Few console dev kits have gotten as much time in the spotlight as the ones currently being used to develop Xbox Scorpio. And based on new reports and pictures of the device, it would seem there's a good reason why: it looks good. Microsoft fans are particularly enamored with a display on the front which shows realtime performance data, including frames-per-second.
Scorpio dev kit, kinda sexy no? #ProjectScorpio pic.twitter.com/o1FLT6Siv8May 3, 2017
@JezCorden O hell yes!!!!May 4, 2017
@JezCorden Please keep the display with the fps. That's fantastic.May 3, 2017
@JezCorden I want that display on the final release 😍May 3, 2017
@JezCorden would be cool if they decided to keep that display in the release version as well.May 3, 2017
It's a bit of a useless flourish, as no doubt most devs who would be using a Scorpio dev kit would have it hooked to external devices which could more accurately record performance. But with its not-insignificant size and five light-up programmable buttons nearby, it sure does look nice. And while I can't imagine it ever being useful to the everyday consumer, there's surely a bit of bragging to be had by pointing to the console's display and seeing a rock-steady 60 flashing back at you.
Gamasutra has a deep dive into the specs and design philosophy of the kit, including an interview with head of Xbox Phil Spencer. He says that Scorpio traces its designs back to 2014, when he took over the brand. And likewise, whatever will come after Scorpio is also already in the works. "I've said, and this is actually true, the planning for what happens after Scorpio in the console space is already underway," Spencer said. "You have to think about it that way. Like, what is the next thing? We are committed to the console space. We think it's critically important."
As for what's going on under the hood, we know Scorpio can push 6 teraflops, but what does that mean? And will its extra power give it an edge in sales? We'll find out more soon.