Is Project Scorpio just an up-res’d Xbox One? New details from Microsoft

No downsampling in graphical quality, but no better frame rate either for Microsoft's upcoming Scorpio console.

No downsampling in graphical quality, but no better frame rate either for Microsoft's upcoming Scorpio console.

At E3 2016, Microsoft announced Project Scorpio, a new console planning to release during 2017’s holiday season. New details have arrived from a Gameinformer interview with Microsoft Studios General Manager Shannon Loftis, including some information surrounding the performance quality of the console.

First, Loftis mentions how the Scorpio will be able to support 4K resolution games, meaning the upcoming console’s hardware allows for a better visual quality than the Xbox One’s 1080p.

In detail, she notes:

We want to talk about Scorpio now to give game developers the heads-up…Games that are shipping now can do a couple of small things to give us a free upgrade when Scorpio comes out. If you implement dynamic scaling now, it will just look better on Scorpio. The other thing is to signal to all game developers that true 4K gaming is coming. Typically what happens is almost every game is created in natively 4K or better and then you downsample to fit the specs of the output device. There won’t be any downsampling for Xbox Scorpio.

However, the interviewer also asks about frame rate comparisons between the Xbox One and Scorpio, and she replies:

No, there wouldn’t be a frame rate difference, because typically the frame rate is determined by the game developer and what’s right for the gameplay mechanic…You don’t necessarily want to create two different mechanics for two different configurations.

For more clarification, she adds:

…A good example is Killer Instinct, which is cross-play on PC and Xbox One. We have locked the frame rate to 60 frames per second…We could do better on super high end PCs, but that ruins the competitive nature of it.”

So Microsoft chose to keep the Xbox One and Project Scorpio frame rate to be the same, while upgrading the Scorpio’s maximum playable resolution? Then what about Scorpio exclusives?

We don’t really think of games as ‘Scorpio games’ per se…We think of them as Xbox One games that may take advantage of the 4K rendering abilities of Scorpio. If you put a 4K game in a non-4K box it’s going to render at 1080p. It will still look beautiful. Same with HDR. That will all work correctly.

As one of her final notes, Loftis states that there is no definite price tag for Project Scorpio as of yet, but it will be considered as a “more premium piece of hardware”.

You can view the Project Scorpio teaser here:

What are your thoughts about Project Scorpio? Do you agree with Microsoft’s decision to keep Project Scorpio’s frame rate the same as the Xbox One? Please leave a comment below!

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