Last week, we got to see the final specifications for Microsoft’s upcoming console, Project Scorpio. The hardware and its capabilities were all nicely detailed in an exclusive Digital Foundry report but it seems there are still a few surprises coming to light. It turns out that Scorpio will also be the first console to support FreeSync technology, meaning screen tearing and frame stutter could be eliminated for console gamers.
Obviously, there is a bit more to it than that. Those looking to take advantage of variable refresh rate technology will need a supported display. Scorpio specifically supports FreeSync variable refresh rates over HDMI, DisplayPort output won’t be coming to consoles. With that in mind, there are fewer monitors on the market that support FreeSync over HDMI, versus FreeSync over DisplayPort.
So that narrows down the list of monitors that could be used with Scorpio, though it can be done. This console will also support AMD’s FreeSync 2 update, which supports variable refresh rates in addition to HDR technology. That said, most console buyers are unlikely to be playing on a gaming monitor, so will Scorpio be able to use this technology on TVs?
The answer to that would be yes, though it will take some time for these displays to start rolling out. Scorpio supports the HDMI 2.1 standard, which was spec’d back at CES in January. It will take some time for TV makers to catch on and start including the updated HDMI 2.1 port on their own sets. With that in mind, it is unlikely that FreeSync will be a huge selling point for Microsoft’s new console, but it is exciting to see variable refresh rate technology start to roll out to more mainstream markets.
KitGuru Says: With variable refresh rate technology, console games should appear to be running smoother, thanks to the removal of screen tearing and stutter due to poor frame times. However, with so many already making the jump to 4K, I doubt many are going to be willing to upgrade their TVs yet again in a year or so in order to take advantage of it via HDMI 2.1.