What to Expect from the Xbox Scorpio

We’ve still got some ways to go before the Xbox Scorpio hits shelves next year. Of course, that doesn’t stop Xbox lovers and fanboys from comparing the upcoming upgrade from the Xbox One to the recently released upgrade from the PS4 (PS4 Pro).

As a huge gaming fan and a diehard PlayStation fanboy, it is my esteemed honor to hop right on this bandwagon. I’ll admit I haven’t gamed in way too long because I’ve been busy adulting for the past two years. But 2017 is the year I brush the dust off these old gamer bones.

Both Sony and Microsoft claim that these consoles (PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio) aren’t meant to be replacements for the current models. They’re merely supposed to be a high-end variation for people out there who feel like the upgraded consoles offer a little something that’s missing from their Xbox One or PS4.

Or maybe you’re just sitting on a mountain of cash and feel the need to put some of that paper to use. By the way, if you’re wondering why I haven’t included any epic images of the Xbox Scorpio, it’s because they don’t seem to currently exist.

Why I bothered to write this

The point of this article is to highlight some facts about the Xbox Scorpio that might help Xbox fans decide whether they should buy the console once it’s released. Also, I’d like to take the opportunity to reminisce on the console wars and compare the Scorpio to the PS4 Pro.

At least based on everything we know about Microsoft’s new baby so far.

So, if that clears things up a bit, let’s get right into it.

Should you buy the Xbox Scorpio?

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This is the big question. If you’re a longtime fan of the Xbox, buying the Scorpio might seem like a no-brainer. But there might be more making this decision than you think—at least initially.

First off, if you’re thinking the Scorpio is the heir to the Xbox dynasty, you’re mistaken. At least, according to the team over at Microsoft. The Scorpio is essentially a ‘high end’ variety of the console.

In other words, if you’re completely satisfied with your Xbox One, but love Microsoft so much that you’d waste your money – then, by all means, purchase it.

Don’t have a heart attack. I’m not saying there are ZERO differences between the Scorpio and its predecessor. I’ll get into that in a bit.

All the same titles

Yes, all the top Xbox One games will feel right at home in the Xbox Scorpio. However, developers can make exclusives for the Xbox Scorpio if they want to. Microsoft seems to be pushing to have ALL games be compatible with both systems.

At the end of the day, the ball’s in the developers’ court.

If there will turn out to be a bunch of Scorpio exclusives, don’t expect to see that until around 2019. That is if you ever see them.

The fact that Microsoft is steering away from the whole ‘exclusive’ ordeal does support their claim that their new baby isn’t a replacement for their old one.

More power for your money

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I mentioned that there are differences between the Xbox One and Xbox Scorpio. A lot of that difference lies in the power. If you’re all about the technical side of gaming, you know, you need the quality of a character’s shadow to be perfect and feel your heart skip a beat every time a blade of grass dances in a gentle breeze, then you might like the sound of this.

If you’re tired of developers not being able to deliver 1080p at 60fps on each and every title and settling instead for 900p at 30fps or 900p at 60fps, I imagine you might be ecstatic.

The Xbox Scorpio will (according to Microsoft) see a lot more games flaunting 1080p display at 60fps. As in, actual 60fps this time. Typically, Xbox One games would give you about 900p at 30fps.

Happy with your Xbox One? Then keep in mind that you’ll be paying for in the Xbox Scorpio is higher resolution. Games will run anywhere between 1080p to 4k depending on the title. So if you don’t even own a 4k TV hold your horses.

 

Why so soon?

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If you’ve been gaming for as long as I have (since the early 90s) — and no, I’m that not that old, I’ve just been gaming for as long as my motor skills would enable me to hold a controller — then you’ll find it weird that Microsoft and Sony decided to release these new versions of their consoles so soon. It’s  against tradition. Their reasons actually have a lot to do with what we discussed about the Scorpio’s power specs.

