Xbox One Scorpio Will Support FreeSync 2 and HDMI 2.1
Eurogamer has an exclusive deal with Microsoft to unveil details about the upcoming, faster Xbox One console, Project Scorpio. New information about the soon to be unveiled console will be released occasionally. Microsoft has announced that Project Scorpio will provide full support for FreeSync 2 and HDMI 2.1, two features that the PlayStation 4 Pro lacks.
One of the most important changes in the HDMI 2.1 specification is the addition of variable refresh rates, similar to how AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync work. With variable refresh rates, the monitor or television will be synchronized with the console, which means that the screen will display a new frame as soon as the console has it ready. This eliminates issues such as screen tearing and micro stutter. Scorpio will also support AMD’s FreeSync 2 specification, which includes HDR.
HDMI 2.1 also brings significant bandwidth improvements, such as a data rate of 48 GB/s. Theoretically, this would allow 10-bit 4K images at a higher framerate than 60 frames per second, up to 144 FPS. It remains unclear if Scorpio will make use of this part of the HDMI specification, as the console lacks the graphical horsepower to deliver a consistent 4K gaming performance at 60+ frames per second. This protocol also supports Dynamic HDR, which allows for the generation of HDR metadata on a per scène basis, similar to the Dolby Vision standard.
FreeSync or FreeSync 2 monitors over HDMI will take full advantage of Project Scorpio’s new features. There aren’t any television on the market as of yet with HDMI 2.1 or support for variable refresh rates, but those are expected to hit the market in the coming years. It appears Microsoft wanted to make Project Scorpio as futureproof as possible, and adding FreeSync and HDMI 2.1 is a perfect way to do so.