There’s a new Xbox on the way, and it’s called the Xbox Project Scarlett.
Or, at least that's its codename. Microsoft finally announced its next-generation Xbox console during its big E3 2019 keynote conference, and it's looking set to be a monster.
“For us, the console is vital and central to our experience. A console should be designed, and built and optimized for one thing, and one thing only – gaming,” said Xbox boss Phil Spencer, showing the company's renewed commitment to making the very best games console it can first and foremost, after the mixed messaging of its flawed Xbox One launch.
“This decisive moment of discovery is etched in your gaming history.”
“We on Team Xbox will always be dedicated to delivering the best new games for you to discover. This right now is the single most creative and energizing time in gaming history. Games and gamers can be a significant unifying force for the world.”
Xbox Project Scarlett is looking to be an incredibly powerful home gaming machine, with custom built components from AMD, and an SSD drive at its heart allowing for innovative game development techniques. Here's what we know so far about what we anticipate will later be known as the 'Xbox Two'.
Xbox Project Scarlett: key facts
- What is it? Xbox Project Scarlett will be the next-gen Xbox console, aka the Xbox Two
- Xbox Project Scarlett release date: Microsoft has given Xbox Project Scarlett a release window of “Holiday 2020” – so that's likely between the months of October and December 2020.
- What can I play on it? Halo Infinite is its first confirmed launch title, while all previous generations of Xbox console games will be covered by backwards compatibility.
Xbox Project Scarlett specs and release date
With only a sizzle reel to go by, we don't yet know what the Xbox Project Scarlett will look like, let alone if it'll eventually be named the Xbox Two. But we do have a good idea of its internal hardware, and the Xbox Project Scarlett specs are already sounding quite special.
Using custom-designed processor from AMD making use of Zen 2 and Navi architecture, Xbox Project Scarlett will be 4x more powerful than the Xbox One X. It'll be possible of running games at 120Hz frame rates, at potential 8K resolutions, while also showcasing fancy real-time ray-tracing tech. It's the works.
An SSD will come as standard, as with the PS5, which will give it the option of using its storage system as virtual RAM, as well as lifting load time performance by a factor of 40x. That'll let developers stream in far more detailed worlds around a player. In terms of 'standard' RAM, the console will pack in a meaty GDDR6.
It's also likely that the new Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 that is available for pre-order right now and launching November 4 of this year will be the controller for this upcoming console. That could just be wishful thinking, but with the hyperbolic language surrounding this announcement, we would expect nothing less.
Halo Infinite will be a launch title, bringing back the Master Chief, but you wont be wanting for games to play at launch. Xbox Project Scarlett will be capable of three generations of backwards compatibility. So, as well as Scarlett-era games, it'll also play games from the Xbox One, the Xbox 360, and the very first generation of the Xbox.
Expect to see the Xbox Project Scarlett console launch in the 'holiday' window of 2020.
We'll have more soon – hopefully including a firm release date, and a real name for the console. Keep in mind that all the rumors pointed to there being two new Xbox consoles on the way, codenamed Anaconda and Lockhart, the former being high end (likely what we've seen here) and the latter being a cheaper, streaming-focused solution. Time will tell if that's still Microsoft's plan, but one thing's for certain – it's throwing down the gauntlet for Sony's PlayStation 5 to take on.
- E3 2019 is the biggest gaming event of the year. TechRadar is reporting live from LA, telling you all about the biggest announcements of the week, from epic game trailers to shocking release date reveals. Follow our expert analysis of the keynotes and what we see on the E3 show floor.