“It will certainly allow developers to utilize new visual and gaming features in larger scale and develop visually more stunning games.”
The Xbox One Scorpio is touted to be the most powerful console ever made, when it launches next year. It will have a monstrous 6 TFLOPs GPU, better CPU and memory, and… actually, that’s all that we really know about it. We don’t know much about any other specs on the machine, and though Microsoft talk about the console a lot, we are left in the dark about the specifics regarding it.
That was one of the things implicitly pointed out by Peter Nagy, CEO of Gamesfarm, currently developing Vikings: Wolves of Midgard. When the conversation with him inevitably turned to the Xbox One Scorpio, he pointed out several important things- that an assessment of a console’s power couldn’t be made when just its GPU was a known quantity, given that there is so much more to a console than just that; that the Scorpio will be releasing near the end of 2017, at which point 6 TFLOPs may not even be that impressive to begin with; and finally, that a stronger console doesn’t necessarily mean better games if gameplay improvements are not allowed.
“It may look powerful now; but it shall be out on the market at the end of 2017 (at least that’s what they have on site),” Nagy said. “Also, it is important to note that the GPU is strong but CPU and memory are also essential for games development. So the standpoint cannot be taken only from GPU point of view but has to consider also other components. Strong GPU says that the console will be able to target 4K and VR; but it says not much about the gameplay itself. Currently 1080 GTX offers 9TFLOPs and until end of 2017 there will be at least another generation of graphics card released. So at the time it will hit the market it will be on par with average new gaming PC, or below.”
The PC comparison aside, however, Nagy did mention some of the things that he hoped he would be able to implement in his games thanks to Scorpio.
“But regardless of PC comparison where consoles inevitably fail, Scorpio will be something solid to work with and definitively the most powerful console on the market,” he conceded. “It will certainly allow developers to utilize new visual and gaming features in larger scale and develop visually more stunning games. We hopefully will be able to use more extensively dynamic terrain tessellation, better looking shaders, improved lightning techniques and at last (but not least) finally start with really working with 4k resolution which is in the moment tricky…”
I do agree with everything he has said here- while I don’t doubt that Scorpio will be the most powerful console on the market when it releases next year, we have no way of knowing how powerful until we know more about the system at all. And just having a better GPU or more power all around doesn’t necessarily mean better games- it can mean better looking games, but not necessarily better playing games, especially if Microsoft mandate parity with the original Xbox One, which right now it looks like they may do.