Microsoft confirms most powerful console ever made for Christmas 2017

project scorpio

Update: AMD has issued a statement regarding its role in the Project Scorpio console hardware:

"We are proud that Microsoft has chosen to expand their Xbox One family of devices with two new consoles featuring AMD's high-performance semi-custom SoCs that support revolutionary new technologies like HDR, 4K and high fidelity VR to enable the next generation of immersive gaming experiences."

So, that means another big win for AMD in a console war that has never been hotter. And, chances are we'll see another AMD win by way of Sony in a few mere hours (as of this writing).

Original story continues...

"This is the console that developers asked us to build."

Microsoft dropped a major bomb for the kicker in its E3 2016 keynote address. On stage, Xbox team team lead Phil Spencer revealed Project Scorpio with glee.

This is Microsoft's recently-rumored upgraded console set to launch during Holiday 2017. And, with six teraflops of graphics power and an octa-core CPU, boy, is it a doozy.

The reveal video doesn't tell us much about the console other than a few key specs and the idea behind the new mystery box. In short, this is a game console aimed at meeting or exceeding the next two major advances in gaming: 4K resolutions and virtual reality.

project scorpio

What's in the box?!

Slow down, Spacey. Neither the Xbox team leads nor their partners presented in the dramatic video name-dropped Nvidia or AMD or anything like that. However, some vital, jargon-filled points were made about Project Scorpio's capabilities.

For one, it houses six teraflops of graphical performance. To put that into perspective, that's three teraflops shy of the new Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080, but nearly five times as many as the current Xbox One.

Whereas the rumored PS4 Neo is said to pack 4.14 teraflops of graphics oomph. Shots fired?

Secondly, the console can render visuals at 60Hz. That means some super smooth play synced to your TV's refresh rate. Nothing's been said of at what resolution, but hopefully no trickery is being done here.

But something here is missing...

Then, there's the nugget that this all seems to be intended to power VR gaming as well, with Bethesda's Todd Howard directly name-dropping Fallout 4 in VR. But wait, Microsoft didn't say anything about a headset, did they? Nope – at least not yet.

A console designed to run VR gaming without its own headset? Fat chance. (And who's already psyched for E3 2017?)

Finally, we've been promised 100% backward compatibility with existing Xbox One games and accessories – a thinly veiled jab at Sony. Its console is said to be compatible with "all or a very large majority" of existing games.

This has been a very interesting E3 already. Stay with us here for the latest E3 2016 details and commentary.

Joe Osborne

Joe Osborne is the Senior Technology Editor at Insider Inc. His role is to leads the technology coverage team for the Business Insider Shopping team, facilitating expert reviews, comprehensive buying guides, snap deals news and more. Previously, Joe was TechRadar's US computing editor, leading reviews of everything from gaming PCs to internal components and accessories. In his spare time, Joe is a renowned Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master – and arguably the nicest man in tech.