The Xbox Project Scorpio is arguably the most powerful gaming console ever built. It boasts of incredibly impressive specs. Last month, Microsoft showed what the Scorpio development kit would look like, but it didn’t provide many details on the small LCD panel at the front. We have seen promotional images showing the LCD screen with a frame rate counter, but its real purpose was not clear at the time.

Microsoft Project Scorpio
Image Source: Microsoft Corporation (screenshot)

Will the final version of Project Scorpio have the FPS counter?

Now Jez Corden of Windows Central has posted an animated video on Twitter, which shows the LCD screen in action. It confirms that the LCD is there to show the FPS as well as the read and write speeds. It’s worth pointing out that the video does not show you a real Scorpio development kit in action. It’s just an animated render of the real thing. Jez Corden might have seen the kit in person, and then he created the animation of the original kit as he saw.

Corden says “stay tuned,” indicating that he would reveal more details in the coming days. The video suggests the Scorpio dev kit is even bigger than the Xbox One. Fortunately, consoles are refined a bit before the official launch. The frame rate can be seen holding a steady 60. But it is unclear whether Microsoft would include the FPS counter in the final consumer version of Project Scorpio.

If Microsoft keeps the FPS counter on the retail version, it would reflect the company’s confidence in its console because the company is well aware of the consequences of such a move. If the FPS drops below 60, Microsoft might find itself flooded with complaints/trolling. The real-time FPS counter will also open up the game developers to constant scrutiny.

On the plus side, the FPS counter could help Microsoft attract the PC gaming crowd. Polygon points out that the FPS counter would make users feel secure with their purchases. If someone is shelling out $500 for a console, they would like to know that it’s running at 60fps all the time. It would act as a constant reminder that the games run better on Project Scorpio than your previous console.

Windows Central has obtained images showing the level of visual boost Project Scorpio is going to offer over the Xbox One. Thanks to Scorpio’s extra GPU power, the images have been given “vastly improved textures” compared to their counterparts rendered at 4K using the Xbox One. You can check out the complete gallery here. The photos were shown to Microsoft “partners” at a private event recently.

Can external hard drives install games on Scorpio?

Yes, you can take a USB hard drive that you currently use for the Xbox One, plug it into Project Scorpio, and install the titles of your choice. Responding to a Twitter user’s query, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said players will be able to install games onto Scorpio from their external hard drives. That’s not a huge surprise considering the current Xbox One already allows game sharing.

Project Scorpio specifications were officially revealed last month by Eurogamer. It will come with six teraflops of GPU, a custom octa-core processor with 2.3GHz clock speed, 12GB GDDR RAM, 326GB/s of memory bandwidth, and 1TB of storage. It will offer true 4K resolution and support 4K HDR videos. While Microsoft has not confirmed it yet, the console is expected to offer virtual reality support.

The Scorpio’s six teraflops GPU includes 40 customized compute units at 1172Mhz. However, according to Gamasutra, the development kit has 44 compute units. The dev kit also has three front USB ports, a navigation button, and as many as five programmable buttons. Some gamers may be a bit disappointed because Scorpio is going to stick to AMD’s Jaguar class processor, the same one that powers PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Microsoft is expected to provide more information at the E3 event on June 11. Until then, we will have to rely on comments from Microsoft executives and insiders for more details. The company hasn’t revealed the price, but the rumor mill expects the Scorpio to cost $499.

Project Scorpio needs more exclusive titles to challenge PS4 Pro

Project Scorpio may be the world’s most powerful gaming console, but its eventual success would depend on the number of blockbuster exclusive titles. Sony’s PlayStation 4 has a wide range of exclusive games including the Horizon: Zero Dawn, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Bloodborne, and Persona 5. Microsoft is relying on the compatibility with older Xbox games to attract gamers.

Recently, the Halo franchise director Frank O’Connor told GamesTM that they had no plans to release anything new this holiday season. O’Connor said it would give his team an opportunity to focus “on the next big things.” Though Project Scorpio will be compatible with older Xbox games, it doesn’t guarantee they will be able to run at true 4K.

Microsoft has been lagging behind Sony in the console market for years. Project Scorpio with its beefier specs gives the Redmond company a chance to catch up with the PlayStation line. NPD analyst Mat Piscatella believes that Scorpio could help Xbox One sales surpass the PS4 this year, at least in the United States.