Hands-on with Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition

Earlier this week, Microsoft finally opened preorders for its upcoming flagship console, the Xbox One X. Despite being officially unveiled over two months ago as a part of E3 2017, orders for the device were held while awaiting approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Now, after being officially certified and cleared for trade, Microsoft is now letting eager buyers to lay down cash ahead of time, to guarantee a console for the November 7 launch.

When preorders were announced as a part of Microsoft's Gamescom 2017 live show, the company also unveiled a Project Scorpio special edition variant of the console. This limited-run serves as a bonus for fans who've followed the console's development over the past year, with a distinct aesthetic from the standard black version. Following the announcement of the console, we were given the opportunity to get hands-on, providing an idea of what to expect from the device this fall.

Upon first glance, the most outstanding trait of the Project Scorpio console's design is its sharp green branding, which pays homage to the console's previous Project Scorpio codename. When the concept for what became the Xbox One X was initially teased, Microsoft referred to the device under the Scorpio tag, which eventually stuck with consumers leading up to this year's reveal. While the Xbox One X name will be used exclusively going forward, this unique branding is a nice throwback for those who followed the console from the very beginning.

Unlike the standard SKU, which is only offered in a simple textured matte black at this time, this version of the console features a gradual gradient into a dark gray. The protruding gray gradient is comprised of small painted circles and without any top cooling vents of the top of the device, this smoothly transitions across the console's body. This asymmetry to the console's design is a discreet touch but adds a unique styling to the body without compromising its sleek aesthetic.

A unique Xbox One controller design also ships with the Project Scorpio edition, bearing similar branding to the console itself. The green Project Scorpio text falls vertically down the middle of the controller, on a smooth black faceplate. All buttons, the directional pad, and thumb sticks are also tinted with a deep black. As one of the recently revised Xbox One S controllers, this variant sports mildly textured grips and Bluetooth connectivity.

All Project Scorpio edition units additionally ship alongside a vertical stand, allowing the console to safely sit upright, despite its offset form factor. For the price of a regular Xbox One X console you'll be getting a vertical stand for no extra cost, however, it has no unique design to match the gray side of the console it sits against. Xbox platform Corporate Vice President, Mike Ybarra, has confirmed this stand will also be available for purchase separately, similarly to the stand for Xbox One S.

As for the hardware under the hood – the Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition is unchanged from the standard version of the console. Right now, a 1TB hard drive is the only size of internal storage available across consoles, assumedly due to support for third-party external hard drives. Driving the console are eight CPU cores clocked at 2.3GHz, 12GB of GDDR5 RAM and a GPU packing 40 Radeon compute units running at 1172 MHz. This gives existing Xbox One games a fair amount of overhead while allowing specific "Xbox One X Enhanced" games to achieve improved visuals.

For those looking to purchasing an Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition, the console appears to have sold out across a majority of big retailers. While certain storefronts are still securing additional stock and re-opening preorders, you may need to look further afield to secure one of the devices for launch day. Microsoft will assumedly open pre-orders for regular versions of the console later down the line, however exact details are yet to be provided.

What do you think of the new Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition? Do you like the new design? Or would you prefer the simple matte black console? Make sure to drop your thoughts in the comments.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.