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

    >I bet the focus on SSD in consoles will benefit PC loading times too, as games will be more aware of SSD's abilities
    >Why exactly would higher layers need to be aware of a fatter pipe in the lower layers?

    You lack imagination. If a developer knows the storage has low latency, then they can do things like mmap() huge data and just page in the bits they need, on demand. If you do this with a HDD, you're going to notice a stutter, since it could take up to 10s of ms (depending on how busy the disk is), but a SSD could do it orders of magnitude faster.
    Reply
  • willis936 - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    That technique hurts performance. If you want more stuff in memory then put it there. Waiting microseconds (literally thousands of cycles) for data is something that should happen less than a tenth of a percent of the time. Reply
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Don't be so precious! There are going to be like 16 threads in this thing, so it's not necessarily a problem if a couple of them stall on page faults.

    If you're building a PC, perhaps you can afford to add enough RAM to obviate the need for such techniques, but this is a mass market product and they have to consider that every $ of added cost will have a very real impact on adoption rates. The best hardware is of no benefit, if few people can afford it. And if that happens, it won't get software support, which affects even those who DO buy one.
    Reply
  • willis936 - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Such a shame. You were almost worth talking to. Reply
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    I'll just let that speak for itself, and take this opportunity to underscore my point that it's actually not hard to design a high performance system, without cost constraints. However, to design the best system at a price... THAT takes good engineering.

    So, all this PC Master race talk about how consoles aren't doing this or that in the best possible way just misses the point. What defines consoles, and sets them apart from PCs, is their accessibility (and, by that, I mostly mean price).
    Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    I don't imagine its too far a stretch of the imagination.

    I reckon hacking (replacing) the bios would be the starting-point.

    Of course, the 'chip-smasher' stories will be out soon thereafter.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    Because they don't want you to is about it.

    If you could run a standard consumer OS on it it would be a pretty great value for a small PC.
    Reply
  • zmatt - Thursday, June 13, 2019 - link

    It runs a stripped down and locked down version of Windows 10 that wont let you. Its probably missing all sorts of libraries that are necessary for applications that aren't games. Reply
  • mode_13h - Friday, June 21, 2019 - link

    I doubt that it lacks the runtime support of normal Windows, although I *don't* doubt that it's locked-down to prevent unapproved apps from being installed.

    However, its web browser is probably fully-featured, enabling you to use any sort of browser-based apps. Beyond that, I assume you can install and run apps from the the Windows Store.

    I'm pretty sure MS *wants* people to use it like a PC, as long as they're only running apps or streaming media where MS gets a cut.
    Reply
  • tk11 - Sunday, June 09, 2019 - link

    Please... Why not just promise 8k at 240fps... Looking forward to the next gen after this to see how even more ridiculous the marketing claims will be. Reply

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