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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  • TheUnhandledException - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    I really doubt it will have that much RAM. Video RAM is still incredibly expensive. Right now GDDR5 is about $6/GB. GDDR6 is about $10/GB but expected to fall as it replaces GDDR5. 5x is in the middle. So 32GB of RAM would be $200 to $300+.

    Also 5x is a hack until 6 becomes mainstream. For a product intended to last 5-7 years I would imagine they will go with the real GDDR6. Maybe 12 to 16 GB.
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Yeah, and I think GDDR5X has only one supplier?
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    After talking about how they're going to be swapping to the SSD, I highly doubt it'll be above 16 GB. Just maybe 24 GB, if they go for 384-bit memory interface, but I really don't see 32 GB.
  • 5080 - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    Will it be PCIe 4.0 or still 3.0? Probably 4.0 since they need a fast bus to connect to that "super fast" SSD and because Zen 2 supports it as well.
  • IntelUser2000 - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    Short Answer: It'll be super-fast because its a console.
    Long Answer: A console is a computer available in one hardware specification and won't change for 5-7 years before the next generation comes out. That means developers can do things they simply cannot do on PCs. You optimize the filesystem, the way the controller manages data on NAND chips, and the games are built for SSDs too.
  • dcuccia - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    51 comments and as yet no quips about how Scarlet is a little on-the-nose for those who suffered the red ring of death...
  • catavalon21 - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

  • Gunbuster - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    Video: Montage of 40+ year old's tell you how they are tuned in to the pulse of console gamers...
  • eastcoast_pete - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    To re-state Microsoft's announcement: "We'll do whatever SONY does with the PS 5. Ask them for details". What a joke! Not even a declaration that they are shooting to be the most powerful console out there, like they did for Scorpio (and delivered, at least on raw GPU compute power).
    Maybe MS could save itself some money on R&D, make a deal with SONY, and just sell rebranded PS5 consoles with a different OS and a different case.
  • drothgery - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    In case you didn't notice, the hardware differences between the Xbox One and PS4 were pretty minimal. That's hardly news. Heck, the Xbox 360 CPU was pretty much 3 of the PPE from the PS3 Cell.

    AMD's really the only one that can offer an SoC with a relatively high-end CPU and GPU right now and they're not going to use a multi-chip solution anymore. nVidia would have to use a licensed ARM core for a CPU and no matter what they say about A76 performance it's not up to Zen or X Lake (let alone Zen 2 or Sunny Cove) standards, and Intel isn't far enough along with Xe to put their own GPU in a console launching next year. And anyone else would lack both a good enough CPU and a good enough GPU. So why would anyone think AMD is going to develop two significantly different SoCs for products targeting the same market space at the same time?

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