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Xbox Project Scarlett: Specs, features, price, release date and more

The future of Xbox is coming.

(Image: © Microsoft)

The next generation of Xbox is right around the corner. Microsoft's Project Scarlett will arrive in holiday 2020, promising four times the power of the Xbox One X complete with a slew of exciting features like ray tracing, 8K resolution and a lightning-fast SSD.

Here's everything we know so far about Xbox Project Scarlett, including its release date, specs and potential pricing.

Latest Xbox Scarlett news and rumors (November 2019)

  • In an interview with Stevivor, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said that VR is not a major focus for Project Scarlett.
  • Project Scarlett could support Nvidia G-Sync, thanks to Nvidia opening up the adaptive sync technology to AMD GPUs.

Xbox Project Scarlett release date

Project Scarlett is due for a Holiday 2020 release. Based on previous Xbox launches, we expect the console to arrive sometime in November. 

Xbox Project Scarlett price

Xbox Project Scarlett doesn't yet have an official price, but we expect it to go for a premium given its high-end specs. For context, both the original Xbox One and Xbox One X launched at a $499 price point.

However, you will have an option to pay for your Scarlett in installments. The upcoming console has been added to Microsoft's Xbox All Access program, which allows you to finance an Xbox One S or Xbox One X for as little as $19.99 per month. All Access members can upgrade to Scarlett starting in Holiday 2020 once they've made 18 payments. 

Xbox Project Scarlett specs

Project Scarlett will feature a custom AMD Zen 2 processor that promises four times the power of the Xbox One X. Other features include ray tracing support, up to 120fps gameplay, 8K resolution, GDDR6 memory and variable refresh rate support. The system will also have a custom SSD that promises a 40x performance increase and virtually no load times.

Release dateHoliday 2020
ProcessorCustom AMD Zen 2
StorageCustom SSD (capacity TBD)
Ray TracingYes
Maximum resolution8K
Maximum framerate120 frames per second

A leaked benchmark of AMD's purported Flute chip that surfaced in July 2019 could give us additional clues about Scarlett's specs. The Flute SoC, which could be the custom Zen 2 processor that Microsoft is promising, could offer eight Zen 2 cores, 16 threads and a base clock speed of 1.6Ghz. As TechRadar points out, these lower-end specs are in line with what you'd expect from a console processor, though could provide twice the power of the Jaguar processor found in the Xbox One and PS4.

In an interview with Gamespot, Xbox chief Phil Spencer stressed that Microsoft is focusing on getting games to run at 4K at a steady 60 frames per second on Scarlett. Spencer also noted that fast load times is a major design priority, which is where the system's custom SSD will come in.

Speaking to Gamespot in September, The Coalition technical art director Colin Penty said that "having dedicated ray tracing hardware is huge" when asked how Scarlett might allow the studio to improve on Gears 5.

While Scarlett's high-end specs should easily power a VR headset, don't hold your breath for virtual reality on the next Xbox. Speaking to Stevivor, Spencer noted that VR is not a priority for Microsoft's next-gen console.

“I have some issues with VR — it’s isolating and I think of games as a communal, kind of together experience," Spencer told Stevivor. "We’re responding to what our customers are asking for and… nobody’s asking for VR."

Xbox Scarlett games: what to expect

The highly anticipated Halo Infinite will launch alongside Project Scarlett in Holiday 2020. We don't know much else about the launch lineup, but the system will support all existing Xbox One games, including the vast library of backward compatible Xbox and Xbox 360 titles.

Other titles confirmed or expected to be in development for next-gen consoles include The Elder Scrolls VI, Starfield and Grand Theft Auto 6, so it seems safe to assume that those will land on Scarlett as well. According to TechRadar, Rage 2 developer Avalanche Studios is working on a next-generation title.

During its fall 2019 earnings call, EA confirmed that it has a new Battlefield game in development for next-gen consoles (according to GameSpot). The publisher is also skipping this year's installment of NBA Live to focus on a next-gen version for 2020, as reported by Polygon.

Project Scarlett controller: what will it look like?

Microsoft hasn't discussed what kind of controllers it's working on for Project Scarlett. But we do know that all existing Xbox One controllers and accessories will work on the new console.

Microsoft's latest controller release is the $179 Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, which improves on the company's popular Elite Wireless Controller with better thumbsticks, grips, trigger locks and a rechargeable battery. Whatever controller does come bundled with Scarlett, we don't expect it to deviate much from the traditional Xbox design.

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