Project Scorpio. What is the point?

Well, we got the specifications for it, and we got some more details and an announcement that we will see it at E3. So any Xbox fanboys out there are free to go off and party.

But as I ask in the title, what is the point. Well given how now console gamers are almost yearning, if not in some cases, demanding a better graphical experience Project Scorpio, which was announced first, yes Xbox fanboys go and rejoice on that little fact, was born, and so was then the poorly named PS4 pro.

Project-Scorpio-2

Now I can very easily blog on and on about how you now proceed to go get a PC, because it is the better option, that I will not lie, it simply is. You can purchase a higher performing graphical monster, 50% more than what Project Scorpio will run at, which is 6 teraflops.  You can have more RAM than the 12gb on offer from Scorpio, most can have 32 or even 64 and above if you really want it. Even faster running cores than what you get inside Scorpio which there 8 and running at 2.3GHZ. So I could stop here and tell you to get off your backside and go buy a PC. But I won’t because consoles offer that little garden for developers to have a ton of fun in and to see how far they can push the limits of the hardware given to them, and we, the gamers, get to enjoy the offspring of that fun.

So the PS4 pro, given how it is already out and is, at the time of writing this, the benchmark, we will use it as such:

So the CPU (Central Processing Unit), the brain of any computing unit. On the PS4 Pro has 8 cores and runs at 2.1GHZ.

Graphically has 36 compute units at 911mhz

8GB of GDDR5 RAM

Has a 1 TeraByte Hard drive and a Blu-ray drive.

Now let’s go through the recently announced specifications of Project Scorpio:

CPU: 8 cores running at 2.3GHZ.

Graphics: 40 compute units at 1172mhz.

12GB of GDDR5 RAM.

Also, will have a 1TB hard drive and will have a UHD Blu-ray drive.

project-scorpio-comparison

So noticeably the main difference are faster performing CPU, more RAM faster performing compute units and a UHD drive over a regular Blu-ray drive. The last one has been something that has people, even now, scratching their heads.

But the one for the all those that have craved better graphics within their games the main figures are those of the GPU. More units more speed, and gives us the 6 teraflops that Microsoft stated last year at E3. Teraflops been a more simple way to present the speed of graphic cards to the general public.

However this does enable one thing, and it is something that the PS4 pro does not do. Native 4K gaming. No upscaling, so rendering the image upwards to make it appear in 4K, and it does at 60FPS (Frames per second) and the faster the FPS the smoother the experience.  This has been demonstrated on a demo of Forza Motorsport, a video I am sure you can go find on the Internet somewhere.Where the demo hit 60 FPS and only used just over 60% of the GPU capabilities, just room to move within the capabilities of the GPU are possible.

57015_7_project-scorpio-hits-4k-60fps-forza-horizon-6

Finally the vapor chamber, which using deionised water to soak up the heat and disperse it in the heat sinks which have the water held within the copper tubes at the bottom of the sinks. Why, because fans just would not disperse the heat good enough. We are at a phase now that parts are performing at such speeds, and the faster they perform the more heat they give off, that fans are increasingly becoming unable to remove and disperse the heat generated from them well enough. So fingers crossed no red ring of death.

Overall it will be interesting, and the proof will be within this, is how many developers make patches for the existing games to become 4K. So far a few games have been announced to be compatible with Scorpio. Forza 7, which was demoed on it. But the most interesting been Red Dead Redemption 2.  That game alone may spike up more buzz for Scorpio and even the PS4 pro.

538515-project-scorpio-specs-from-digital-foundry

The final thing is the openness that Microsoft is engaging the VR market. No one VR device will be solely supported, instead, all will be. So whether you have the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive, which I would prefer, or any other VR device. They should all work with the Scorpio. This is one final reason it is been built, to support VR games.

The price point is expected to be in the range that new generation consoles used to appear at, around £500-£600 region. But given the technology within, it is something that if you want the bang you need to use the bucks to get it. However, and I won’t leave it on this bad point, but it needs to be said. Why was this not done in the first place? Even now the technology been used is a year or two old. Just like when the Xbox one and PS4 came out the technology was 2-3 years old. Usually when new generation consoles appear it is cutting edge technology, new vibrant, this generation has not been. So they have resorted to trying to extend the life of this generation of consoles even now 4 years on.

Will it be worth it? We will see in due time. But what I will say, going from the specifications alone, it is already a better attempt than what Sony have done with 4K gaming. Which is not native, it is all about upscaling and does not contain a UHD Blu-ray drive.  Scorpio, which does do native 4K gaming and does have a UHD Blu-ray drive. It does give the developers the choice to include the technology within the games they develop, unlike Sony, which makes the developers do their game compatible with the PS4 pro, and Microsoft has opened up to all VR headsets to the customer’s choice when Sony want you to use their own.

It will be interesting how it pans out but we know within the next 12 months.

 

 

 

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