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Specs, capabilities, release info: Here’s everything we know about Xbox Project Scarlett

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Following the reveal at the Xbox E3 2019 press conference, here’s everything we know so far about Xbox Project Scarlett. (Last updated: June 2019.)

Xbox Project Scarlett specs

Specs are a little thin on the ground at the current stage, and are no doubt going to be updated and finalised as production goes on, but here’s what we know so far:

  • CPU: Custom AMD Zen 2 (unspecified clock speed, core numbers)
  • GPU: Custom Navi GPU (unspecified clock speed, compute unit numbers)
  • Memory: GDDR6 memory (unspecified quantity, likely shared between CPU and GPU in an APU configuration)
  • Storage: Custom-built SSD (unspecified capacity, performance characteristics)
  • Optical: Disk drive included

Need something to compare this to? Have a look at our primer on the Xbox One X specs. (And what all those weird acronyms mean.)

Xbox Project Scarlett capabilities

Expect to see cross-compatibility. Most games will be multiplatform between the Xbox One and Project Scarlett for some time after launch. Like games on PC, this will likely be the equivalent of running the same game on two different detail levels and resolutions depending on the hardware. It’s much the same principle as the Xbox One X, but expect the difference in performance and fidelity between the two distinct generations to be greater than the current, mid-generational jump.

It’s not been confirmed yet, but also expect to see Xbox Project Scarlett feature backwards compatibility with both the Xbox One, and with Microsoft’s catalogue of backwards compatible Xbox and Xbox 360 titles. (That AMD Zen 2 architecture means a more unified architecture between the Xbox One and Project Scarlett; it’s like buying a new Windows PC with a new processor and graphics card, but the underlying x86 architecture is still the same.)

Project Scarlett will also support game streaming technologies in several ways. From Microsoft’s xCloud service to streaming from your own device, expect to see streaming supported in a big way on the next generation Xbox console. Also, expect to see loading times squashed: the talking heads featured in the Xbox E3 2019 presentation all mentioned loading times as one of the key target areas. (Hence that SSD.)

Here are a few more specific details we know about the capabilities of Xbox Project Scarlett:

  • Resolution: Up to 8K resolution supported
  • Frame rate: Up to 120 frames per second supported
  • Real-time ray tracing: Supported
  • Virtual memory: That custom SSD can be used as additional virtual RAM to improve performance

Xbox Project Scarlett release date

We don’t have a definite release date yet for Xbox Project Scarlett, but we do know it’s coming “Holiday 2020” – that means we’ll expect to see it a month or two before Christmas. That’s consistent with previous Xbox console releases (Xbox One X: November 7, 2017; Xbox One: November 22, 2013; Xbox 360: November 22, 2015; original Xbox: November 15, 2001) and also with holiday gift-buying timings.

Xbox Project Scarlett release games

Thus far, we only know of one release game for Project Scarlett: Halo Infinite. It’s obviously a major game and will shift a lot of consoles, but it’s also very appropriate. Halo: Combat Evolved was the launch title that was used to shift the original Xbox console, so Microsoft will be hoping that the sixth Halo game does the charm with Project Scarlett.

Xbox Project Scarlett’s real name

We have no idea what this will be, to be honest. We were hoping Microsoft might have given us a clue at this year’s Xbox E3 2019 press conference, but we’re still all just operating with the codename for now. Microsoft being Microsoft, expect it to be completely at odds with, or at the very least, totally out of order with the naming strategy of everything around it.

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