Xbox Project Scorpio Will Cost $599 And Here’s Why


Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter recently predicted that Microsoft’s new “monster” Project Scorpio 4K console would cost $399, and ship in 2018 instead of Holiday 2017. But don’t expect to pay only $400 for the hardware; Pachter’s wrong, and here’s all the reasons why.

“The Xbox Scorpio is priced at $399. This might not be low enough, particularly if PS4 Pro drops before holiday 2017, but Microsoft has to price competitively or fall farther behind,” Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter predicted in a recent article on Games Industry Biz. We think Pachter is quite wrong about that price, and here’s why. Premium-priced console, likely costs $599 Microsoft has said time and time again that Project Scorpio will be priced at a premium. Scorpio is an enthusiast grade, high-end machine designed to deliver a “new era of native 4K gaming,” and that kind of technology isn’t cheap. There’s a reason Microsoft waited until Holiday 2017 instead rushing the gun like Sony: so it could wait for AMD’s next-generation CPU and GPU architectures to be finished, and use said hardware in Project Scorpio. “Scorpio will be a premium console. It will cost more than S, obviously, this is how we are building it up,” Microsoft’s Phil Spencer said. “We have not announced the pricing yet, but want to make sure that the investment we are making in the product of Scorpio goes hand in hand with the requirement of high-end consumer and that means a higher price.”

The first enthusiast console

Project Scorpio will be the high-end tier in Microsoft’s Xbox lineup. It’s been called a “monster” console, and will be the “most powerful console ever made” when it ships. It won’t be a little better than a PS4 Pro; with 6TFLOPs of compute power (which is only 4.2 TFLOPs, so Scorpio has 42% more TFLOP power) Microsoft asserts Project Scorpio can and will deliver native 4K gaming–something the PS4 Pro has a hard time achieving. It will not compete with the PlayStation 4 Pro, perse, but open the door to the next generation of console hardware. Microsoft is setting the new bar with Project Scorpio, not responding to the PS4 Pro; if anything, Sony responded to both the Xbox One S and Project Scorpio with the PS4 Pro, opting to go first to get a head-start.
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As a result of this head-start model, however, Sony’s PS4 Pro shipped with mismatched hardware (a new Polaris GPU alongside an old, outdated Jaguar CPU), which means the actual GPU power had to be scaled down to prevent bottlenecking. Even still, the PS4 Pro has frame-rate issues with native 4K games and super-sampled 1080p games. “It is really the breadth of all the products you have at all the price points,” Spencer continued. “For us, when we think about Scorpio, it’s for a higher-end customer who demands the most they can get out of a console, and we built a console to meet that demand”.

High-end hardware: AMD Zen and Vega for native 4K?

Project Scorpio will almost assuredly leverage the entirety of AMD’s new high-end Zen CPU and enthusiast-class Vega GPU hardware to facilitate a truly amazing system that hits the full spec and performance they’ve touted: native 4K gaming, “true 4K” upscaling, 1080p 60FPS, the lot. Why else would Microsoft wait this long?
AMD isn’t expected to ship Zen until early 2017, and its next-generation, high-end Vega GPU architecture later in 2017. The only way that Project Scorpio could maintain a $399 cost is if it shipped with a Polaris and Jaguar combo, and if it did, it’d be very close to the Xbox One S in terms of performance.
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Remember the Xbox One S already upscales games to 4K, and has been refreshed to a 16nm FinFET SoC, thus making this line of thought redundant. No; Microsoft is waiting on Zen and Vega. AMD’s Zen CPUs were tailor-made to compliment both its 14nm Polaris and Vega GPU architectures. It’s really the only way that the company can hit the targeted performance. We had originally speculated Project Scorpio would be powered by a 14nm Polaris GPU and Zen CPU, but a scaled Polaris chip wouldn’t be the best answer. Polaris can absolutely hit 4K perf in dedicated, full-scale video cards for desktops, but in a scaled, highly-customized SoC in a GPU? PS4 Pro uses a Polaris GPU that sits a little below a RX 470 in terms of raw compute performance (note we can’t equate a custom console GPU with a desktop video card, this is approximate power) and has to maintain trade-offs to sustain native 4K gaming.
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So that’s everything. We hope that you understand now why Project Scorpio isn’t going to cost $399, and try to avoid any speculations on lower-end prices like this. Scorpio will be a high-end premium product, and Microsoft understands that not everyone will buy it.
It’s not made for everyone: it’s made for the people who want the “best” quality console gaming. Microsoft doesn’t expect every Xbox owner to buy Project Scorpio. The company has an ecosystem of Xbox products, and Scorpio will be the top-tier device in a three-console marketing plan. They won’t have to consolidate their consoles or disrupt their pricing models once Scorpio comes out. So in short: there’s no way Project Scorpio will cost $399. Pachter is wrong, and don’t expect to pay this little for a console that will do this much.

Source – Tweaktown
#Xbox Project Scorpio Will Cost $599 And Here’s Why
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