Microsoft has been working on the Xbox Project Scorpio for more than a year. The console was announced at the E3 event last year. It’s almost time to show off the world’s “most powerful console ever” to the world. The software giant is expected to unveil the console at the E3 event this Sunday. The console is code named Project Scorpio, but its official name will be revealed only at the time of unveiling.

Microsoft Xbox Project Scorpio Trademark
Image Source: EUIPO / Microsoft Corporation (screenshot)

Is this the Project Scorpio logo?

Ahead of the E3 press briefing, Microsoft has filed trademarks for a mysterious “S” logo in Europe. Is Microsoft going to stick to the Scorpio branding for its most powerful console? It’s too early to say, but the trademark may indeed be for the console itself. The logo was first discovered by a NeoGAF community member, and the application is still under examination.

Microsoft registered the filing with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The filing says that the “S” logo is related to “computer game software for use with personal computers and video game consoles” and “video game consoles for use with an external display screen monitor, video game interactive remote control units.” It indicates that the trademark could be for the Project Scorpio console, though there is also a possibility of it being related to a new Xbox game.

The trademark was filed on Monday, June 5, just days before the E3 briefing. The Redmond giant’s Surface Studio naming was also spotted in a trademark filing right before its debut. Microsoft has already allowed developers to get their hands on the Project Scorpio dev kit, but it has maintained secrecy around the retail version.

Get to know the Scorpio dev kit

Just days before the E3 show, the company released a video teasing the dev kit. Xbox engineer Kevin Gammill reveals in the video that the dev kits look different from the retail version of the console. Gammill explains the new features included in the developer version that would help developers make games for the console. The dev kit was built after receiving inputs from developers.

The Project Scorpio dev kit has more powerful specs than the consumer version. The dev kit includes a display, which is unlikely to be added to the retail version. It has a network card for debugging information and three front USB ports. The dev kits pack four more control units in the CPU, a faster graphics processor, an additional 12GB RAM (total RAM 24GB), and an extra 1TB SSD drive along with the retail console’s 1TB HDD.

The additional specs would allow developers to make their games faster and then optimize for the console’s abilities. The dev kit has a stackable design with vents placed on the sides, allowing game developers to stack the units on top of each other. Microsoft’s exclusive gaming library still lags behind that of Sony’s PlayStation. The company is hoping the Scorpio would help attract more developers.

Project Scorpio specs

At E3, Microsoft has traditionally focused on software. The company didn’t want the Project Scorpio to take up all the time and attention at this year’s E3 show. So, it invited Eurogamer’s Digital Laundry in April to check out the console and reveal its specifications to the outer world. During the Sunday briefing, the company is expected to talk about both the Project Scorpio and new games.

Xbox head Phil Spencer told fans last month that the Scorpio development was progressing as expected. The consumer version of the console would feature six teraflops of graphics processing power, an octa-core processor with 2.3GHz clock speed, true 4K resolution, 1TB of built-in storage, and 12GB GDDR RAM. The console will be compatible with existing Xbox games as well. Spencer has also revealed that you will be able to install games onto the Project Scorpio from external hard drives.

Microsoft takes note of Nintendo Switch’s success

The Scorpio unveiling will take place at a time when the hybrid Nintendo Switch console has become a rage worldwide. It is flying off the shelves, and Nintendo was recently forced to double the production capacity to meet the consumer demand. Microsoft has taken note of the Switch’s phenomenal success because it may end up stealing some buyers away from the Project Scorpio, even though the Switch targets a different market than the Scorpio.

A few days ago, Microsoft put up a survey in its Xbox Live Rewards program, asking participants what they like and don’t like about Nintendo Switch. The survey also included questions about PlayStation 4 Pro, Project Scorpio, and Nintendo SNES Classic Edition. The Redmond-based company is keen to figure out why millions of people are willing to pay above the standard price to get their hands on the Nintendo Switch.

Project Scorpio price and release date

The Scorpio would go on sale in time for the holiday shopping season. Microsoft recently indicated that the console would be launched in China around the same time as the US, reflecting the growing importance of the Chinese market for the company.

It is unclear how much the Project Scorpio would cost. Considering it will be the world’s most powerful console, it may cost more than the PS4 Pro. Sources close to Microsoft Studios told SegmentNext that the console would be priced below $500, though they didn’t reveal the specific price. Microsoft has said previously that the console is for the premium segment. It’s for people who play the most games and buy the most titles.