Updated: Microsoft has finally given us some details on the next-gen Xbox 2 console, as well as lifting the lid on some of the specs of features. Quite frankly, this is a monstrously powerful console.
Microsoft is calling this new hardware Project Scarlett, but this is just a code name, with the official titles being withheld for now. A release window for Christmas 2020 was also revealed, with Halo Infinite launching alongside the console. But how powerful is this machine?
The new Xbox will feature AMD Navi technology, which will give the console a performance boost so it’s 4x more powerful than the Xbox One X. Other features were also confirmed, including real-time ray tracing, 8K capability, speedy GDDR6 RAM and a new SSD that looks to dramatically reduce loading times.
The news is currently breaking, so we will keep updating this article with all the latest information.
Xbox 2 – What is Project Scarlett?
Project Scarlett is the new code name for the next-gen Xbox. While we didn’t get get a proper look at the console during the Xbox E3 2019 showcase, we were shown a trailer where we were teased various bits of information about the incoming Xbox. Have a look for yourself in the video below.
Xbox 2 release date – When is Xbox Project Scarlett coming out?
Microsoft confirmed it’s upcoming next-gen console will release for Holiday 2020. That means it will arrive just in time for Christmas next year, which is just what we expected.
There’s no specific release date just yet, but Xbox did reveal that eagerly anticipated Halo Infinite will be a launch title, which will no doubt whet the appetite of Master Chief fans.
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Xbox 2 price – How much will the Xbox Project Scarlett cost?
There was no mention of pricing, which is no surprise since the Xbox Project Scarlett won’t launch for another 18 months or so. Expect it to be pricey with such high-end hardware though.
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Xbox 2 Specs and Features – How powerful is Project Scarlett?
Judging from all the details that were dropped for the Xbox 2, this looks to be a seriously powerful console. Xbox claims the new hardware is 4x more powerful than the current Xbox One X, which is frankly absurd considering that console is capable of running select games in 4K. With the AMD Zen 2 CPU and AMD Navi GPU running the show. AMD Navi has only recently been revealed, and we’re expecting to hear how powerful this GPU truly is later on in E3.
What kind of performance will these components bring? The Project Scarlett reveal trailer suggests the upcoming Xbox has 8K capabilities. It also claims Project Scarlett will be able to run games at up to 120fps, although we expect that to be while running games at a Full HD resolution at the very most.
The next-gen Xbox will also be capable of real-time ray tracing, meaning it should be able to match the likes of the Nvidia RTX graphics cards and PS5 for the revolutionary light rendering technique. This sees in-game light look and behave significantly more realistic, and adds a beautiful polish to the visuals. The inclusion of support for variable refresh rate meanwhile, means the new hardware can eradicate screen stutters and the like for a far smoother look.
It’s perhaps not the GPU and CPU power that’s the most exciting though, with the Project Scarlett reveal trailer also revealing the new hardware will sport a next-generation SSDs, which will look to reduce loading times by a significant margin. In fact, Xbox claims the SSD performance will be 40x superior to that of the current generation of consoles, which is mind blowing to say the least. This means developers will be able to create more complex open worlds without concerns that players will have to suffer tediously long waits staring at a loading screen.
While backwards compatibility wasn’t specifically confirmed, Xbox did say that you’ll be able to bring all your games, achievements and accessories forwards to Scarlett. Take that as you will, but it does support the PS5 reports that the AMD architecture will allow for backwards compatibility.
Related: What is ray tracing?
Xbox 2 Design – How will Xbox Project Scarlett look?
Xbox sadly didn’t give us a glimpse of the console, so we’ve no idea what the design looks like. You’ll probably have to wait until E3 2020 to get a sneak peak of the console.
Xbox 2 Games – What games will be on Xbox Project Scarlett?
Microsoft confirmed that Halo: Infinite will be a launch title for the Xbox Project Scarlett, which is certainly exciting news. Sadly, we didn’t get any confirmation for any other games, although we’re sure the likes of the new Elder Scrolls game will feature. We’ll likely hear more about the launch lineup of Xbox 2 titles come E3 2020. For now, have a look at the Halo: Infinite trailer which looks absolutely fantastic.
Xbox 2 Consoles – Could two versions be in the works?
A report by Thurrott shines the biggest light yet on Microsoft’s future hardware plans, revealing the potential existence of two new hardware models to come in 2020.
According to Brad Sams, Scarlett encompasses a new family of Xbox devices designed around traditional hardware and streaming as a way of accessing a vast library of potential titles. Both of which are said to be planned for a 2020 release.
The first of which will be a traditional console not dissimilar to the Xbox One, sporting state-of-the-art specifications capable of handling all the latest games. The second will be a cheaper box dubbed the ’Scarlett Cloud’ and is essentially a streaming box.
It goes on to state that Scarlett Cloud will be capable of supporting controller input, processing images, and collision detection, while everything else will be handled by a Cloud Platform Microsoft believes will tackle long-dormant issues around network latency.
This two-pronged approach to the next generation makes sense in a lot of ways, and Microsoft appears to be taking traditional hardware and future prospects very seriously, as many companies believe streaming is the future for gaming.
How Microsoft plans to charge for its streaming library remains unknown, although we imagine it will possess a streaming model akin to Xbox Game Pass. The service may even be converted into an on-demand service of sorts in the coming years.