Microsoft has yet to release any photos of the final Project Scorpio design, but has now provided a first look at the Project Scorpio dev kit. The photo, which was shared along with specs for the dev kit, show a device that looks an awful lot like the Xbox One S.
Considering the fact that both the Xbox One and Xbox One S dev kits both closely resembled their final respective designs, this could very well be what the final Project Scorpio looks like. That’s not too surprising, since Microsoft undoubtedly wants its newest flagship console to closely match the design of the Xbox family of devices.
Interestingly, where the Project Scorpio dev kit differs from its predecessors is the fact that it’s much more powerful than the final Project Scorpio that will release to the public. Xbox platform manager Kevin Gammill shared with Gamasutra the reasoning behind the more powerful dev kit. Gammill explained:
"It's much easier for a game developer to come in higher and tune down, than come in lower and tune up. Or nail it. That just rarely happens.
"Our overarching design principle was to make it easy for devs to hit our goals: 4K, 4K textures, rocksteady framerates, HDR, wide color gamut, and spatial audio."
The impressive Project Scorpio dev kit comes with 24GB of DDR5 RAM, which is double the 12GB available in the retail version of Project Scorpio. Additionally, the dev kit comes with an extra 1TB SSD, and 44 CUs (compute units), as opposed to the 40 CUs on the final Project Scorpio.
These specs should allow developers to test the boundaries with their games, especially when it comes to 4K visual development. And like Gammill said, the Project Scorpio dev kit will allow developers to stretch their games, then reel them back a little as needed for the final Project Scorpio machines.
As for when the final Project Scorpio console will be revealed, it seems gamers will have to wait till E3 2017, at least according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer. The newest Xbox console will undoubtedly be a major focus of Microsoft’s E3 presentation, so many unanswered questions will hopefully be shared there, including the final price of Project Scorpio.
Microsoft's Project Scorpio is set to release holiday 2017.