As expected thanks to not so inconspicuous teasers popping up in marketing for the Xbox E3 2019 event, Microsoft officially let the cat out of the bag and announced the next-gen Xbox, codenamed Project Scarlett, during the company's E3 briefing. Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer revealed the console(s) is/are scheduled for release during the holiday season 2020.
Details about the innards of Project Scarlett were scant with passing mentions of a long-known collaboration with partner AMD to develop a Zen 2-ready Navi technology processor. We were told the processing power clocks in at upwards of four times that of Microsoft's current-gen offering.
Framerates are expected to hit a staggering 120 FPS (unheard of for console gaming), variable refresh rates, hardware accelerated real-time next-gen ray tracing, and 8K resolutions. Project Scarlett features high-bandwidth GDDR 6 memory and interestingly it uses a bespoke SSD as virtual RAM that increases performance by an alleged 40% compared to current consoles.
In keeping with Microsoft's dedication to backward compatibility, Scarlett will ''deliver four generations of content,'' meaning playable next-gen, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Xbox titles.
Microsoft is liberally throwing around terms like transformative, immersive, and detailed with an emphasis on cutting down on loading screens mentioning the ''snap of a finger'' as a benchmark for how fast games will load on the Project Scarlett. Microsoft is touting Project Scarlett as ''the future of gaming.''
Microsoft says it currently has teams working on Scarlett games including Halo Infinite, which will act as the flagship title for the launch of the console.
Overall, the announcement didn’t provide any new details that haven’t previously surfaced through corroborated rumors and instead offers a rather vague outline of what to expect, stopping short of a full specifications break down of the device.
The ball is now in Google and Sony's court.