Microsoft apparently has its heart set on bringing 4K content into your home with its Xbox consoles, including the upcoming Xbox Scorpio.
The company has recently underlined its commitment to support native 4K content for movie playback and video games. Xbox One S owners can already use its 4K player, and it would make sense for the upcoming Xbox Scorpio to have one as well, writes Rashid Syed for Gaming Bolt.
However Microsoft executive Albert Penello refused to confirm whether or not Xbox Scorpio will have a 4K Blu-ray player. “We haven’t announced anything specifically on that. You could assume that would be our intent, but we don’t have anything specific on that,” he said during an interview.
However Penello did address the reasons for including a 4K Blue-ray player in Microsoft devices. “It largely was driven on two things: one, a personal belief in 4K,” he said. “We don’t sign up for every media format change. There has been a lot of SmartTV stuff and 3D, and they didn’t really set the world on fire. I really believe in 4K and HDR.”
That personal belief is also backed up by purchasing decisions. “I have one myself. I thought I was going to regret it. I think it’s as meaningful an upgrade as it was going from SD to HD, when you start seeing the native 4K content. And so we were just really bullish on it,” continued Penello.
From these comments it would be incredibly surprising if the Xbox Scorpio didn’t ship with a 4K Blue-ray player. In order to fit into the 4K vision, the upcoming console will need that support.
The interview also briefly addressed the issue of pricing. The Xbox Scorpio is scheduled for release in 2017, but people are already interested in how much the console will cost.
Commentators have speculated that Microsoft will slap a high price tag on the console due to its billing as a premium product. However Penello refused to give too much away.
“Well, we haven’t announced the price yet, so we’ll see,” Penello said. “It will be an interesting discussion next time we chat.”
This could mean that Microsoft executives are still debating how to price the Xbox Scorpio, or they are trying to avoid giving too much away like they did with the Xbox One.
Later in the interview Penello did address the question of technical specifications, maintaining that the Microsoft console would boast more power than the PS4 Pro. While the Sony console will have 4.2 teraflops of GPU power, the Xbox Project Scorpio will have 6 teraflops.
Penello believes that the Sony console won’t be able to produce true 4K gaming.
“I think there are a lot of caveats they’re giving customers right now around 4K,” he said. “They’re talking about checkerboard rendering and up-scaling and things like that.”
The Microsoft executive apparently believes that arch rival Sony is being slippery when it comes to promising 4K capabilities for the PS4 Pro.
“There are just a lot of asterisks in their marketing around 4K, which is interesting because when we thought about what spec we wanted for Scorpio, we were very clear we wanted developers to take their Xbox One engines and render them in native, true 4K,” said Penello. “That was why we picked the number, that’s why we have the memory bandwidth we have, that’s why we have the teraflops we have, because it’s what we heard from game developers was required to achieve native 4K.”
As it stands the Xbox Scorpio will be the most powerful games console ever made. Its 6 teraflop GPU should be enough to support 4K gaming and virtual reality.