Microsoft made it clear they had something baking in their oven at last year’s E3 2016. Project Scorpio is Microsoft’s third iteration into their Xbox One series of consoles.
Being targeted at enthusiastic gamers in the world where PlayStation 4 Pros and Gaming PCs exist, Microsoft needs to showcase how meaningful their 6TFLOPs console is.
Previously dubbed as Project Scorpio, the Xbox One X made it’s official reveal yesterday bringing rumors to an end. Being the tiniest Xbox One console Micrososft has built, we kind of expected that the Xbox One X would be tiny, but this much? It’s impressive. You could credit this to Microsoft’s decision of opting for a liquid-cooled vapor chamber to cooler off the internals of the Xbox One X.
For numbers, the Xbox One X packs 12GB of VRAM along a GPU that is capable of pushing 6TFLOPs of compute power backed by 326GB/s of memory bandwidth. In contract, Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro packs 4.2 TFLOPs of compute power to push console gaming to the upper edge. For those on the PC side of the spectrum, that’s about on par with AMD’s Radeon RX 580/480 lineup of GPUs.
Now what can Microsoft offer in such space where it will attract gamers from both sides? Until now, Microsoft has been touting that it’s Xbox One X is capable of pushing “uncompromised 4k gaming”. Sony’s attempt at 4k has been going good so far, but they have been utilizing upscaling techniques for a while. That’s an area where Microsoft needs to focus on. The “uncompromised 4k gaming” along with the additional headroom of compute power could lead to Microsoft’s edge in proving their promise. But is it theoretically possible? Seems so!
Now while PC Gamers have been ushering with their lineup of hardware, PC gamers have been spending quite a sum to get 4k gaming up an running. PC Gamers, who are oftenly enthusiastic take details seriously and are very concious about what they’re hardware is capable of. Microsoft’s promise of uncompromised 4k gaming could lead to a slew of PC Gamers wanting to get their hands on the Xbox One X due to Microsoft’s pricing strategy of $499. Gaming aside, I can see many PC Gamers continue to stick with their PC due to amount of freedom PCs offer compared to console. It’s more than just gaming.
Taking Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro into account, Microsoft really needs to show an edge over how much better the Xbox One X’s “uncompromised 4k” means to them. Priced at $499, I could definitely see a rant to faces that would be thinking twice about the price their paying unless Microsoft really compels them for a reason. However, for what Microsoft is offering for $499, they definitely priced it well.
At E3 2017, Microsoft said that the Xbox One X will upscale content for users who own 1080p displays. That still offers a benefit to those who still have to upgrade to 4k displays and could be a temporary excuse to get users aboard who might be upgrading their TV with their Xbox One X.
Titles will play a huge role in the success of the Xbox One X and showcasing what it’s capable of. Microsoft’s close integration with AMD and it’s partners also allowed it to pack in FreeSync support that allows gamers to have a smooth tear-free gaming experience. For PC gamers that means alot, but for console gamers, it’ll be interesting to see a title actually take advantage of FreeSync. Amazing stuff indeed.
All eyes set towards November! It’s going to be exciting. Let’s just hope Sony and Microsoft don’t mess up the next-generation of consoles.