The new Xbox - which has the codename Project Scarlett - has finally surfaced.
Or at least, the first details of it have, thanks to a showing at E3 2019 at Microsoft's press conference, giving us the first new Xbox specs and tech details, some idea of a new Xbox release date and the first new Xbox games.
Here's what we know - and don't know yet - about the new Xbox, Project Scarlett. If you're looking for more next gen details, our PS5 specs page might be of interest.
On this page:
New Xbox Project Scarlett specs
Let's dive straight into the hard numbers - here's what we know about the new Xbox's tech after the initial reveal:
New Xbox Project Scarlett specs
- CPU and GPU - a "custom-designed" AMD processor that's teased to be four times as powerful as Xbox One X, with chipsets based on Zen 2 and Navi architecture.
- Ray tracing support that's real time and hardware accelerated "for the first time ever", according to Microsoft (here's Digital Foundry on the current state of ray tracing tech if you're looking for more background info.)
- Memory - High bandwidth GDDR6 will be included.
- Storage - just like the PS5, there will be a "next generation" SSD (solid state drive) for ultra fast loading times, which are teased to be up to 40 times faster than current generation speeds.
- Resolution support - Project Scarlett will have up to 8K support, presumably including full 4k, depending on the game.
- 120 FPS and variable refresh rate support for compatible displays.
Want to know the Digital Foundry verdict on the New Xbox specs? This video can help:
All confirmed New Xbox details, including Xbox backwards compatibility
Let's look at some of the non-hardware features we know about for Project Scarlett:
- Project Scarlett will support backwards compatibility across four console generations - the original Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and the new Xbox. To help ensure Xbox One backwards compatibility support on this new generation, Microsoft has wound down adding new Xbox 360 games.
- The new Xbox will support Xbox One accessories, and though we don't know exactly what will be supported exactly, we do know controllers - including the Xbox Elite line - will be included.
- Select Project Scarlett games will be cross-generation, such as Halo Infinite, Microsoft's Matt Booty told Eurogamer. "We... want to make sure people who own an Xbox One get a game which runs well up and down the Xbox family. But it plays best on Scarlett."
- Xbox Game Pass will also be supported, if you have a subscription on your account, giving you access to a variety of Xbox 360, Xbox One and we imagine all first-party Project Scarlett titles at the very least.
- Existing Achievements and progression will all carry over to Project Scarlett, as it has done with previous generations, as part of your Xbox Live profile.
- Speed and reducing load screens is a key selling point, Matt Booty said in that our E3 interview. "It's the combination of speed, not just of the SSD but of the processor, the performance of the GPU and RAM... Just think, what are all the things right now which take you out of a game? You're playing then suddenly *bloop* a load screen pops up and drops you out. Our goal is to get rid of those things, that's what we're after."
- Project Scarlett won't be digital-only as it will support an optical disc drive.
- Project Scarlett won't be the last Xbox console - or at least that's the current plan, according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer. There has to be a "meaningful" reason, but with the prediction game streaming won't take off in the short to medium term, the possiblity of another box makes sense.
New Xbox release date expectations - when will Project Scarlett release and other details be fully announced?
There's still no word on an exact new Xbox release date - though Microsoft has confirmed it'll be available "Holiday 2020" - which is more precise than we know about the PS5 release date so far.
But when we know more details - such as the final name, and a Project Scarlett release date? Our bet is E3 2020 - though, based on previous console reveals, it's possible a dedicated event ahead of next summer could help explain nitty gritty details, before using the E3 as a means to focus on games and other things.
Confirmed New Xbox games so far
Only one game has been confirmed for Project Scarlett so far:
- Halo Infinite was announced alongside Project Scarlett during E3 2019, offering up a cutscene-heavy trailer. There a few other details aside from it being a "spiritual reboot" - but it will be a cross-generation title, launching also on PC and Xbox One.
There are, of course, other Project Scarlett games that are likely, including:
- Starfield, Bethesda's space-based role-playing adventure, is still a few years off and is a next gen game. It could, of course, be cross-gen with Xbox One, too.
- Elder Scrolls 6 is even further away from that - this is almost certainly bound for Project Scarlett than the new Xbox. Here are our educated-but-very-over-excited Elder Scrolls 6 location predictions, if you want more on that.
- Countless yearly franchises, live service games and popular apps. Will Forza, FIFA, Call of Duty and Madden be coming to the new Xbox? Almost certainly. Of course we won't hear anything for a while yet about confirmed Xbox One games, so this is all our guesswork on what is possible.
With Microsoft only giving us the essentials on the New Xbox, and a release date of Holiday 2020 planned, there's a lot left to reveal and over a year to reveal it in. Whether it's a huge info dump or details coming in waves, there's a lot to look forward to.
If you're looking for more next gen details in the meantime, our PS5 specs page might be of interest.
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