Microsoft Reveals What's Under New Console Xbox Scorpio's Hood

Better CPU, GPU and a 4K UHD Blu-ray, a peek at the new powerhouse console

The Xbox Scorpio Scorpio uses a 384-bit GDDR5 interface Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has revealed the technical specifications for its next console, the Xbox Scorpio. We still don't know what the box will look like or what games will be available, but we do have lots of numbers. 

Microsoft shared the following Xbox Scorpio details with Eurogamer's Digital Foundry game hardware site.

  • CPU: Eight custom x86 cores clocked at 2.3GHz
  • GPU: 40 customized compute units at 1172MHz
  • Memory: 12GB GDDR5
  • Memory Bandwith - 326GB/s
  • Hard Drive: 1TB 2.5-inch
  • Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray

What does all that mean? Basically, that it's faster and more powerful than any video game console currently available, and it's optimized for the new "4K generation."

"To me, [4K] means a very specific set of things. It's a lot more than delivering than those eight-million-plus pixels to the screen while playing games," Kevin Gammill, Group Program Director of the Xbox Core platform, told Digital Foundry. "It's about delivering those pixels with 4K assets, so they look great. It's about delivering those pixels with HDR and wide color gamut fidelity. It's about delivering those pixels with no loss of frame-rate compared to the 1080p version of that title – that's super-important to us. Spatial audio adds to the immersive experience as well: to truly land that gameplay experience, it's not just about what you see, but what you hear."

Microsoft also says that Scorpio will be able to offer improvements to older Xbox One games too, providing more consistent framerates, and faster load times and higher-resolution textures on objects in games. These won't come automatically though – game studios will need to update their older games with new assets and improvements if they want to take advantage of Scorpio's additional horsepower.

We'll be talking to developers today to make sense of the numbers and find out what they actually mean for gamers and the games that will be possible with the new technology. For Scorpio to really compete, Microsoft will need to ensure that it has a stellar lineup of games that really showcase what it can do.

The Xbox Scorpio is scheduled for release during the holidays later this year. There's no indication yet on how much it will cost.