In one of the first articles I ever wrote for The Inner Circle, I spoke about why options are important for gamers in this new age of mid-generation console refreshes. Microsoft has embraced this philosophy this generation when it comes to services. With today’s reveal of the specifications of Project Scorpio, Microsoft further demonstrated their commitment in this area. This time, they’re doing it with hardware.
While the 4K UHD TV market is growing rapidly, the majority of consumers still own standard 1080p HD TVs. Project Scorpio was initially geared towards 4K TV owners when it was revealed at E3 2016. Information shared by Eurogamer today shows that Microsoft has adjusted their thinking with Project Scorpio. Even owners of HDTVs will be able to experience some significant, tangible benefits from Microsoft’s monster of a gaming machine.
For one, all Scorpio-enhanced games running on HDTVs must feature supersampling. This means that games running at resolutions above 1080p will down-sample to your HDTV, resulting in improved anti-aliasing and sharper textures. Additionally, your existing Xbox One games will see improvements without needing to be patched. Games will be able to hit their framerate targets far more consistently, resulting in smoother gameplay. In games like Halo 5 which use dynamic resolution scaling to maximize performance, you can expect those games to run at a full 1080p at all times. Finally, improved texture filtering and faster loading times are possible with these games.
Most crucially, Eurogamer reports that any Scorpio-specific game modes favoring detail/resolution or performance must be available to all gamers. Whether you are playing on a HDTV or a 4K UHD TV, all gamers will have the same options available.
Microsoft has taken the opportunity to observe and learn from Sony’s rather half-baked messaging during the reveal of the PS4 Pro. It is still unclear which PS4 games will receive which Pro benefits. Some PS4 Pro-enhanced games provide benefits to 1080p users, some do not. Some are nothing more than a simple 4K patch.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has clearly stated that you will see benefits in past and future Xbox One games, regardless of what type of TV you own. This is yet another example of Microsoft acting in favor of the consumer by providing options. This is huge news for early adopters salivating in anticipation for Project Scorpio’s release later this year. While 4K TV owners will undoubtedly get the best experience from Scorpio, 1080p owners don’t have to worry about feeling left out. You’ll have the option to choose between the best performance or the best visual quality, no matter what display you may have.
One of Microsoft’s goals in the past few years has been to break down barriers and bring gamers together. With Project Scorpio, their commitment to fulfilling this goal is obvious.