Microsoft has unveiled the specs for its new Xbox, code-named Project Scorpio, and it looks like its going to be quite the beast. I could tell you about the power, teraflops, CPU and other technical jargon that I know very little about, but it has already been copied and pasted on every gaming site on the net. I’m going to skip that and tell you why I’m excited and how I am going to play this monster later this year. Here’s what you’ll need to know (and buy) to make the most out of your new Scorpio.
Project Scorpio – Where to Start
I’m going to start with the fact that I am a gamer at heart. I enjoy all games, no matter the platform. As for current generation consoles, I own both versions of the PS4, the standard and the Pro. I also own both versions of the Xbox One, a day one version and a newer “S” model. I’m an enthusiast and am constantly looking for more and improved ways to absorb my gaming media.
I have always enjoyed the Xbox platform and its games, especially the big three: Halo, Gears of War, and Forza. Though I spend more time gaming on Xbox than PS4, it has always been clear that the PS4 is a step ahead of the Xbox One in both speed and graphics. With the introduction of the PS4 Pro, that gap has been widened. The PS4 has had an incredible year so far with one great exclusive being released after another, with the Pro being there to display them on your screen in beautiful (checker boarded) 4K or 1080P locked at max frame rates of either 30 or 60 FPS (depending on the game).
The Xbox One is usually limited to around 900P. You know all about the PS4/PS4 Pro, though, and I’m here to tell you why Project Scorpio is going to be awesome and why I’m picking mine up on day one.
What’s in a PC?
I have always been intrigued by PC gaming, but like I said, I know very little about what goes in to making a console or PC powerful enough to run the games I like. I want to be able to play games in stunning 4K at 60 frames per second, the glorious “ULTRA” settings, but just have never known where to begin. So, for me, trying to assemble a gaming PC with the minute amount of knowledge I have has never really been an option.
Enter “Project Scorpio.” For the first time, I will be able to get those wicked ultra graphics settings, or close to it, with a Microsoft console that I can pick up at my local electronics store. No extra knowledge needed, no shopping around for parts and no assembly required. According to Microsoft and Digital Foundry, the Scorpio will have more than enough power to run my games at a native 4K resolution and locked 60 frames per second without breaking a sweat. As a matter of fact, Digital Foundry witnessed the console running a version of Forza Motorsport 6 at 4K/60FPS and only needing to utilize 66% of the system’s power. Yeah, its a beast.
Power? Check! Where Are The Games?
If there is one area that Sony has really been exceeding in this year, it’s been exclusive games. Project Scorpio will pack quite the punch, but it will need to follow that punch up with a thunderous roundhouse kick in the form of new games and content. The new console will have enough juice to make all your current games look, run and sound better, especially first party titles such as Halo 5, Gears of War 4 and Forza Horizon 3.
Shooters like Halo 5 and DOOM have scaling resolution, which means they keep the picture quality low enough to maintain solid 60 FPS gameplay. This results in the highest resolution usually falling in the 800-900P range. With the Scorpio, they will be able to maintain that 60 FPS mark while also getting a boost to maximum resolution, which will most likely be 1080P and up. Other popular games with scaling resolution include Mass Effect: Andromeda, Overwatch, Battlefield 4, Battlefield One, Tomb Raider and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, just to name a handful. Long story short: Your current catalog of favorite games will look and play vastly better on Project Scorpio.
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What We Do Know
What new offerings will Microsoft have in store? No one will know for sure until E3, although we have a decent idea. I expect to see the (now yearly) release of a Forza title along with new games such as Sea of Theives, Crackdown 3, Cuphead and State of Decay 2, all exclusive to Xbox One. There will be several new amazing third party titles coming in around the holiday season this year. Middle Earth: Shadow of War, Destiny 2, Star Wars Battlefront 2, a WW2-themed Call of Duty (rumored), a new Need for Speed, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite are all new titles that will look and play the best on Project Scorpio.
I’m not telling you to go out and buy a Scorpio day one, or even at all. If your current Xbox One or PS4/PS4 Pro does it for you, right on then. I’m just letting you, the reader, know why I will be getting it day one and that there will be many, many games to enjoy in the best way on that day.
Ok I’m In, But What Do I Need?
You will need a Scorpio console, a television, and a place to plant your rear end! Ok, I’ll be a little more specific. You most likely have some type of high definition display, probably 1080P, maybe 4K. A good 1080P monitor or TV will be just fine, as the Scorpio will down-sample the 4K image to your 1080P screen. What this means is that while you may not get a 4K picture, all the upgraded information will still be on the screen. Things like smoother textures, less screen tear, better anti-aliasing, more particle effects, higher locked frame rates and faster loading times will all make your game look and perform better even without making the jump to a newer 4K TV.
If you are like me though, then you see the new console as a good reason (or excuse) to upgrade to a 4K display. Personally, I will be shopping for a TV for my office where I will be doing a majority of my gaming along with other work for MulehornGaming.com. I am going to be picking up something from LG or Samsung in the 40″-43″ range, although Sony and Vizio make great gaming TVs as well. For Ultra HD gaming you will want a 4K display with at least a 120 MHz refresh rate and HDR, more specifically the version known as HDR-10, which is the version currently supported by the PS4 Pro, Xbox One S and the upcoming Project Scorpio.
The console will come with a standard high speed HDMI cable, but if I’m already opening up my wallet for this thing, I’m going to shell out a few more bucks for a nice gold-tipped braided HDMI cable just to make sure I get every ounce of that power to the screen. Like the Xbox One S, the Scorpio will not have a port for the Kinect, so if you plan to stream video directly from your console, you will probably need the $40 adapter from Microsoft.
Everything else after that is up to your own taste and budget. Shop around and find what works best for your own setup. Amazon usually has the best deals on TVs and accessories and free shipping if you have Prime, so I’d start there.
Lets Have Fun!
I can’t wait to get my hands on Project Scorpio later this year. I truly believe it’s going to be a big leap forward and set the bar for what a game console can do. I’m excited to see where the technology goes and what will be possible with the newfound power in an Xbox on my TV. With all that said, don’t forget that gaming is really about having fun, no matter what console you are on. So, go buy a Scorpio, a PS4 Pro or even build a monster gaming PC! Play what you love and play where your friends are.
This is an amazing time to be a gamer and competition between the brands only makes them push each other harder and make their hardware and software better! Whether you’re a loyal, true-blue fan of PS4 or you bleed green for Xbox, think about supporting the other guy and being excited about all the new stuff coming out. Down the line, it’ll only lead to more improvements and good times. This has been JohnnyCaged85 telling you to go buy stuff and have fun, and you can find me on both Xbox Live and PSN. Feel free to add me as a friend, I’m always open for an enthusiastic chat about games! And remember… When in doubt, BLOW IT UP!