Microsoft held an exclusive tech briefing about Xbox's Project Scorpio recently revealing that the beefed up console will be back compatible with Xbox One and Xbox 360 games. Not only will it run those older games, it will run them better. Improvements such as better graphics and faster loading times have been promised.
Much like how 360 games look better on Xbox One, a similar improvement will be seen with both 360 and Xbox One titles on Scorpio. The better hardware will be better able to reach games’ target frame rate and eliminate screen-tearing. Andrew Goossen, Microsoft’s technical representative at the meeting explained, "... we can bring all the 40CUs, all 1172MHz, of course the full 2.3GHz on the CPU." Utilizing the console’s full potential will enable a smoother performance all around.
This means that games that titles that use dynamic resolution scaling will be able to achieve their maximum resolution. Games like Doom 2016 and Halo 5 use dynamic resolutions, scaling down their resolution as needed to run at a smoother frame rate. The Scorpio should be able to run these types of games at their maximum resolution consistently, although reaching 4k may not be possible. Another improvement to image quality players will see on the Scorpio is in the texture filtering. The new console has been designed to run all games by default as fully anisotropic bringing better texture filtering and improving the resulting image quality.
Aside from frame rates and image quality Project Scorpio will have faster loading times. Many gamers may have gotten used to the grueling long load times of modern consoles but the Scorpio has aimed to improve this by better leveraging its processing power. Goossen explains how the improved hardware will do this saying,
"We're able to say that game loads will be fundamentally faster. There are three ways we say that - one of which is the CPU boost. The 31 per cent CPU boost in terms of clock will help games that are CPU-bound in terms of their IO. The second one is that we've improved the hard disk speed. The third reasonis that the Scorpio will have 8 gigs of RAM [available to developers]," Goossen continues,”If Xbox One games take five gigs, we have three gigs left over. We do a file system cache on that. Any repeated IOs... if you go into a race and come out or if you go into a fight and come out, we've got a nice boost right there for load times as well."On top of all these gameplay improvements, Microsoft has plans for great GameDVR support on the platform. Using HEVC codec and capable of 4K60 video capture, old and new titles alike can be recorded at a good quality. Users will then be able to go back through their captures and find the exact screenshot they need.
This all sounds great but getting every game to reach their full potential on Scorpio will pose a challenge. Microsoft has said that while there may be compatibility issues, they are going to go through each title and test and tweak things so that they will work as best as they can on the new console. This means that your entire Xbox library from 360 (titles that have backward compatibility on Xbox One at least) forward should be working on Project Scorpio, looking better and running faster too. For a more detailed look at the new consoles technical power head over to our article where we outline the Scorpio's specs here and to learn more about why they made it, head over here.