The future of Xbox is just over a year away from becoming a reality. 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 (October 2019)
- According to a series of newly discovered patents, Project Scarlett may support virtual reality headsets.
- Xbox chief Phil Spencer says that he's played his first games on Scarlett in early September.
Xbox Scarlett release date: when is the next Xbox coming out?
Project Scarlett is due for a Holiday 2020 release. Based on previous Xbox launches, we expect the console to arrive sometime in November. There's no word on pricing yet, but given its specs, we expect it to go for a pretty penny.
Xbox chief Phil Spencer recently mentioned that he played Project Scarlett for the first time on a September 2019 livestream, which bodes well for the console's progress.
“I played my first games on Project Scarlett this week” says @XboxP3 on a Bungie Destiny stream 👀September 10, 2019
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 tate||Holiday 2020|
|Processor||Custom AMD Zen 2|
|Storage||Custom SSD (capacity TBD)|
|Maximum framerate||120 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.
Microsoft's next-gen console may also support virtual reality. According to a series of patents discovered by Twitter user WalkingCat (via GamesRadar), the new console could support a variety of motion controllers (including a stylus), as well as a boundary mat for establishing virtual playspaces in VR. This would mark the first Xbox console with a virtual reality accessory, though Microsoft has dabbled in VR with its Mixed Reality Headsets.
Xbox Project Scarlett Price: how much will it cost?
Microsoft has yet to discuss final pricing for Scarlett, but given the system's high-end specs, we don't expect it to be cheap. The original Xbox One and Xbox One X both launched for $499 in 2013 and 2017, respectively, carrying price tags that were $100 heftier than the current PlayStations. Microsoft likely won't want to make that mistake again, so we're expecting Scarlett to be in a similar price range to the PS5.
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.
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 next big 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.