4k resolution

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Manufacturers have been pulling no punches when cranking out those ultra-high definition televisions. Naturally, console users can come down with a bad case of sour grapes because of this. Why? Because both consoles (Xbox One and PS4) are only able to output 1080p and 4k at frame rates so slow it defeats the purpose.

Sony and Microsoft had to go back to the lab and cook something up in order to stay in the technology race.

Thank you, VR Gaming

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So, while the whole ultra-high resolution televisions thing is a big reason for these consoles hitting shelves sooner that we’d expect, that’s not the only reason. Virtual reality gaming has the tech giants on their toes too. And it’s to be expected that VR will have a HUGE impact on gaming in 2017. I mean, have you taken a look around these days? VR is everywhere.

Sony has noticed and decided to buy a ticket for the VR hype train straight away. Xbox, though, is a bit more conservative. They prefer to wait until the whole VR thing is a lot more mainstream.

Xbox Scorpio VS PS4

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4k gaming department

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Xbox Scorpio won’t exactly be arriving soon, but we’ve already got confirmation that it will have a 4k Blu-ray drive. Sony chose not to go that route, and consider it ‘unimportant’ to the potential of 4k gaming. That’s interesting because it shows us there are more than one ways to skin a cat. Or in this case, more than one ways to achieve 4k high definition gaming.

Processors and RAM

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Honestly, there isn’t much known about the processor of the Scorpio. I know what you’re thinking, ‘why didn’t I just wait a few more months to write this article’. I got excited, sue me.

What I can tell you is that Phil Spencer (head of Xbox) has revealed that the Xbox Scorpio will pack an 8 core unit. And should flaunt as much power as a high-end PC. If you take a look at their website, you’ll see they’re really excited to talk about the Xbox Scorpio’s supposed 6 teraflops of power.

Of course, we know way more about the PS4 Pro. When you get into the specs of this console, it becomes alarmingly obvious that the tech giant had no intentions of replacing their old baby (the PS4) with their new baby (the PS4 Pro). Perhaps next year we’ll be saying the same about the Xbox Scorpio once all the details are available.

The PS4 packs an 8 core AMD Jaguar CPU—same as its predecessors. Its CPU speed is 2.1 GHz and it offers 8 GB of GDDR5 RAM. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s pretty much the same as the previous model, so no—you’re not crazy. Both models share identical data transfer rates at 216 GPS.

On the PS4 we were getting 800 Mhz; on the PS4 Pro, it’s up to 911 Mhz. Hardly a huge leap, but it is noticeable.

Virtual Reality

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According to Phil Spencer, Microsoft is a bit iffy about how they’ll go about the whole VR gaming thing. Rest assured the Xbox Scorpio is VR-ready. The best fans can hope for is that the console will be compatible with systems like the Oculus Rift.

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The PS4 Pro is almost a different case entirely. VR gaming is one of the main reasons the console even exists. Seeing as the previous model wasn’t up to scratch in the VR department, Sony went back to the drawing board to make up for it.

A rash move, but technology (like time) waits for no man. And if they want to keep our hearts happy, it makes sense to move with the wave.

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Unfortunately, (and it breaks my heart to admit it) the Pro isn’t necessarily your best bet for a great VR experience. Not when you compare it to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Honestly, I could care less personally. That won’t stop me from paying a visit to Sony fanboy La La land.  Just thought that’s something you should know.

Conclusion

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If you find yourself disappointed that the Scorpio isn’t exactly a next-gen console, look on the bright side. Aaron Greenberg (head of Xbox games marketing) has expressed that they are working towards a future WITHOUT console generations.

If you’re curious as to what route Microsoft will take with the VR headsets, you’re not alone.

Of course, on the Sony side of things, VR isn’t nearly as mysterious.

PlayStation VR may not have all the pizazz of the HTC Vive and what have you—but Sony’s come a long way and I love it. Will the Xbox Scorpio impress? Probably. Will it outshine the PS4 Pro? I don’t know.

One thing’s for sure—2017 will be an interesting year for gaming!

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