Today is a big day for those who are interested in the technical aspects of Project Scorpio. Microsoft’s next console is coming later this year and gradually we are learning more about it. After reading and watching Eurogamer’s comprehensive coverage of Project Scorpio, I’m convinced of the system’s potential impact on making games better, but am still confronted with the stark reality that Scorpio’s potential won’t be experienced possibly for years.
First and foremost, it is clear that Microsoft is keeping its promise with what is inside of Project Scorpio. Technically speaking, all that was promised at E3 2016 last year is going to be in the console when it ships. Consistency may have been something you expected, but it wasn’t for me. Given the nature and volatility of game development, late alone hardware development, it wouldn’t have been surprising to hear a change. This is a positive checkmark for Project Scorpio in my eyes.
Next, those who want to know if Scorpio surpasses PS4 Pro’s power, well it does. This is strictly from a hardware, pen on paper perspective, though. We will not know exactly how games differ between Pro and Scorpio until we start seeing games running on them. Additionally, third party developers will likely be an indicator of what multi-platform games can do on each system.
All of this said though, first party developers like Naughty Dog (Sony first party studio), Santa Monica (Sony first party studio), The Coalition (Microsoft first party studio) and 343 Industries will create experiences that best leverage their respective hardware. Who ultimately takes the most advantage of its hardware with the experiences they create? I expect games on each console to be quite comparable. This will be a positive stride toward eliminating the Sony versus Microsoft narrative.
Another key aspect of Project Scorpio will be how it improves existing Xbox One and Xbox 360 games. Games will apparently have better performance, i.e. frame rates running more consistently at its target rate. Maximum resolution will be possible, meaning games will run more consistently at a higher resolution. These are two visual checkmarks many gamers are concerned with, and the more games that have consistent performance, the better.
Texture filtering is going to be better on Project Scoprio, meaning details you see on a street will be far more precise and clear than before. Images will be richer in quality as well. GameDVR will work for backwards compatibility titles. Folks will be able to acquire better game captures, with those checking in at 1080p. However, 4K captures will not be a reality. Finally, loading times will be shorter for games running on Scorpio.
The improvements for existing Xbox One and Xbox 360 games are nice. Everything seems to be pointing toward an overall improved gaming experience. However, just how much will you notice differences when you play games on Scorpio versus Xbox One? How valuable is that difference to you?
This is a very brief overview of what I take away from today’s Project Scorpio reveal. Microsoft is doing what they said they would do. Backwards compatibility games seem like they will run visibly better than on Xbox One. Project Scorpio is more powerful than PS4 Pro, whatever that’s worth to you. Games performances, new or existing, on an overall basis will run more consistently than on Xbox One.
Some questions that remain are what games will come to the system at launch? Exactly how much better looking or performing will games be on Project Scorpio? Are those differences tangible enough to warrant a purchase? Do they also justify purchasing a new TV to support Scorpio? Will there ever come a day when Project Scorpio exclusive games are made?
Today is a positive step toward the launch of Project Scorpio. However, I’m still skeptical about if/when Project Scorpio’s benefits will make throwing down hundreds of dollars for the system actually worth it. How will Microsoft try to convince us of that at E3 2017? Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Project Scorpio.
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