The Project Scorpio is no longer Project Scorpio. It’s now Microsoft Xbox One X. After dropping hints in its teaser videos ahead of the E3 show, Microsoft officially unveiled the world’s most powerful gaming console on Sunday. The software giant had revealed the console’s specs via Digital Foundry in April, but it had managed to keep the design, price, and some other details a secret until the E3 press briefing.
At the E3, Microsoft announced Project Scorpio would officially be called Xbox One X, which some said was like a tongue-twister. The world’s most powerful console looks a lot like last year’s Xbox One S. It is a successor to both the 2013 Xbox One and the 2016 Xbox One S. Here’s all you need to know about Microsoft’s latest and greatest gaming console.
Microsoft Xbox One X: Design
The 2016 Xbox One S was about 40% smaller than the original Xbox One. Briefing the media at E3, Xbox chief Phil Spencer claimed the new One X was the smallest console Microsoft has ever designed. In terms of design, it is similar to the Xbox One S, though it’s slightly smaller. The launch version of the console will be available in matte black color only. Spencer didn’t reveal whether there would be more color options in the future.
Some Xbox fans might be disappointed that the Xbox One X has the same old design as its predecessor. The Project Scorpio dev kits that Microsoft had made available to developers earlier this year featured physical buttons, an OLED display, and a real-time clock. The consumer version lacks these features. It’s impressive how Microsoft managed to pack so much power in a form factor smaller than the Xbox One S.
The Xbox One X is 5mm shorter and has a volume 90 cubic centimeters less than the Xbox One S. The new console is 60mm thick compared to One S’s 65mm thickness. However, it is 5mm wider than the last year’s model. The One X weighs 8.4 pounds, which makes it significantly heavier than the Xbox One S (6.4 pounds).
Just like Xbox One S, it has an internal power supply unit. It has a front USB port, two rear USB ports, an HDMI-port, Ethernet, and S/PDIF digital audio. Microsoft is using the same controller like the Xbox One S. The controllers had received a minor upgrade last year.
Microsoft Xbox One X: Technical specs
The Xbox One X will ship with six teraflops of graphics power, a custom eight-core processor with a clock speed of 2.3GHz, 12GB GDDR4 RAM, 1TB internal storage, and 326GB/s of memory bandwidth. Of the 12GB RAM, 9GB is dedicated to games while the other 3GB is reserved for the system. It will also offer an Ultra HD Blu-ray drive for 4K entertainment.
The custom GPU engine powering the Xbox One X runs at an impressive 1172MHz. By comparison, the current Xbox One S runs at 853MHz and Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro runs at 911MHz. It allows gamers to capture 4K videos at 60 frames per second (fps). The console also offers support for Premium Dolby Atmos and HDR. The Xbox One X includes a liquid-cooled vapor chamber cooling technology, similar to the one used on high-end PC gaming cards such as GTX 1080.
Microsoft announced that the Xbox One X would use super sampling to enhance visuals on 1080p displays. It means the games are going to look better and load faster even on 1080p TVs. You don’t necessarily need a 4K-ready monitor to play games on Xbox One X. If you have a 4K display, you’ll be able to enjoy true 4K UHD playback.
All the existing Xbox One games and accessories will be compatible with the Xbox One X. The Xbox One games will also have significant visual improvements on the new console. Compared to the Xbox One, the latest console offers more than 4x increase in graphics capability, a 50% increase in RAM, and a 31% jump in processing speed.
What about virtual reality?
Sony’s PlayStation VR has received a positive response from consumers. The Japanese company said a few days ago that it had sold more than one million units of PlayStation VR since its launch in October last year. Microsoft tried to avoid talking about VR at the E3 show, disappointing fans who anticipated a VR headset launch. The company said earlier this year that VR content would come to the Project Scorpio/Xbox One X in 2018.
Microsoft is currently focused on “mixed reality” headsets. The headsets will be manufactured by third-party hardware vendors such as Dell, HP, and Acer. It is expected to cost less than the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Alex Kipman, a technical fellow at Microsoft, recently told Polygon that the company was planning to introduce wireless VR to its consoles.
Microsoft Xbox One X: Gaming library
Microsoft announced 42 gaming titles for the Xbox One X, Xbox One S, and Xbox One at the E3 event. Of them, 22 are “console launch exclusives” that would arrive on the Xbox One X. However, these 22 games would not be exclusive to the new console. As Forbes speculates, they would be made available on other consoles in the future.
The launch titles include Forza Motorsport 7, Crackdown 3, and the Sea of Thieves. Microsoft said Forza Motorsport 7 was set to debut on October 3rd. Despite 42 new titles, Microsoft still suffers from the shortage of must-have exclusive titles. Sony’s PlayStation has a huge library of exclusive titles. Many games available on Xbox are also available on PlayStation.
The Xbox One X will have to rely on its ability to offer the best experience while playing popular third-party games to attract buyers. This is the main reason Sony is not scared of Microsoft’s greatest console. Sony executives told Business Insider recently that everything boils down to gaming titles, where the Japanese company has the upper hand.
Xbox One X: Price and release date
The Xbox One X was never expected to be cheap. Even before its launch, many experts predicted it to cost around $500. Microsoft has made the pricing official. The console would cost $499 compared to the PS4 Pro’s $399. Internationally, it has been priced at £449 in the UK, 499 euros in Europe, AUD 649 in Australia, and CAD 599 in Canada.
The console would officially hit the store shelves on November 7. Given its powerful specs, the Microsoft Xbox One X would also be competing with mid- to high-end PC gaming rigs. IHS Technology analyst Piers Harding-Rolls told BBC that the new console is targeting the early-adopting Xbox fans, the “console gamers that want the best device.” Its backward compatibility with existing Xbox games means the Xbox One X would appeal to hardcore fans.