Scheduled for release later this year, the Xbox Scorpio will supposedly be the most powerful games console released to date, but how are gamers going to benefit from all that power? According to Head of Xbox Phil Spencer, 2017 games will look better on Scorpio than on any other console.
Responding to a fan question on Twitter about whether games like Destiny 2 and Call of Duty would look better on Scorpio than on other consoles, Spencer implied that this would indeed be the case. “I’m very confident, from what we are seeing and hearing, Scorpio will be the very best console version of games this year,” Spencer tweeted yesterday.
Spencer’s comments come at an interesting time. When Destiny 2 was revealed last week, many fans were vocal in their displeasure over the news that the game would run at 60 frames per second on PC but be locked to 30 fps on all consoles, even the six-teraflop Xbox Scorpio.
Many took this to mean that there was little benefit in having the terafloppiest (technical term) of consoles because Microsoft was forcing developers to achieve performance parity across Scorpio and Xbox One versions of their games.
But not so fast, said Corporate Vice President of Xbox Program Management Mike Ybarra. The Microsoft executive explained that developers had full reign to decide whether or not to make Scorpio releases more powerful than their Xbox One counterparts. “Developers are free to choose how they use the power of Project Scorpio for games,” he said.
As it turns out, Scorpio’s most powerful competition isn’t capable of rendering Destiny 2 at 60 fps. Because the PlayStation Pro can’t handle 60 fps, developer Bungie and publisher Activision have apparently made the decision to cap Destiny 2 at 30 frames on all consoles.
While this may just be to assure the high-profile game offers the same experience across all consoles, the fact that Activision has a promotional deal with Sony for the Destiny franchise may have played a role in this decision as well.
In any case, games like Destiny 2 will not run at a higher framerate on Xbox Scorpio than on other consoles. Still, Phil Spencer has given gamers a reason to expect some form of graphical upgrade in the Scorpio version of such games. Precisely what that boost might be will likely not be entirely clear until Destiny 2’s console release on September 8.
Some details, however, could potentially be forthcoming at next month’s E3 in Los Angeles. Microsoft is expected to show what the public for the first time what Scorpio is capable of during its annual pre-E3 presentation on June 11.