• Paul Fingleton

Project Scorpio makes a limited comeback in Xbox One X launch model, pre-order now available

Announced at E3 2016, Microsoft's Xbox One refresh went by the name 'Project Scorpio'. Touted as a monster, promising True 4K gaming, 6 Teraflops of GPU power and being the "We heard you console" where Microsoft gave gamers and developers the Xbox One Console that they would have wanted originally in 2013.

It was an unusual step by Microsoft, who had only just announced a smaller Xbox One at the start of the same press conference, the Xbox One S, but one that showed a confidence that had been missing at the original Xbox One launch. There was no mixed messaging about Multimedia or TV, this Project Scorpio was to be 'the most powerful games console ... ever'.

Rumours circulated that Sony became aware of the specs of Microsoft's mid-generation console refresh and removed any mention of their own PlayStation 4 Pro (codenamed Neo) from their E3 presenation, in favour of a standalone event later in the year.

This confidence to show off details of a new console almost 18 months in advance struck a chord with the Xbox fan base and the Scorpio name became synonymous with the return to form.

One year later and Microsoft gave Scorpio it's final name at E3 2017 - Xbox One X.

The name made sense from a branding perspective: It was not a new console but a premium member of the Xbox One family; recalling 'the power of X' would remind older gamers why they bought the OG Xbox; anecdotally, if you abbreviated the name XBox One X, it would be X.B.O.X instead of XBone. But the Project Scorpio name that had been used for the previous 12 months would be missed and it would take some time for the press and even Microsoft executives to get used to not slipping in Scorpio references instead of the official Xbox One X moniker.

At Gamescom 2017, Microsoft yesterday announced a special edition Xbox One X available for preorder immediately - the Xbox One X Project Scorpio edition.

Similar to the Day One console from four years ago, the Project Scorpio edition of the Xbox One X will come with a controller with special branding with "Project Scorpio" down the centre of the controller. This time the console will also receive a Project Scorpio branding and in a nod to the first Xbox, the design of the packaging itself will echo back to the look of Microsoft's original Xbox.

The Xbox One X is now available for preorder from Microsoft and other retailers around Ireland.