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Xbox One "Scorpio" coming in 2017 - reports

Microsoft is working on several new Xbox devices, and its headline act will be even more powerful than Sony's rumoured Neo

Microsoft is working on several new iterations of the Xbox brand, according to reports from a range of sources, including a model due to launch next year that will be far more powerful than the Xbox One.

The existence of that model, codenamed Scorpio, has been confirmed in reports from Polygon and Kotaku, among others, and it fits into the 'generation 1.5' concept that Sony appears to be pursuing with its rumoured PlayStation Neo.

The emphasis here is on power, with Microsoft keen to put an end to the perception that, in this generation, PlayStation hardware has proved more capable. According to Polygon, the Xbox One runs at a peak target of 1.32 teraflops and the PS4 runs at 1.84 teraflops. By contrast, PlayStation Neo will hit 4.14 teraflops, and Xbox Scorpio has a target of 6 teraflops.

One the reasons for this boost in performance is the emergence of virtual reality. Sony is making its own VR headset, of course, but Kotaku's sources claim that Microsoft is now pursuing a closer partnership with Oculus - the Xbox controller is currently packed-in with every Rift headset. Bradley Sams, a reporter for the Microsoft focused Thurrott Report, also sourced information indicating a deeper integration of VR in the Scorpio hardware.

"There's a few tidbits that I don't have solidified yet that I don't want to talk about yet, but what Microsoft is doing here is crazy," he said on his podcast, The Sams Report.

The goal is not to replace Xbox One, though, so all Xbox games will work on both versions of the console. Microsoft will also extend that idea of "universal compatibility" to Windows PCs, an initiative it has already started with games like Quantum Break, Halo Wars 2 and Sea of Thieves.

Exactly when Xbox Scorpio will be unveiled isn't clear, but it won't launch until sometime in 2017. What will launch this year is a new version of Xbox One, which Kotaku believes will have a 2TB hard-drive, and Polygon believes will support 4K video output and be 40 per cent smaller.

This new Xbox One is likely to be announced either during or just before E3, but the Thurrott Report's Bradley Sams has a different conception of what it might be. Rather than "another Xbox One crammed into a teeny tiny box," it will be a device similar to Apple TV - designed to fit discretely into the living room and be able to play "lightweight" Windows Store games in addition to streaming content from an Xbox One. This device would fit into a broader Microsoft strategy to bring the Windows and Xbox brands closer together.

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Latest comments (16)

Carl Hudson Studying Computer Science, University of AdelaideA year ago
E3 just got interesting?
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing A year ago
Apple TV: 23W of power consumption, passively cooled.
Current Xbox One: 70-120W, actively cooled.
Even with the die shrink and all, I expect the Xbox One to be considerably larger than an Apple TV

6 Teraflops in AMD terms translates to a R9 390x, currently priced at around 330. You might get 25 frames out of a 4k Witcher3 with that card. I have that tingling sensation saying we will see some upscaled 1440p trickery being sold as 4k; from both Microsoft and Sony. Which, don't get me wrong, 1440p looks great on a 4k monitor even if you sit right in front of it, but at the same time is not 4k.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing A year ago
Frankly anyone who thinks 4K gaming is actually a reality is freaking. If you aren't using assets whose detail and geometry aren't designed for 4K, it's not 4K no matter what you set your resolution to. It's a waste of bandwidth and resources this will be upscaled 1080 and 1440 assets upscaled.

GTA 5 allegedly cost, $350 million to make, and I believe it.

Back of the napkin after I made some phone calls, same game with 4K assets is $750-$1 billion
4K quality theatrical animation can easily cost $50-75,000 a SECOND. In fact 4K is used more often as a way to get around bugs in the renderer than a target resolution in VFX. People would be shocked to know exactly how low res many shots are

Now enter the real elephant in the room. Most people do not have big enough screens, or sit close enough to them to resolve even 1080p. Upscale and support HDR output (the real benefit of 4K for most people) and consumers will be very happy.

As far as the mini box goes, Microsoft has had that on the drawing board since before the X1 launched. It's a separate item to these unless something has changed. It's mostly designed as an Amazon Fire competitor with the Hoo of casting your media and computer around the house. If it's sold as a cheap desktop dumb terminal that might stand a chance. If it's sold as a media box I predict going down in flames.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jeff Kleist on 27th May 2016 6:26am

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Show all comments (16)
Jordi Rovira i Bonet Lead Engineer, AntictoA year ago
Will it sting itself to death if it gets too hot?
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic A year ago
Will it sting itself to death if it gets too hot?
No, but it will gain sentience and take over the East Coast of the United States.
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Aleksi Ranta Category Management Project Manager A year ago
Here is a news tip for GI...."A slim Ps4 is in the works" according to some secret sources.
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Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation LtdA year ago
This Bradley Sams guy sounds very confused or bad at guessing. MS aren't going to put out a thin client instead of a slim/cheaper X1 hardware refresh for Christmas.

