E3 2019: The New Xbox Is Scarlett, Launches Holiday 2020

GAMING

Microsoft had plenty of things to talk about during its press conference at E3 2019 this year, but one of the more important announcements came toward the end of the briefing, when the company finally revealed the details for its next-generation Xbox plans, codenamed Scarlett. In fact, Scarlett might refer to multiple consoles–the company did confirm that the next-gen system will launch in the Holiday 2020 period.

Microsoft also announced Halo: Infinite will be a Scarlett launch title, which marks the first time a Halo game has been a launch Xbox game since the original Halo: Combat Evolved for the first Xbox.

Microsoft kept many of its Scarlett cards close to its chest, electing instead to mostly talk about its internal hardware. The console, which is yet to receive a final name, will be "four times" more powerful than the Xbox One X, Microsoft says. The company went on to say Scarlett contains a custom-engineered AMD processor and will be capable of both 8K resolution, 120 frames per second framerates, and variable refresh rates. It also supports ray-tracing and the system is equipped with a solid-state drive (SSD), something Sony has touted about PS5. Microsoft noted that the SSDS will be used as virtual RAM. The console has a custom AMD Zen 2 CPU, Radeon RDNA architecture, and GDDR6 RAM.

One detail absent from the Xbox press conference that we've since learned is that Scarlett has a disc drive, allowing you to play physical discs. It'll also support all your existing Xbox one games and accessories. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has also shared some thoughts in a post-conference interview where he talks about future console generations and not necessarily needing you to buy new hardware.

Scarlett was touted during the conference as a "bigger leap than any generation we've done before." Spencer also described it as the "most powerful and highest performance console we've ever designed." Microsoft also very deliberately made it clear the system is designed explicitly for gaming, a notable difference from how the Xbox One was originally unveiled.

For more on the new device, read our exhaustive look at Scarlett's hardware specs or our comprehensive article from before E3 on everything we know about Xbox Scarlett–including the rumored budget alternative. Our previous understanding of the next-gen Xbox scene was that Microsoft has more than one system coming–similar to how we have the Xbox One S and more powerful Xbox One X. Scarlett was reported to be the more powerful of the next-gen systems, and it's the only one that was discussed during the conference.

For more, stay tuned to GameSpot's E3 roundup hub.

Filed under:
Xbox One
PC
E3 2019
Gametech

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