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Everything We Know About Microsoft’s Project Scarlett



Project Scarlett- It’s not just PC, it’s not just console, it’s not just mobile, it’s really all of the above

Amid some surprising reveals at Microsoft’s E3 Press conference, Phil Spencer introduced the world to the next-gen Xbox experience with Project Scarlett. While concrete details were scarce, the short introduction provided some ambitious specs for a console touted to be “four times as powerful as the Xbox One” and releasing in Holiday of 2020.  In the brief three minute clip, development team members provided some interesting details on the console project. So far, here is everything we know about Microsoft’s Project Scarlett:


Bridging the Gap

A main focus of the press release was to highlight the console’s ability to connect gamers to the games that they want- when they want- through Project xCloud. Similarly to the Google Stadia, Project xCloud is a next level streaming service that untethers players from their couch and gives them the freedom to play on any device that they own- be it PC, console, or mobile. In Microsoft’s eyes, this will “empower everyone, everywhere, to play,” giving them options to game in any setting that they choose.

As far as Project Scarlett is concerned, the device is designed to streamline this connectivity for those that want a traditional gaming experience within their home by allowing players to use their Scarlett console as a personal and free xCloud server, streaming games through the powerful hardware within the device. For Microsoft, it seems that Project Scarlett is the link between the traditional console and games as a service business model, giving players a steady xCloud experience and encouraging additional use of streaming on mobile devices to free gamers from their TV.


Built with Gaming in Mind

To achieve these ambitious goals, Microsoft’s Project Scarlett improves upon past hardware upgrades to create a console that it “four times as powerful as Xbox One” and a “bigger generational leap that any we’ve done before.” Through their use of new AMD processors, Microsoft promises that Project Scarlett will “usher in resolution and frame rates never seen before.”

The next-gen hardware can supposedly handle 120 fps and offer 8k resolution while providing a variable refresh rate and “next-gen” raytracing in real time. Altogether, this will provide “40 times performance increases over the current generation.”


Power to the Players

Because of the connectivity and graphical increases, Microsoft hopes Project Scarlett will empower developers to provide spectacular experiences while giving gamers the ability to seamlessly play how they want and where they want. Microsoft hopes that Scarlett upgrades will reduce load times and get rid of pauses in gameplay to allow for a streamlined and enjoyable session.

Microsoft also maintained a commitment to empowering players by providing 4 generations of content in a next-generation experience. An obvious nod to the continuation of backwards compatibility, it is unclear whether this will be physical support or through their Game Pass streaming surface. The company also touted how Project Scarlett will provide unequaled access to its extraordinary lineup of exclusive studios working on the best AAA titles and Indie games.


…and Beyond

It’s certainly possible that Microsoft’s Project Scarlett is not really a console at all, rather acting as a router for that traffics game streaming data through to additional devices. As Microsoft’s development team stated, “It’s not just PC, it’s not just console, it’s not just mobile, it’s really all of the above.” For now, Microsoft is very clear that Project Scarlett is a single console device, but this could be to avoid outrage and confusion from players.

It’s certainly possible that Project Scarlett is not really a console at all, rather acting as a router for that traffics game streaming data through to additional devices

It’s unclear what the console actually looks like and how much such a powerful console could cost, but more details will come prior to Microsoft’s Project Scarlett release in Holiday of 2020. With Halo Infinite as a launch title, it is sure to have solid support from all diehard fans regardless of whether they agree with some of the development choices.


What do you think? Will you purchase Project Scarlett day one? Are you on board with xCloud streaming? Can Microsoft Deliver on xCloud’s lofty graphical promises? Let us know in the comments below.

Ty is here to talk gaming and chew bubblegum, but he's all out of gum. Writer and host of the Stadia Wave Podcast, he is an Animal Crossing Fanatic, a Mario Kart legend, and a sore loser at Smash. Add him on Switch @Creepshow101, PSN/Live at Grimelife13, or Stadia at Grimelife and play!