Project Scorpio is the third Xbox console that Microsoft has announced since the Xbox One.
Those consoles include the original Xbox One, which arrived in 2013; last year’s Xbox One S, the same Xbox One with smaller, more attractive hardware; and now, the high-end Xbox console, Project Scorpio.
YouTube/Xbox/MicrosoftWhereas the Xbox One S can only play 4K video but not 4K video games, Project Scorpio boasts some pretty meaty specs to play super-high resolution 4K games and video, but whether you want to upgrade or not depends on a few things. One of those will surely be price, which Digital Foundry estimates to be around $500.
Project Scorpio will be able to play any games originally made available for the original Xbox One and Xbox One S, so aside from price, here are the circumstances when you could potentially justify upgrading to Project Scorpio (if you already own an Xbox One), or buying Project Scorpio when it comes out:
1. If you already have a 4K TV.
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If your living room sports a 4K TV and you’re interested in 4K gaming, Microsoft promises that Project Scorpio will deliver. And if your 4K TV supports HDR, even better, because Project Scorpio will play games and video in HDR, too.
Even if you primarily just want to watch 4K videos and not play 4K games, you might as well get a machine that does both, just in case a game comes along that you really want to try in ultra-high resolution.
If you own the original Xbox One and a 4K TV, it’s worth upgrading to Project Scorpio to enjoy your games in all their glory. Or, even if you just recently got the Xbox One S, which was released in August 2016, you’ll find value in trading it in (or selling it) for Project Scorpio. That’s because the Xbox One S only plays video content in 4K, like TV shows and movies, but not video games — and video games are clearly a big chunk of the reason why someone would have a games console.
If you have a 1080p TV and you’re not happy with the original Xbox One’s (or Xbox One S’) performance.
I remember when I first got my original Xbox One. It was a laggy, sluggish, hulking machine that generally played games at a lower resolution (albeit still being upscaled to 1080p) than the PlayStation 4. It hardly felt like a “next-gen” machine.
Several updates later, much has changed, and my original Xbox One feels a lot snappier and responsive. Still, Microsoft promises that game performance will be improved in the 1080p range, so if you want a better 1080p gaming console that potentially plays games at native 1080p rather than being upscaled from a lower resolution, Project Scorpio is for you.
If you’ve been thinking of buying a 4K TV.
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If you’ve been thinking about buying a 4K TV, but you couldn’t justify it because there isn’t enough 4K content to play on it, Project Scorpio could be the machine that pushes you over the edge.
There isn’t too much 4K video content out there to make the most of your 4K TV, but 4K console games could drastically fill up the currently-scant list of 4K content, especially if you play a lot of video games.
We’d suggest looking into 4K TVs with HDR to make the most of Project Scorpio’s powerful new hardware.
If you want to play virtual reality games without an expensive PC.
According to Microsoft, its plan is to “bring mixed reality content to the Xbox One family of devices, including Project Scorpio, in 2018.”
Microsoft still hasn’t confirmed which virtual- or augmented-reality headsets will be supported by Project Scorpio, but given the amount of power in this console, we’d expect it to work with some of the higher-end solutions, like Facebook’s Oculus Rift, or perhaps even Microsoft’s own HoloLens.