As for this Scorpio model, plucking a performance number out of the air might make some people think twice about upgrading their PS4s, sure. Does it credibly change publisher's projections for the platform? It makes sense to target the PS4 and PC for a game launching 2-3 years from now.

MS's only options are to get out of the console business or throw Kinect-level marketing money at a reboot of the platform with the zillionth iteration of Forza, Gears and Halo. A rock and a hard place for sure.
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Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, AzoomeeA year ago
Xbox Two
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing A year ago
Microsoft's biggest asset when it comes to serving businesses is the brand loyalty people have towards Windows and Office. People understand how to operate Windows and Office and will not accept Linux clones.

Yet here we are, Microsoft effectively selling home PCs now, which for no apparent reason they are outfitting with yet another OS that is yet another language of interaction for the customer. Who cares, if there is a shared back end, the customer only interacts with the front end. Put that next to some AndoidTV, or Android Box that costs one third the price, the custom Xbox OS is not impressing anybody. Put the Xbox next to other consoles and we are back to discussing game and benchmarks. In that regard, MIcrosoft is like the football team that does not want to play home matches.

I say, Microsoft needs to leverage its biggest asset, full Windows 10. Not some bastardized version that only does the things where Microsoft can monetize directly. Correct me if I am wrong, but if the Xbox ran WIndows 10 and all the WIndows stores from publishers, we would not be talking about the PS4 much, would we. Let's not forget, compared to Sony and Nintendo, MIcrosoft has monetizations options no competitor could ever dream of. Microsoft should not care less about not getting a cut from Valve, Microsoft has the brainpower to come up with some blockchain currency, which when married to Windows will bury all other blockchains out in the next five years by virtue of being the one that comes with Windows.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser A year ago
Xbox Two
Or maybe they'll take a page out of Nintendo's playbook and call it "The New Xbox One". Actually I probably shouldn't give them any ideas.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 28th May 2016 7:30am

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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing A year ago
Actually that's Apple's playbook. It'd be Super or Ultra ;)

Personally I'd be looking at some kind of progressive designator that isn't numbers that I could attach an "s" style designator to for the slim models.
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Richard Pygott Level Designer A year ago
Have we really hit the wall when it comes to innovation in the games / tech industry?

Same goes for graphical leaps also in my opinion..

Reiterations seem to be the order of the day and have seemed like that for quite some time.

I long for the days when you bought a new console or even see a demo trailer for it at an unveil and your jaw dropped on the floor at the new gameplay possibilities and obvious improvements in graphics.
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Nick McCrea Gentleman, Pocket StarshipA year ago
I think Robin's correct, MS have really left themselves no option but to double down or get out of the market. What I don't really understand is how they can divest of all their first-party talent and expect to pull this off. Licensing exclusively just gets more and more costly when your console is in a distant second place. What MS did to Lionhead (and potentially Rare?) seems criminally stupid, to me - keeping two high quality first-party studios churning out mediocre fare for whatever the latest strategy is (Kinect, F2P, Social, Avatars, whatever). Then dump them because the games suddenly don't fit the market -who's fault is that? Lionhead should have been put straight on Fable 4 years ago.

I can't see a way back from MS that doesn't involve prodigious use of the company chequebook. Get back the mantle of 'most powerful console'. Get the tent pole franchises in place. Get a deep roster of exclusive content. *Then* you can worry about how to sell Holo Lens, or do social, or F2P, or whatever looks like a decent bet. But the basics have to be there.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing A year ago
Well, that's been Microsfts biggest problem the first two years of the One. Until Phil Soencer took over, the people running the show were from the Windows division, who knew nothing about fanboy wars or the console business. Allegedly at E3 we'll see the first pieces of Phil's long term plans, and they sound pretty good. Xbox becomes a set target walled garden PC platform, without the moving targets and silly controllers Valve has been doing.

Microsoft knows they are not going to win in Adia or much of Europe. But I think one of the strongest things they can do with the Xbox is offer basic PC features on it. Bundle it with Xbox live and the One becomes a cheap PC you plug into your TV. that plays the latest games and movies. That's what they always wanted to make it, it's just the presentation and communication of these ideas that was lacking
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing A year ago
@jamie

I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or not.
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft GermanyA year ago
@Jamie
Pretty much every post you write looks more of the kind that you would find in gamespot's "System wars" forum that the one that is to expect from a professional. Are you a journalist at all? Becuase after reading you I'm not sure what to think about Gamesmediapro in general.
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