at the core of the Xbox One S is apparently already set for consumer use and will be the key to delivering a 4K console gaming experience to users. This must of course mean that whatever the specs of the One S’s SoC CPU/GPU combo, it will indeed be very powerful, since 4K gaming in PCs (the only technologies with which it’s currently available) requires some serious desktop GPU hardware, which mainly comes in the form of Nvidia’s GTX 980Ti and 1080 GPUs or AMD’s 295×2 and Fury X graphics cards.
Upon its August release, the Xbox One S will come with the above-mentioned 4K gaming support and also include 4K video playback from both UHD Blu-ray and streaming media sources. It will also include HDR support for 4K videos and come in three different price tags: $299 for the base model with 500GB storage, $349 for the 1TB model and $399 for the 2TB flagship model.