Microsoft isn't done with beefing up the specs for the Project Scorpio, the new generation Xbox console. Just ahead of Microsoft's E3 press conference, it was revealed that Microsoft has made one more big change to make the specs for Project Scorpio even better.
Corporate vice president over the Xbox and Windows platforms, Mike Ybarra, took to Twitter to let developers and the gaming community know that Microsoft would be increasing available RAM in the Scorpio from up from 8GB to 9GB.
In layman terms what this means is that the overall system memory in the Xbox Scorpio has been partitioned and freed up more-so to favor developers as opposed to having 4GB of the system RAM reserved for system resources. The Scorpio has a total of 12GB of RAM, so now developers can make use of 9GB for the games instead of 8GB.
For reference, the Xbox One has 8GB of RAM but only 5GB is allowed for use by developers for games. What this means is that for the Xbox One there was 3GB reserved simply for system functions, where-as for the Xbox Scorpio it was originally going to have 4GB reserved for system functions and 8GB reserved for the actual games.
In this case we're going to see 9GB reserved for games while 3GB will be set aside for things such as streaming, multiple apps being open, music, videos, party chats, or other extraneous activities.
So what does it mean for games and developers to have 9GB free instead of the typical 8GB? Well, already developers are limited to only using 5GB for Xbox One titles, which limits the texture size, the amount of content that can be happening on screen at once, including audio, and the complexity of those items. The additional memory also means that animations can be more complex and smooth.
In some games you might have noticed that there's a lot of janky or sloppy animations in some games for the characters on-screen. It's because sometimes they have to limit the amount of animations are loaded into memory to conserve on that.
So what exactly can we expect from the Scorpio now that developers can get more memory out of Microsoft's new hardware? Well, it could mean shorter load times as they put more objects and entities into memory without having to rely on super long load times.
Of course the other issue that a lot of users in the comment thread asked about was whether or not this would mean that games like Destiny 2 could take advantage of the Scorpio's additional beefy hardware to increase the resolution or the frame-rate, so that the game runs at 60 frames per second. Ybarra makes no mention or effort to engage in the third-party happenings, but hopefully this means we'll see some really strong first-party titles from Microsoft such as Crackdown 3 taking serious advantage of the hardware when it becomes available this fall.