Microsoft’s rumored but as-of-yet-unannounced Xbox One “Scorpio” console will be significantly more powerful than not just the current Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but also than the similarly rumored but unannounced PlayStation 4 “Neo,” according to Polygon sources.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 has walloped Microsoft’s Xbox One in sales, with Sony announcing today that it has sold through 40 million PS4s, making the hardware its fastest-selling games platform ever. At least part of that success might be attributable to the fact that PS4 is more powerful than the Xbox One — and, if Polygon’s report is to believed, Microsoft has had just about enough of that shortcoming. The reportedly forthcoming PS4 Neo is said to be capable of a peak performance number of 4.14 teraflops, which is more than twice as powerful as the current unit. With the Xbox Scorpio, however, Microsoft is targeting an even bigger upgrade over the Xbox One’s current 1.32 teraflops to around 6 teraflops.
These numbers somewhat simplify the complexities of the technology powering modern game consoles, almost hearkening back to the days of Nintendo and Sega’s war over whose system had the most bits. They are useful for measuring total computational power, but the figures tell us nothing about the rumored consoles’ CPU speeds, GPU types or other key performance indicators.
Polygon’s sources also reaffirmed yesterday’s report that the Xbox One Scorpio would be capable of supporting Oculus Rift virtual reality games. In what sounds like a bid to avoid the sort of consumer backlash that struck when the Xbox One was first announced with a focus on TV and sans Xbox 360 backwards compatibility, it was also reported that Scorpio will support all Xbox One games.
Microsoft is said to be so concerned about the potential of generating a negative image, that the console holder originally planned not to announce Scorpio until 2017. Its concerns stem from that fact that we are now less than three years removed from the Xbox One’s launch, whereas the Xbox 360 was on the market for eight years before the One launched in 2013. With the PS4 Neo rumor mill growing so hot in recent months that it has practically burst into flames, however, Microsoft has felt enough heat to move up the unveiling of what was until yesterday somewhat derisively referred to by gamers as the Xbox One and a Half. Scorpio, which Microsoft employees are also said to be calling Xbox One-Two, could be shown or at least mentioned at either next month’s Electronic Entertainment Expo or at a separate ad hoc event shortly before the convention.
A slimmer version of the current Xbox One hardware — the existence of which has also previously been rumored several times — could be unveiled next month alongside Scorpio and released later this year. In a separate report, The Verge reported that this slimmed-down Xbox One could be 40 percent smaller than the current unit. The Verge also reports that the unit could be capable of 4K video support, something that was previously believed to only be planned for Scorpio.