Today during their E3 2019 presentation, Phil Spencer, Vice President of Gaming and Head of Xbox at Microsoft, shared what Microsoft’s gaming team has been working on for the next generation of consoles and showed how they’re trying to push the capabilities of games further than they’ve been on earlier iterations of their Xbox series.
Speaking to the crowd, Spencer shared what’s most important to his team who working on hardware. “The console should be optimized for one thing and one thing only–gaming.” The team that built the boosted Xbox One X is the same team working on Microsoft’s latest project, dubbed “Project Scarlett.”
The announcement really made good on their promise to show off some big things at this year’s E3. Spencer and Microsoft showed the audience a promotional video for Project Scarlett that featured Xbox employees talking about what they want out of a console and how Project Scarlett can help deliver on those expectations and desires.
Gamers are looking for seamless and immersive experiences, and don’t want to be pulled out of the game world by things like long load times. To fulfill these wishes and stay competitive with other gaming platforms, the team is making Project Scarlett as buff as possible.
Among the things talked about in the promotional video were variable refresh rates, real-time next-generation ray tracing, GDDR6 RAM, frame rates up to 120 frames per second at an 8K resolution (you can see more than 30), and a new SSD or “solid state drive” that is promising upwards of 40 times the speed of the current Xbox One. At the center of Project Scarlett is a state of the art “custom chip” processor from AMD based on their Zen 2 and Navi technology that provides “performance you can see and feel.” The video for Project Scarlett declares that this thing “eats monsters for breakfast.”
The promotional video also alluded to the desire for more cloud-based gaming and more cross-play opportunities, suggesting that Project Scarlett will have more to it than just the console itself. Spencer talked about Project Scarlett being related and foundational to Microsoft’s xCloud, and more details on that relationship are sure to follow soon. Microsoft also has been releasing information about the Xbox Games Pass, which now includes PC games in the subscription package.
The presentation on Project Scarlett also made specific mention of backwards compatibility, citing “four generations” of games all being run at their highest possible potential while using the Project Scarlett console.
A number of first and third party development teams are working on gaming content for Project Scarlett, and Microsoft ensures that this next-generation console will give developers the power and the tools to make the games that they envision, without forced compromise. The presentation for Project Scarlett featured team members from 343 Industries talking about next-generation development and showcased a trailer for the upcoming Halo Infinite. Halo Infinite will launch with Project Scarlett and make the most out of the console’s hardware.
Project Scarlett is set to debut in time for the holiday season in 2020.