During its E3 2016 press conference, Microsoft announced an upcoming hardware refresh of Xbox One codenamed “Project Scorpio”. Xbox Scorpio is scheduled to be released in late 2017.
The console will be a high-end model with upgraded hardware that Microsoft claimed would make it the “most powerful console ever”. It will feature an eight-core APU with 320 gigabytes per second of memory bandwidth, a 3-fold increase, and 6 teraflops of graphical computing performance, a 4-fold increase. The hardware is meant to support 4K gameplay, as well as virtual reality.
Xbox division head Phil Spencer stated that Scorpio was designed as a response to the growth of 4K gaming and VR in the high-end personal computer market, and that existing Xbox One games will experience performance improvements. Spencer also stated in an example that “Halo 5: Guardians”, which uses a scaling system that dynamically lowers the game’s resolution when needed to maintain a consistent frame rate, would be able to run at its native resolution with no scaling on Scorpio.
Project Scorpio will be compatible with all existing Xbox One software and accessories. Xbox Games marketing head Aaron Greenberg stated that Scorpio will have no exclusive titles. However, general manager of game publishing Shannon Loftis remarked in a follow-up interview that he was not sure on this point, and exclusivity would be “up to the game development community; what do they want to do.”
In regards to virtual reality, Microsoft has yet to reveal any specific partnerships or hardware support, but Spencer stated that “you can imagine at the price point of Scorpio—which we haven’t actually said, but think about consoles and where they live in terms of price point—having something at six teraflops that will get millions of people buying it is very attractive to some of the VR companies that are out there already, and we’ve architected it such that something will be able to plug right in and work.”