We've finally gotten our first glimpse of what to expect from Xbox One's upcoming 'Scorpio' model, and it appears to be an impressive amount of tech stuffed into a console box. The reveal, as given by Digital Foundry, shows comparisons that are a big jump from the standard Xbox One and outpaces many of Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro specs.
By the numbers, it runs on eight custom x86 cores, clocked at 2.3 GHz as compared to 1.75GHz for the original model and 2.1GHz for the PS4 Pro. The much larger jump comes to the GPU, with 40 compute units at 1172MHz as compared to just 12 units (853MHz) in the original XBO and 36 (911MHz) in the PS Pro. It also sees a significant memory bump at 12GB GDDR5, over 8GB on both XBO and PS4 Pro. Memory Bandwidth is another significant bump, at 326GB/s versus the Xbox One and PS4 which both hovered at a max between 204-219GB/s.
The real technical prowess seems to be in the amount of customization and optimization behind the new machine. Microsoft made a custom GPU engineered specifically for high-performance, and it shows in the stress test with Forza Motorsport put together by Turn 10. Microsoft has used Forza to show off its hardware before, and in this case it hit native 4K at 60 FPS. The team also remarked that it could push ForzaTech to PC ultra settings and still only hit 88% of GPU utilization.
In a separate piece, Digital Foundry explored its comparisons to PC architecture, and concluded that the various efficiency optimizations make it compare well against equivalent PC parts. Ultimately it suggested that PC games will need to learn to more efficiently run at 4K to bring down GPU costs, and it expects Scorpio to help push the industry in that direction.
On the whole it stacks up very favorably to other consoles, and even well against high-end PCs thanks to all the work that went into optimizing it as a gaming performance machine. That leaves the question of its price tag. Microsoft called it a "premium" system, so we can expect that to be reflected in the price tag. It will very likely come in above the PlayStation Pro's MSRP of $399, and could even be nearer to $500.
We're sure to see more from Scorpio, including its price tag and how Microsoft plans to take advantage of its power for this fall's line-up, at E3.