Hardware specialists Digital Foundry has exclusively lifted the lid on Microsoft's upgraded Xbox One console Project Scorpio, offering fans the first major news regarding the device since its announcement last year.
In doing so it announced the complete and final specs for the new machine (below), and the big news from the announcement is that Scorpio will outperform Sony's 4K-enabled PS4 Pro in every way.
Digital Foundry also shared evidence of a Forza tech demo running in native 4K at 60 frames per second while using only roughly 65% of the GPU.
Racing games are famously great for showing off impressive visuals on new hardware, so bigger tests remain, however it is still impressive.
Scorpio's CPU includes eight custom x86 cores running at 2.3 GHz, while the GPU is comprised of 40 compute units clocked at 1172MHz. When the Scorpio was announced Microsoft said it would offer six teraflops of computing power, and this new report confirms that it will deliver.
In simpler terms this means the CPU runs 30% faster than Xbox One, which isn't a huge leap. That leap comes with the GPU, which runs 4.6 times faster offering an incredible amount of fast memory to any game making use of the Scorpio's capabilities.
Scorpio's inputs and output ports are identical to the Xbox One S, which was released last year, and it will also support both standard Dolby Atmos and Atmos for headphones.
Digital Foundry also confirmed that Scorpio will offer all kinds of performance options for users regardless of whether they own a 4K television set, which means improved resolutions and frame rates.
All Xbox One and Xbox 360 backwards compatible titles will also benefit from Scorpio immediately, without the need for a patch. Framerates will be improved instantaneously, resolution will be maxed out, load times will potentially be quicker and screen-tearing with 360 titles will be eliminated.
Complete specs: Project Scorpio vs Xbox One vs PS4 Pro
|CPU||Eight custom x86 cores clocked at 2.3GHz||Eight custom Jaguar cores clocked at 1.75GHz||Eight Jaguar cores clocked at 2.1GHz|
|GPU||40 customised compute units at 1172MHz||12 GCN compute units at 853MHz (Xbox One S: 914MHz)||36 improved GCN compute units at 911MHz|
|Memory||12GB GDDR5||8GB DDR3/32MB ESRAM||8GB GDDR5|
|Memory Bandwidth||326GB/s||DDR3: 68GB/s, ESRAM at max 204GB/s (Xbox One S: 219GB/s)||218GB/s|
|Hard Drive||1TB 2.5-inch||500GB/1TB/2TB 2.5-inch||1TB 2.5-inch|
|Optical Drive||4K UHD Blu-ray||Blu-ray (Xbox One S: 4K UHD)||Blu-ray|
Speaking to Eurogamer, Mike Ybarra, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Xbox and Windows gaming division, said: "The team looked back at developers and the developer relationship we have. With Xbox 360 we had the absolute best platform for developers, [with Xbox One] we sort of lost that in a two-year time-frame, so we said how do we win the mind-share of those developers back?
"We want the best games running on our box and there are tools, devkits and some arrows like that to win the developers back. So that was a big priority for us as we approached this product."
Earlier this week Digital Foundry and Eurogamer announced, after speculation online, that it had been granted exclusive access to Scorpio by Microsoft, and that an announcement would be made at 2pm today (6 April).
Scorpio was announced at Microsoft's E3 2016 press conference, where it was described as "the world's most powerful console". At the time, the Xbox division said Scorpio would house a more powerful GPU, eight CPU cores, support 4K gaming and deliver high-fidelity virtual reality.
Scorpio is set to launch during the Christmas period, roughly a year on from Sony's PS4 Pro. Despite the time between the two 4K consoles, Scorpio has always been pitched as the more powerful. In terms of processing power, the PS4 Pro has 4.2 teraflops of power compared to Scorpio's six.
No games that will support Scorpio have yet been announced, but support from all existing Xbox One first party games is expected. PS4 Pro was well-supported at launch by third parties too, and we suspect Scorpio will be no different.
The decision to reveal Scorpio's specs now is an intelligent one. It gets the nitty gritty of specs out of the way so Microsoft can focus on games when it reveals the machine itself at its E3 press conference, taking place on Sunday 11 June.