Microsoft has officially unveiled the specifications of its upcoming Project Scorpio mid-life Xbox One upgrade, and it's clear the company has worked hard to make sure it boxes rival Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro into a corner.
Speaking to Eurogamer
, Microsoft revealed that Project Scorpio is effectively a ground-up rethink with a view to supporting native Ultra HD resolutions in future games. Where the original Xbox One had eight AMD Jaguar processing cores running at 1.75GHz, the Project Scorpio hardware features what the company describes as 'custom x86 cores
' - though still very much AMD hardware - running at 2.3GHz. The graphics hardware, too, has been considerably boosted: 12 Graphics Core Next (GCN) compute units running at 853MHz on the Xbox One and 914MHz on the Xbox One S redesign have been replaced with 40 'customised compute units
' - again, still very much AMD-based - running at 1,172MHz. Even the memory has been upgraded, going from 8GB of DDR3 with a 32MB ESRAM chunk developers never really knew how to harness to 12GB of GDDR5.
Putting those up against Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro, it's clear that Microsoft has been using its extra time since the unveiling to make sure it beats its rival on every possible aspect: 2.3GHz processor cores to 2.1GHz, 40 1,172MHz graphics compute units to 36 911MHz compute units, 12GB of GDDR5 with 326GB/s throughput to 8GB with 218GB/s, and there's even an Ultra HD-ready Blu-ray drive in place.
Sadly, there are still a few key facts Microsoft isn't yet sharing. Chief among these is pricing: While the Project Scorpio refresh offers considerably higher specifications than Sony's PS4 Pro, Microsoft is going to have to be careful to ensure it doesn't come with a correspondingly sky-high price tag.