The Xbox Next Gen hype train has well and truly left the station. While we know very little about the next console (or consoles) from Microsoft, we do know that one is called Xbox Project Scarlett. In this guide to the Xbox Scarlett we'll look at the release date for the Xbox Project Scarlett, consider what the Xbox Scarlett price might launch at, and look at the rumored Xbox streaming box that will reportedly make use of Project xCloud.
- Xbox Project Scarlett Release Date
- Will There be More Than One Xbox Project Scarlett?
- Xbox 2 Leaks - What is the Truth?
- Is Starfield the First Revealed Xbox Scarlett Game?
- Xbox Project Scarlett Will Launch With Halo Infinite
- What is a Realistic Xbox Scarlett Price? - Will the Xbox Project Scarlett be Expensive and Cost More Than the Xbox One did at Launch?
- How Powerful Will the Xbox Project Scarlett be? Certainly More Powerful Than the Xbox One X
- Will Microsoft Follow the Switch Route With the Xbox Scarlett?
- Will the Xbox Project Scarlett Play Xbox One and Older Games? Backwards Compatibility
- Can the Xbox Project Scarlett Beat the PS5?
Xbox Scarlett Release Date
During E3 2019, Microsoft unveiled its new console. It's called Project Scarlett, and will launch holiday 2020. Read on for more info on specs and launch titles. So we can now say that the Xbox Scarlett release date is at some point in Holiday 2020.
Will There be More Than One Xbox Project Scarlett?
Multiple reports have revealed that Microsoft is working on a family of video game devices, and a Windows Central report claims that there will be two consoles: a successor to the Xbox One S and a beefier machine that will succeed the Xbox One X. These are reportedly codenamed Anaconda and Scarlet. At one point the cheaper of the two consoles was rumored to be a streaming box, perhaps tied to Microsoft's own Project xCloud technology, but the exact truth remains a mystery.
One thought, as discussed on the podcast below, is that the reported upcoming discless Xbox One S will, in fact, have streaming capability and be cheap enough to make a dedicated streaming box defunct. It remains to be seen if the cheaper, digital-only Xbox One S releases, but if it was priced close to the $150 price point, it would offer more than a streaming box for little extra money.
Xbox 2 Leaks - What is the Truth?
Given the sheer volume of supposed Xbox 2 leaks that will appear online in the coming months, it's worth preparing yourself. The video below from our friends at Digital Foundry does a great job at explaining what leaks can be believed and how to spot obvious fakes.
As Richard says in the video, look at how feasible the leaked Xbox 2 spec is when the console (at least the base version) is unlikely to cost more than $399. Then look at the site reporting on the leak. Has the site published accurate reports in the past and does it look to obtain multiple sources before running a story? Also look at if what you're reading is so vague it falls under the banner of someone using common sense to put something together.
Is Starfield the First Revealed Xbox Scarlett Game?
During the Bethesda E3 2018 conference, Todd Howard announced Starfield, a brand-new single-player RPG. This game isn't coming out for a while, yet, but Howard did say that it's coming to "next-gen". This is almost certainly in reference to the next consoles from Sony and Microsoft, so Starfield may well be the first announced Xbox Scarlett game. During E3 2019, Microsoft revealed that Halo Infinite will launch with Project Scarlett, making it the only confirmed game thus far.
Xbox Project Scarlett Will Launch With Halo Infinite
Microsoft has been on an acquisition spree, grabbing studios to make games exclusively for Xbox and PC. These studios include Obsidian and Ninja Theory, although don't expect to see all the new titles from these studios in 2020. One game that will definitely launch with Project Scarlett is Halo Infinite, as revealed during E3 2019.
Xbox Game Pass is sure to be a big selling point of the Xbox Scralett so Microsoft will want a strong lineup of Microsoft Studios titles releasing at the end of 2020. Rare may well be working on a title, but if that is still a way off then an enhanced release of Sea of Thieves would make sense. Given that Microsoft is keen to push Xbox as a platform, with access to older titles, it's not crazy to suggest that numerous Xbox One titles will be refreshed for Xbox Scarlett, complete with enhanced visuals, yet be free to current owners.
Xbox Scarlett Price - Will the Xbox Project Scarlett be Expensive and Cost More Than the Xbox One did at Launch?
