New Xbox Scarlett Console Confirmed And Arrives In Late 2020
Exciting news for all gamers around the world. The next-gen Xbox console codename Scarlett is on the way. Release Date, Tech Specs and more.
The second week of June 2019 was marked by E3 Expo, run in Los Angeles, that not only surprised the fans with the unprecedented appearance of Keanu Reeves on it, but also shed light on Microsoft ambitious plans of becoming the video game industry leader by introducing next-gen hardware, a new cloud gaming and games library services. During the presentation Xbox leader Phil Spencer emphasized the company heard the fans and made the console a key element of the whole experience by redesigning and optimizing hardware capabilities for gaming primarily.
The provisional name for the next Xbox console is Scarlett. So what is Xbox Scarlett? While a lot of technical features and capabilities, a list of expected compatible games, its comparison to Xbox One and approximate release dates have been revealed, there will be many more details coming in the next few months. Here is a round-up of all official information and rumors known about the project so far.
Xbox Scarlett Specs
Microsoft made a big statement via it's announcement video referring to Xbox Scarlett as "the most immersive console experience ever." Looking at the specs summed up via a tweet from Project Scarlett dedicated account, we start to believe the project will, in fact, turn out as incredible as they say:
It looks like Xbox Scarlett was built to smash the competition and will feature a new AMD processor based on AMD Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA architecture, GDDR6 memory and a new SSD for RAM support. Given 8K resolution, 120 frames-per-second and real-time ray tracing support, we are talking about the console of the future here. To get a good understanding of what these specs mean exactly, let’s move away from the technical language and see how these numbers translate into actual experience.
The main pride of the Project Scarlett developers is a state of the art processor. To deliver a new level of performance, Microsoft has joined efforts with AMD to build a custom CPU that is supposedly four times more powerful than the one of the Xbox One X which is the most advanced console built to this day. It remains unclear whether the statement referred to the unit processing capabilities or also holds true for the graphics.
In addition to the ultimate CPU, the system will also come with a super fast custom SSD that is promised to deliver a performance 40 times over what Xbox One X can do, and a lightning-fast DDR6 memory. This upgrade will allow to either completely eliminate game loading times or minimize them like never before.
8K and 120 FPS capabilities sound no less ambitious than the above, however, we believe, in order to reach such time frame rates and graphics, pretty primitive games should be played.
Ray tracing support further emphasizes a tremendous processor upgrade. In case you were wondering, it is a special technique that allows producing an image by tracing pixels light path.
It has been confirmed the next-gen Xbox console will offer backward compatibility allowing to retrieve all content from your current Xbox One such as achievements, games library, accessories, etc. A freshly announced Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 will work with Scarlett as well, which gives us good grounds to assume that current Xbox One S gaming pad will also be compatible with the upcoming console.
As Microsoft aims to beat PlayStation with Project Scarlett by delivering a more powerful product, the question arises whether the new Xbox system will have VR technology as upcoming PS5 will be based on it. Rumors have it that Microsoft has been working in this direction but then changed their mind citing a not developed enough VR technology as a reason to switch the strategy. Looking at the speed Virtual Reality has been progressing at lately, it’s quite possible MS may rethink their plan.
xCloud New Cloud-Based Gaming Service
With Google Stadia scheduled for release in November 2019 and its quite impressive specs and teraflops announced at 10.7, it is no wonder, Microsoft sees it as a serious threat and aims to deliver the same level of service and even outperform Stadia for their next-gen consoles. Project Xcloud is a Microsoft cloud-based streaming service that will be a key element for Xbox system allowing gamers to play games they like in any situation and on any device as long as there is a good network connection. It is not a replacement of a console business, it’s about giving users more choice and flexibility. You will be able to play your favorite title at home with your console, then continue exactly where you left off on another device, your phone or tablet, that will be connected to an Xbox controller via Bluetooth, for example. The game will be played exactly as it plays on the console and was originally planned by the creator. In terms of technology, games will be streamed via xCloud service by Microsoft
Project xCloud Beta is scheduled to be released by the end of October 2019 with more details on the pricing, subscription and games library coming before that.
Anaconda And Lockhart - New Xbox Console Variations
Up until E3 2019, there has been a lot of speculation going on about Xbox marketing strategy and its efforts to become an industry leader with the next-gen console. It has been rumored by multiple sources that Microsoft will release two versions of hardware, a budget and a high-end one to get a bigger market share. Two console options, reportedly named Lockhart and Anaconda, are supposed to come out at the same time. Lockhart will be a budget-friendly, S-type Xbox console delivering all key performance features at an affordable price; while Anakonda will be a more powerful and refined product, analogous to the current X-type Xbox One.
