Project Scorpio Specs Announced

Microsoft has revealed fresh new tech specs about its upcoming upgraded Xbox One console, Project Scorpio.

According to a new report from Digital Foundry, the console’s specs are beyond what we’ve seen in the current console generation. Scorpio was able to run a Forza Motorsport demo at 60 FPS in seemingly native 4K, with graphical settings at an “Xbox One-equivalent” level. In terms of specs, the console boastsa 1 TB hard drive, as well as 12 GB of GGDR5 memory–the same type of RAM contained in the PlayStation 4, though Sony‘s device only contains 8 GB.

That 12 GB is split into two portions: 8 GB is accessible to developers, while 4 GB is reserved for system use. That’s an increase over Xbox One’s 8 GB overall memory, which was split the same way into portions of 5 GB and 3 GB, while GGDR5 represents a speed increase over Xbox One’s DDR3 RAM. Digital Foundry–which was shared this information by Microsoft itself–says Scorpio will run all Xbox One games “better,” whether they’re patched for the new console or not. This is because the console uses no emulation–Xbox One games will run natively using the system’s internal power.

Combined with a faster CPU, the result is a more stable or higher frame rate, no screen tearing, and faster load times. All of that is also reportedly true for backwards-compatible Xbox 360 games, even though changes in hardware between Xbox One and Project Scorpio mean Microsoft has had to go through each backwards-compatible Xbox 360 game individually to make them run on Scorpio.

The site says Scorpio’s internal design brief was to scale existing titles up to 4K–and this latest batch of information suggests Microsoft has succeeded. it should be noted, however, that the demo only contained one test version of an unconfirmed Forza game–though the build apparently was built using the same tech used to make Forza Motorsport 6. Additionally, titles that were originally 30 FPS will not go over that unless patched to do so, while the level of optimization seen in all titles could vary.

Users who own 1080p televisions will still be catered for, too: “ultra HD-rendering should super-sample down for those 1080p displays,” says the site, meaning games should look sharper, even if you don’t own a 4K set. Although no price has officially been confirmed, Digital Foundry and Eurogamer estimate from the specs they’ve seen that the console will cost US $499–the same price as the Xbox One at launch.

We already knew that Scorpio will boast six teraflops of performance–including 320 GB/s memory bandwidth and eight CPU cores–though the console will differ from Xbox One by reportedly not containing ESRAM. Microsoft says Scorpio is the most powerful console ever made and that it will be more powerful than the PlayStation 4 Pro, which came out last year. It will still support Xbox One games, controllers, and accessories.

The new console is due to launch this holiday, but it remains to be seen when Microsoft will start to officially show it off in more detail. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said he is unsure if Microsoft will show off Project Scorpio before E3 in June, while also stating recently that he thinks it’s “critical” for first-party games to be ready for the system’s launch.

 

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PlayStation Now Bringing PS4 Games To PC

What a time to be alive.

Sony is making it to possibly get PlayStation 4 exclusives like Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us Remastered on your PC. The PS4 is bringing it’s game catalog to its streaming game service PlayStation Now, the company said today in a blog post. The announcement is light on details, but we know that every game in the service, including PS4 games, will be part of a single PS Now subscription.

Last month, Sony said it’s dropping PS Now support on every platform except PC and PS4, so it can focus on building a better user experience. That list includes the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV, Sony Bravia TVs, Samsung smart TVs and Sony Blu-ray players. The service will stop functioning on those platforms on August 15th.

This move seems like a rebuttal after Microsoft unveiled its own “Netflix-for-games” service called Xbox Game Pass, which offers about 100 titles from the Xbox 360 and Xbox One libraries for $10 a month. Unlike PS Now, it lets you download and install games onto your hard drive. It will launch sometime in spring.

 

More Info For The Xbox Game Pass

Earlier today, Xbox gave a few more details to the Game Pass they announced yesterday morning.

Xbox Game Pass will only have a month-by-month subscription option available, priced at $10. The similar EA Access program is offered for $5/month or $30/year. Additionally, Xbox Game Pass can be shared as part of Xbox One’s home-sharing policy.

A beta version of Xbox Game Pass is currently available on Xbox One for testers. The service is expected to launch for all Xbox One owners this spring, though a specific date hasn’t been announced.

There will more than 100 games in the Xbox Game Pass library with 10 confirmed titles already, including Halo 5, Fable III, and Payday 2, spread across Xbox One titles and Xbox 360 games that play on the new console through backwards compatibility.

We will keep you up to date with the latest Xbox Game Pass News.

Microsoft’s Forza Tops Sales At $1 Billion

The Xbox racing game franchise Forza joins games such as Halo, Minecraft, Gears of War and Age of Empires in Microsoft’s billion-dollar club.

The Xbox exclusive racing series in December topped $1 billion in lifetime sales since the first game’s release in 2005. Turn 10 Studios, a Microsoft owned company, released Forza Horizon 3 last year, the ninth game in the series. The original Forza Motorsport was released with the launch of the Xbox 360 console.

Racing games have become a staple of game consoles, an accessible genre that can appeal to casual gamers and hard-core racing fans alike. They are typically used to push the limits of the graphical realism that console can produce. Microsoft’s billion-dollar club is led by Halo who has grossed more than $5 billion and been the poster boy Xbox game since the release of the original game in 2001.

Microsoft’s Age of Empires franchise, usually a computer game series, also has sold more than $1 billion. In 2014, Microsoft bought two franchises with more than $1 billion in sales: Gears of War and world-building game Minecraft.