For an educated guess as to what the Xbox Scarlett could realistically cost when it inevitably releases, you’d have to look at past console releases. The PlayStation 4 first launched at a price point of $399 back in 2014, and Microsoft will almost certainly want to either hit this price point or go cheaper with its lower-spec Xbox Project Scarlett console. The more powerful Xbox Scarlett model is likely to be significantly more expensive, but until we know more about the power being targeted by each device it's hard to be definitive about pricing. We don't even know if the rumors about two next-gen Xbox consoles are true, as Microsoft only mentioned Scarlett at E3 2019, leading some to believe that this two-pronged approach has been abandoned.
How Powerful Will the Xbox Project Scarlett be? Certainly More Powerful Than the Xbox One X
Everyone would be pretty shocked if the Xbox Scarlett didn’t exceed the power of the Xbox One X, which currently boasts 6 teraflops, unless its successor to the Xbox One S targets a much lower spec and budget audience. At the end of 2020 8-10TF should easily be doable for $399. The question then is how much more powerful could a $499 console be and if Microsoft would be willing to push that price even higher to deliver a beast of a console for hardcore users willing to pay a premium (like they have with the Xbox One X).
What we know so far is that Xbox has worked with AMD to design a custom core for the Project Scarlett. We'll have to see how this translated to gaming power, but Microsoft made some noise about Scarlett being 4x as powerful as the Xbox One X, without really saying in what areas and what that will mean for the games we play on it.
Aside from the specs of the console, it will be interesting to see if the Xbox Scarlett makes any radical changes to the Xbox controller. It's unlikely that the next Xbox pad will look all that different to the current option, although given the rise of screenshot sharing it would be slightly foolish not to include that functionality with a dedicated button (this is an area in which the Xbox is way behind the PS4 and Nintendo Switch).
Will Microsoft Follow the Switch Route With the Xbox Scarlett?
Given that the Nintendo Switch has been a huge success, there are some calls for the Xbox 2 to offer a portable option. This isn't likely, but what we probably will see is full Xbox Two streaming support on mobile devices thanks to Project xCloud. Microsoft has already demonstrated the tech on mobile phones and tablets, with players using Xbox controllers or touch screen controls, so it follows that this will be rolled out on as many devices as possible in the future.
Will the Xbox Project Scarlett Play Xbox One and Older Games? Backwards Compatibility
The Xbox One uses an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) that is built upon the x86-64 architecture. Microsoft is using similar architecture in the Xbox Scarlett, and at E3 the firm stated that Scarlett will play four generations of Xbox games: Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Scarlett. Microsoft is already well down the road of backwards compatibility and fans are expecting this to continue (with more enhancements for old games) with the Xbox 2.
A big question mark remains over how long the Xbox One S and Xbox One X will be supported. The Xbox One S is already struggling to keep up with modern games (as discussed in the Digital Foundry video below), so it will be interesting to see how Microsoft handles the transition to the Xbox 2. There's a possibility that streaming tech will be used to give Xbox One S owners a way to play next-gen titles, but Xbox One X may have native support for future Xbox 2 titles for at least a couple of years.
Can the Xbox Project Scarlett Beat the PS5?
Sony is currently in such a dominant position with the PS4 that it'll be nigh-on impossible for Microsoft to topple the PS5 with the Xbox 2. What Microsoft will want to do is ensure it is in the battle, with a repeat of its disastrous Xbox One launch being highly unlikely. The Xbox One launched at a higher price than the PS4, offered less power, and confused consumers with a set of digital game features that were ahead of their time. Today the Xbox is in a much stronger position, but still has a lot of ground to make up on the PlayStation. For Microsoft to have any chance next time around, the Xbox Scarlett must be the default choice for third-party games (like the Xbox 360 was for many gamers during that generation) and the firm's first-party games must start to deliver the goods, as Sony has during the PS4's lifespan.
That's all we can put together on the Xbox Project Scarlett, but we'll be sure to update this page whenever new info or rumors come to light. E3 2019 is an obvious target for new info, but GDC in March might reveal some juicy bits of Xbox Project Scarlett info.
Header Image, Project Scorpio Development Kit | Microsoft