The gaming world is abuzz with Microsoft’s upcoming Project Scorpio, the world’s most powerful gaming console. The Redmond-based company teased the console at E3 last year, and listed on its official store earlier this month. Project Scorpio’s 4K capabilities, virtual reality support, and powerhouse performance may attract a lot of customers. But what could deter potential buyers is its price.

Microsoft Project Scorpio
Image Source: Microsoft Corporation (screenshot)

It may cost around $700

Last month, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said in an episode of IGN’s Unlocked podcast that Scorpio won’t be for everyone. It’s a console designed with a premium look and feel, so you can expect it to have a premium price tag. The console is aimed at people who buy the most games and spend the most hours. The fact that Phil Spencer expects the current Xbox One S to sell better than Project Scorpio suggests that it will be out of the reach of most gamers.

Microsoft hasn’t officially announced its price, but some experts have tried to come up with an estimated price tag based on its rumored features and specs. Recently, sources familiar with the matter told Windows Central that the Scorpio would offer native 4K gameplay and streaming. HD Report speculates that such an advanced technology would alone push the console’s price to $400.

HD Report says it is safe to assume that Project Scorpio would be more expensive than Sony’s PS4 Pro, which retails for $399. Scorpio will be far more powerful than Sony’s console. The publication says the PC equivalent of PS4 Pro costs nearly $700. And Scorpio’s PC equivalent is estimated to retail for about $1,500, indicating that Scorpio could cost at least $700.

Project Scorpio features and specs

Scorpio will have an eight-core processor and a graphics card with six teraflops of processing power. The device is said to have 320GB/second of memory bandwidth. Sources confirmed to Windows Central earlier this month that the new console would have an internal power supply unit. Scorpio would feature 4K 60fps video capture. It is said to have the same HEVC and VP9 codecs for 4K streams as the Xbox One S.

Microsoft announced earlier this month that it would bring mixed reality content to Project Scorpio and Xbox One in 2018. The company is expected to provide more details about its MR plans at the Build conference in May. Mixed reality is different from virtual reality in the sense that it involves scanning a real-life object and putting it into virtual reality. The console will also support high-fidelity VR.

Microsoft updating first-party titles for Scorpio

Microsoft’s next-gen gaming console will be fully compatible with existing Xbox One games. During a Q&A session, Phil Spencer reiterated the importance of first-party games for Project Scorpio launch. However, it is not yet clear whether there will be any exclusive titles for Scorpio. A Microsoft spokesperson recently said it was “up to developers” to decide whether they want to make exclusive titles for Scorpio.

Spencer said having first-party games “ready for Scorpio is critical.” It makes sense for the software giant to update its first-party titles to take full advantage of Project Scorpio’s capabilities. Third-party games from Electronic Arts and Bethesda are also expected to be updated for Scorpio, considering the Scorpio announcement trailer released at E3 2016 featured developers from these companies.

Will Project Scorpio launch in November?

Besides supporting existing Xbox One games, Scorpio will also support the existing accessories and controllers. Microsoft is expected to announce the next-gen console at the E3 event. However, Phil Spencer recently signaled that there might be a special event dedicated to Scorpio before E3. Spencer said Microsoft has traditionally kept its E3 show for software, so it wouldn’t want the hardware to steal all the limelight from software at the event.

The Redmond company is likely to announce the console at a special event, and then discuss it further at E3. Microsoft hasn’t yet announced a release date for the console. All we know at this point is that it will hit the stores ahead of the holiday shopping season. The company has launched its previous consoles around November. Unless there is an unexpected delay, Microsoft is likely to bring the console in or around November this year.

Earlier this month, Microsoft put the product on its official store. The product listing does not provide any new details, but it has a signup box where you can enter your email address to receive an update when Project Scorpio becomes available.