From the beginning, Xbox has positioned Project Scorpio as a developer’s best friend, with a focus in its messaging on how important third-party developer input was to the engineering of Microsoft’s latest console.
Now Xbox is sweetening the pot by unlocking an additional gigabyte of RAM that developers can use to power their games.
Project Scorpio will have 12GB of GDDR5 RAM. Originally, 8GB of that was allocated for the games themselves, while 4GB was reserved for the system to do its thing. In a recent tweet, Xbox vice president Mike Ybarra announced that developers will now have 9GB of RAM to use for their games, while 3GB of RAM will be reserved for the system.
We’ll keep tuning Scorpio to empower creators to share the best versions of their games. Unlocked extra GB of RAM for them, now 9GB of GDDR5
— Mike Ybarra (@XboxQwik) June 8, 2017
This extra GB basically means that games can keep track of more, better-looking, or more better-looking stuff at once, meaning developers can be that much more ambitious when it comes to what they’re putting in front of players. It also makes the computing-power gap between Xbox One—which only allocates 5GB RAM for developer use—and Project Scorpio even more dramatic, which is a good selling-point for Xbox when it comes to getting existing Xbox One owners to make the switch to Scorpio.
On top of that, Ybarra also noted that if a game isn’t using the full 9GB, the leftover RAM will be used as a cache, which will make all games load faster, including the Xbox One games you already own.
We have to suspect that this constant courting of developers with Project Scorpio is a means for Xbox to secure more third-party exclusives, as PlayStation has been winning that race as of late. Most of the marketing behind Scorpio so far has focused on the dev kit version without much regard for messaging targeting the actual consumer. That will probably change when Project Scorpio’s true retail form is officially unveiled at E3 2017, but until then we can keep watching and obsessing over the intense teaser videos.