Xbox One X: price, release date, specs, games, VR and everything we know about the renamed Project Scorpio –

Xbox One X games, peripherals and VR

Xbox One X is a mid-generation upgrade of the Xbox One, and so all games and peripherals that run on an Xbox One today will work on the new system, including controllers and Kinect, as well as initiatives such as Xbox 360 backwards compatibility and cross-buy with Windows 10 as well.

Additionally, Microsoft has said there won’t be any Xbox One X exclusives, despite initially contradictory messaging from Shannon Loftis shortly after the console’s announcement that was swiftly corrected by Aaron Greenberg:

However, at gamescom 2016, Xbox marketing chief Aaron Greenberg confirmed there would be VR exclusive Xbox One X games, since they view VR as separate to traditional console games.

This was somewhat hinted at during the announcement video for Project Scorpio with Bethesda’s Todd Howard saying: “We’re moving Fallout 4 to VR and to have a console that can support that at the resolution and speed that we really want, I think it’s going to be magical.”

The interview also didn’t rule out permanent forward compatibility, however, with Greenberg hinting at a move away from traditional console generations to an iterative hardware model with permanent backward compatibility – similar to what Apple does on iOS.

Xbox One X 4K gaming and VR support – how will it work?

Microsoft has said Xbox One X’s extra power will be particularly useful in two areas; delivering 4K gaming and “high fidelity” VR.

In Digital Foundry’s opinion and spec analysis of Xbox One X, the suggestion is that, if the software –
by which we mean games – are optimised well enough, “there is some evidence that Scorpio’s true 4K performance could pose a challenge to the likes of Nvidia’s GTX 1070 and AMD’s Fury X-class hardware.

Over in the deepdive on Scorpio tech, Digital Foundry detailed what they were shown of a special Forza Motorsport demo running in native 4K at 60fps – with power to spare. “Clearly this is just one game, but the point is that Scorpio doesn’t just scale Xbox One engines to 4K. For the Forza engine at least, there’s overhead, and plenty of it.”


Digital Foundry: ‘In what we think is a first for a mainstream consumer-level piece of tech, Scorpio features vapour-chamber cooling, similar to the set-up seen on the high-end GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti PC graphics cards.’

As for 4K media, in Rich’s words “Microsoft is confident in the quality of the scaler built into Scorpio’s display processor”, and is enhanced over the Xbox One S to “handle the bandwidth and quality requirements of 4K”. That, of course, includes supporting Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and likely 4K streaming apps such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. (If you’re interested in investing in a 4K TV ahead of Xbox One X, here are some of the best television screens for HDR gaming.)

As for VR support, that’s “no problem” with the proposed specs on offer, according to Digital Foundry, as “a 6TF Radeon GPU [a rough equivalent to Scorpio’s power] comfortably outperforms the baseline R9 290 and GTX 970 suggested for VR ready PCs”.

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The other question is how VR will work on Xbox One X. Unlike Sony, Microsoft doesn’t have a VR headset of its own, so will land on third parties to help. The obvious bet is with Oculus, with whom they currently have a partnership in providing Xbox One controllers with every device sold, as well as optimising the hardware to work more effectively with Windows, but neither Microsoft or Oculus has suggested anything along these lines just yet.

Xbox One X backwards compatibility with Xbox One

Like PS4 Pro, certain existing Xbox One games will see developers create optimised updates for Xbox One X – including first party titles Gears Of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, Minecraft, Halo Wars 2, Killer Instinct, as well as third party games such as Final Fantasy 15 and Rocket League, some of which will run in full 4K.

Meanwhile, some existing Xbox One games “will look different” and may “run a little better” on Xbox One X, using Halo 5’s dynamic scaling as an example – in fact, Digital Foundry have also run an analysis on just how much better your Xbox One and 360 games will be on Scorpio.

This is something we’ve already seen in the Xbox One S; while the system is not a mid-generation upgrade like Xbox One X or PS4 Pro, it offers an unadvertised slight performance boost of up to nine frames-per-second in certain games thanks to a GPU upgrade for 4K upscaling and HDR support.

In short, Xbox One X will likely offer a range of benefits to your classic Xbox gaming, from smoother performance to higher resolutions and better texture filtering – but to quote Rich Leadbetter himself:

“What this means in practice is that games that cannot fully sustain their target frame-rate on Xbox One stand a really good chance of doing so on Scorpio. But to be clear: what we won’t see will be 30fps games suddenly running at 60fps. The game itself still sets its frame-rate target, and there are no functions for removing performance limits.”


Forza Motorsport. 4K, 60fps, Xbox One quality settings with 4K assets. GPU utilisation is at 66.19 per cent, meaning there’s a huge amount of overhead left over for improving visuals still further. Click on the thumbnail for a higher resolution image.


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