Since Spencer didn’t confirm this during the presentation, it looks like such a project may have been in the works but was abandoned or is on hold for now. Microsoft is known for offering several versions of the same console with its Xbox One - S - X variants being released a few months apart from each other, and the question with Project Scarlett Duo remains open.
Xbox Scarlett Release Date
Microsoft console game in the past few years has been weaker than Sony, with the latter reporting over 100 million PlayStation 4 sold and no official reports on Xbox One system sales numbers, while the estimates mention the range of 30 to 60 million sold. The success of Nintendo switch along with a range of PlayStation exclusive games also contributed to the third-place market share of Xbox One gaming systems. With Project, Scarlett Microsoft hopes to re-establish its presence on the video game market and take the lead back. Since Xbox Scarlett will become available in the fall of 2020, which is around the same time Sony’s PS5 is scheduled for release, this means the next-gen console war will be on right for the holiday shopping.
Both gaming systems will come with an impressive roundup of specs including a new processor, 120 FPS, 8K resolution, custom SSDs, ray tracing support and more, but still, reputable sources claim PlayStation 5 will be more powerful than Xbox Scarlett. After much digging, we were able to find 2 possible reasons to explain PS5 superiority:
- PS5 will feature an 8 core CPU enabling it to use multi-threading which will result in a more powerful performance. The downside is that this technology may affect the price making the console more expensive
- The firmware that PS5 will come with will be more optimized and will allow using the hardware more efficiently. Translating this into a real-life example, the hardware will be a car, while the firmware is a driver, and the same exact car can perform differently depending on the driver skills.
Xbox Scarlett Price
No doubt, “the future of gaming” capabilities Project Scarlett promises to deliver, are the main topic for discussion among gamers, critics, industry professionals. The second popular subject brought on various forums, social media and interviews is how much such piece of equipment may cost? No official price has been revealed yet, but we can assume that running at 120 frames per second and 8k resolution along with other announced features, the console should be very expensive.
The main thing about Project Scarlett marketing is to offer strategically right pricing at launch. Microsoft made some mistakes in the past with Xbox One loading it with all the goodies that came with a pricey tag of $499 at launch which negatively affected the market share. A cheaper configuration was offered months later to match the price of newly released PS4. Microsoft will surely be smart this time around to avoid repeating the same mistakes and there are 2 possible scenarios:
MS will strategically launch two hardware versions, a high-end Anaconda and a lower-end Lockhart, that can be priced similarly to Xbox One X and S, $499 and $349 respectively.
If there is only one next-gen Xbox Scarlett on the way, Microsoft may drop the pricing to the lower range, around $399, as their analysts understand in today market, flooded with various ways to access games completely hardware-free, the price will be one of the key factors to win a buyer’s heart. In this case, Sony will have nothing else to do but follow the case.
Games To Launch With Xbox Scarlett
Many believed the eighth installment of Forza would be the first official Xbox Scarlett title but this didn’t come true. The launch game for Project Scarlett, that has been officially confirmed, happens to be Halo Infinite. Polygon noticed the funny coincidence about the very first game of the franchise being a launch title for 2001 Xbox console in their online review on Project Scarlett news. Microsoft showed a fantastic looking trailer of the game demonstrating amazing visuals on textures and small details.
Theoretically, backward compatibility allows all games ever played on Xbox within the past 19 years to be accessible on Scarlett, this includes both Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles. At E3 a number of Xbox 360 games were announced with Xbox One titles to follow plus over 20 upcoming ones scheduled for release within the next 18 months. Some popular ones are Minecraft Dungeon, Age of Empire II, Borderlands 3, Forza Horizon 4 and many more.
Spencer developed the compatibility topic further giving pretty obvious hints about cross-platform play capabilities and goals to grow large communities such as one of Fornite on to the Xbox Scarlett.
If you have read up until this part, you should have a pretty good idea that 2020 will be the year to push the Xbox out to new heights. Microsoft desire to win the market back paved the way for the development of breaking through technology in the world of video games; the competition, breathing on the back, has stimulated the tech giant not to focus only on being more innovative, but work on delivering a product every gamer will fall in love with. One of the Business Insider latest reads has well noticed Xbox Scarlett is all about giving you unlimited choices and variety. Enjoy any game produced in the past 19 years at any time on any device without compromising on the quality of the experience. Just a couple years back, who would have thought that technology would step so far? 2020 promises to be an incredible year for gamers. Let us know your thoughts on the rumors and facts about Xbox Scarlett. Are you waiting for the release? Do you think it will have an advantage over the close competitors? Will the next-gen Xbox console be your choice of the gaming console?