As Microsoft promised it would be at E3 2016, the Xbox Scorpio is more powerful than any games console to come before it. It’s been well publicized that all that power will make future Xbox games run smoothly at 4K resolutions, but all of the mid-generation console’s extra power is also going to be useful for improving the performance of existing Xbox One games.
The Xbox hardware team has informed Eurogamer that your existing library of Xbox One games will “run smoother, look better and load faster” on Scorpio. Microsoft claims to have accomplished as much by taking a different route to backwards compatibility than Sony did with its competing PlayStation 4 Pro.
“In designing for compatibility, there are two choices that we can take from a performance perspective,” Microsoft’s Andrew Goossen, Technical Fellow, Graphics explained. “One of which is to design hardware to emulate the performance capabilities of the original [console] as much as possible, or the other one is to say, we’re just going to turn on all the performance and we’re going to deal with all the issues.”
Mostly owing to the reality that Scorpio, according to Eurogamer, is closer to an entirely new console than it is to a tuned-up Xbox One, Microsoft took the latter approach. As such, the Scorpio’s full power is used to improve Xbox One game performance, whereas PS4 Pro is using just half of its power to boost standard PS4 game performance. The result is what Microsoft claims are five tangible ways in which Xbox One games will run better on Xbox Scorpio:
- Smoother performance with no screen tearing
- Maximized resolution
- Better texture filtering
- Video capture of games at 4K and 60 fps
- Quicker loading
But while all Xbox One games will perform better on Xbox Scorpio, not all of them will take advantage of all of those performance bumps. It’s said that “a very small percentage” of games will not be compatible with some of those improvements. Nevertheless, all games will be improved by some of them.
“We’re going to be the ones that ensure that your games run as fast as they can in terms of all those five different features, the best that they possibly can,” Andrew Goossen explains. “There will be some cases where we have to dial down some of those attributes… in some games we potentially have to dial down the number of CUs, for example, to maintain compatibility with that title.”
Even if some games won’t fully take advantage of the entirety of what Scorpio has to offer for Xbox One titles, Microsoft insists that every existing Xbox One games is going to run the “best it possibly can” on Scorpio.