Today at E3 Phil Spencer of Microsoft announced Project Scarlett, which is their next generation console and brings some massive performance increases over even the already powerful Xbox One X.

Once again partnering with AMD, Xbox Project Scarlett is, according to Microsoft, the biggest single generation leap in performance they’ve ever delivered, and it starts with its SoC. AMD is leveraging Zen 2 CPUs cores coupled with a Navi-based GPU. And while we don’t have the expected performance figures yet, these components are a big step up over the current generation.

Xbox One X is still based on Jaguar CPUs, which are a limiting factor, and adding Zen 2 is going to be an incredible step up in CPU performance, which has been the limiting factor of the Xbox One X. Coupling that with a Navi based GPU with hardware based Ray Tracing should provide a level of fidelity far above even the Xbox One X. Microsoft’s target for Project Scarlett was announced as 120 FPS (which we assume is at 4K) but also variable refresh rate, and support for up to 8K on the hardware. Microsoft states this console will be four times more powerful than the Xbox One X.

Microsoft is also going to be offering an internal SSD for the first time ever, and they discussed at length how they are going to leverage it to reduce the load times in games, which are a major block to immersion at the moment especially on consoles. Microsoft will be using some of the SSD as a RAM cache as well.

Microsoft also stated that they will continue to their tradition of moving gamers and the games they own onwards with this new launch, so existing Xbox One games and the back-catalog of backwards compatibility games will continue to be playable on the new console as well.

Project Scarlett will be launching in Holiday 2020 along with a new version of Halo to commemorate the launch. Not all details are available yet but we’ll keep you up to date when we hear more.

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  • mode_13h - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    They're probably using a next-gen Navi die. That's my guess.

    I doubt MS and Sony both independently designed ray-tracing customizations, although it's certainly possible.
  • Cullinaire - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    No RAM info? I'm guessing 32GB of GDDR5X. Doubt there's HBM or else the thing is gonna cost $1K+.
  • Kevin G - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    That would depend purely on the economies of scale at play. If AMD already is going the chiplet route for consoles, then leveraging HBM isn't as big of a jump as multiple dies per package already increases complexity. Not to say that it is going to be easy or inexpensive, but if they're already doing something unique with a package, the premium for HBM is not as high as it would be before.
  • Brett Howse - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    They said GDDR6 but not how much.
  • cheshirster - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    Looks like 12-16Gb of GDDR6
  • Valantar - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    32GB sounds highly unlikely simply due to cost. 16GB shared is likely perfectly fine (remember, there's no Windows to use up memory, and having a unified memory structure across the CPU and GPU can bring some savings too). 24GB might happen, but even that is a stretch. Also, GDDR5X? Why? GDDR6 is an actual standard, is widely available (and definitely will be in a year!), is no more expensive, and is faster and more power efficient. GDDR5X was a stop-gap solution and is all but dead. I doubt there still is volume production of G5X today, let alone in a year.
  • GreenReaper - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    The Xbox One does run a very customized version of Windows as its operating system:

    I wouldn't be surprised if this is the case for the next version as well. Obviously, it's cut down a lot.
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    How you think there's no Windows is... ?
  • Midwayman - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    I kinda wish they would release a beast mode $1k console alongside the base. The base has to live with devs making 30fps a target like usual and the beast mode could have at least 60 fps.
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    How was the XBox One X anything *other* than a beast mode XBox One? Same with PS4 Pro vs. PS4.

    They won't do it along side, because smaller economies of scale, mixed marketing message, creating more market niches for Sony to slot into, etc. I actually kinda like the half-gen approach, especially being a trailing-edge guy.

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