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Here's a first look at Xbox One Scorpio's superpowered dev kit

Even more powerful than Scorpio itself.

The final design of Xbox One Scorpio has yet to be unveiled, but we've now got our first look at the console's dev kit.

Dev kits - specially-optimised versions of a console made available to studios for game development purposes - sometimes resemble the final console design. Sometimes, however, they do not.

For Xbox One and Xbox One S, each console's dev kit was near-identical to the retail edition. Xbox 360 dev kits had a bulky additional section mounted on top. The Original Xbox had a translucent plastic casing.

Unusually, the Xbox One Scorpio dev kit is significantly more powerful than Scorpio's already beefy technical specs.

Gamasutra was passed images and technical specs of the dev kit by Microsoft itself, and also spoke with Xbox platform manager Kevin Gammill about why the machine had been made even more powerful than the version of Scorpio most will get to play.

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The Xbox One Scorpio dev kit, front, with older Xbox console dev kits behind. Image credit: Gamasutra.

"It's much easier for a game developer to come in higher and tune down, than come in lower and tune up," Gammill explained. "Or nail it. That just rarely happens.

"Our overarching design principle was to make it easy for devs to hit our goals: 4K, 4K textures, rocksteady framerates, HDR, wide color gamut, and spatial audio."

Inside the box there's a whopping 24GB of DDR5 RAM, double that of the retail Scorpio's 12GB, an additional 1TB SSD drive, and 44 CUs (compute units) instead of 40 on the GPU.

The box itself looks like a larger Xbox One S, with an OLED screen on front to constantly show performance data like an FPS count.

It's difficult to draw many conclusions just from this on Scorpio's eventual design factor, although it's worth bearing in mind the Scorpio dev kit's expanded specs. Perhaps, without them, the retail Scorpio unit could be smaller.

And while the official Xbox One Scorpio dev kit is a separate machine, retail Scorpio consoles are still convertible into dev kits - just as with the standard Xbox One. The only difference will be the lower specs than the official dev kit hardware.

Digital Foundry revealed the Xbox One Scorpio's technical specs in full last week and came away impressed by a demo of Forza running at 4K with ease.

How much of an improvement is Scorpio on Xbox One? Eurogamer has a easy guide on the differences in non-Digital Foundry speak.

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