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New iterative cycle may trigger console gaming collapse

By: Derek Strickland | Editorials in Gaming | Posted: Aug 18, 2016 10:25 pm

Project Scorpio isn't an Xbox One--it's an entirely new system




Here's the thing about Project Scorpio: it's not an Xbox One. Scorpio rocks some seriously powerful hardware (so Microsoft says) with a GPU capable of 6TFLOPs that can possibly deliver native 4K gaming at 30FPS, power VR gaming experiences at 90FPS, and deliver native 1080p 60FPS gaming at the very least.



So Microsoft is calling Project Scorpio an Xbox One, but it really isn't. It's a new generation of Xbox that will mingle with the old generation in the same family, but it'll be the alpha male of the clan.


Xbox One Scorpio confirmed specs:


  • 6 TFLOPs of performance
  • 320GB per second memory bandwidth
  • 8 CPU Cores


Saying it's technically part of the Xbox One is misleading in a way, because it indirectly ties it to the janky, unoptimized, and underpowered original Xbox One console. What Microsoft is saying is that Project Scorpio is part of the Xbox One family, meaning it'll take advantage of all the cross-platform features like game streaming, Windows 10 PC integration, backward compatibility, and more.


Microsoft has also been very careful to say that Project Scorpio won't have exclusive games: it'll play all existing Xbox One games, and only some of them will get a benefit. So why would you buy a more powerful system if it only plays a portion of the games better? Simple, because it'll play newer games better - the ones that are optimized to take advantage of the hardware boost.


So, it's not the games that are exclusive to Project Scorpio, it's the in-game performance that's exclusive to the system. This is the same for Sony's PlayStation Neo system, even if the PS4 Neo is closer to the PS4 than Project Scorpio is to the Xbox.



(Photo: iFixit)



Final Thoughts


The iterative console cycle will change everything. Console gamers will get access to new technology that will finally break the barriers locked them off from certain gaming experiences.


However, some of those barriers existed for a reason, and consoles turning more PC-like could end up being a bad thing unless console-makers handle it very, very carefully. And we all know that Microsoft and Sony aren't very careful. This could end up being a catastrophe for the industry, and trigger a mass exodus towards the PC platform.


I hope I'm wrong, but before you get too excited about upgraded consoles, remember that the industry has thrived in its current state for a reason. There's a reason people buy consoles, and Microsoft and Sony have just jeopardized that reasoning. They've changed the rules, and I hope they understand what could happen if the proverbial fan starts flinging out that proverbial brown muck.


For more information on Sony's PlayStation Neo and Microsoft's Project Scorpio consoles, check below for a massive list of everything we know about the new consoles so far:




Everything we know so far about the PlayStation 4K:


Original PS4


  • CPU: 8 Jaguar Cores at 1.6GHz
  • GPU: AMD GCN, 18 CUs at 800MHz (equivalent to Radeon HD 7850)
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR5, 176 GB/s




  • CPU: 8 Jaguar Cores at 2.1GHz
  • GPU: Improved AMD GCN, 36 CUs at 911MHz (possibly built on heavily customized Polaris10 Ellesmere?)
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR5, 218 GB/s





Everything we know so far about Project Scorpio:


Xbox One Scorpio confirmed specs:


  • 6 TFLOPs of performance
  • 320GB per second memory bandwith
  • 8 CPU Cores


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