When is the next Xbox console going to be released? It’s all pretty much speculation so far about 'Project Scarlett', but here's a round-up of everything we know.
There have been multiple variations of the Xbox One - the X and S models - since its release back in 2014. Despite a rocky start to life due to a heavy focus on television and other entertainment integration, the console has sold over 40 million units.
However, with Playstation rumored to be releasing a brand new console in the not too distant future, the console wars and the battle for the consumer’s wallet will soon return.
So, let's run through everything you need to know about project Scarlett so far.
There is no official name yet for the new console, it is currently only known by its codename - Scarlett. Many folks have speculated that it will simply be called the ‘Xbox Two,’ following on from the Xbox One. However, the One spawned from the 360, not an ‘Xbox Zero’ so an official name will be up in the air for a while.
The most powerful Xbox One model - the X - runs on a 2.3GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar CPU like a PS4 Pro, but it sets itself apart with a 6 Teraflop AMD Radeon GPU which allows plenty of AAA games to run at a native 4K resolution without the need to sacrifice too much in the way of performance to upscale to 4K. So, we can expect the Scarlett model to run at levels above that.
The original set of One's lagged behind Playstation's initial Tech so look for Xbox to strike the first blow going forward with the yet to be announced next-gen of AMD CPU and GPU's, improved 4K, perhaps even 8K and the ability to run at a constant 60FPS, matching some quality PC rigs.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has already stated that he wants the new console to load games quicker and have better frame rates in-game.
A report from TechRadar suggests that Xbox's Project Scarlett might be the first ever console to have separate parts for both CPU and GPU, by featuring a discrete graphics part just like a PC.
The next-gen gaming system from Microsoft is also expected to have an Arcturus 12 GPU "featuring 64 ‘Arcturus Engines’ and a total of 4,096 GPU cores", the same article states. This would be a huge step forward from the Xbox One X's 2,560 GPU cores, but has not been confirmed as of yet.
Potentially. Journalist Brad Sams of thurrott.com, who has broken plenty of news on Microsoft in the past, stated back in July that there are new "consoles" in development - one powerful all-around console, codename Anaconda, and another less powerful device, codename Lockhart, that is used to stream games.
Anaconda is expected to be similar to the eventual PS5 console in terms of power, whereas Lockhart will be more of an entry-level device that still provides next-gen gaming. The strategy behind Lockhart is to provide more price sensitive gamers an option to get the latest hardware without having to wait years for the price point to change.
Perhaps most notably, despite the expectation of being significantly cheaper, Lockhart will be more powerful than the current console leader in terms of power, the Xbox One X. This means 4K gaming at 60FPS should be a bare minimum across the next generation of consoles.
Windows Central also states that Xbox are also working on a digital-only version of the Xbox One, which could perhaps act as a precursor to the possible entry-level Xbox Scarlett. The console, named the Xbox One S All-Digital, will come with a 1TB hard drive for storing downloaded games, and will have Minecraft, Sea of Thieves and Forza Horizon 3 installed on the console. The device has yet to be officially announced, but Windows Central believe that an April reveal is likely, with a release in May.
According to Sams, Xbox appears to have plans for a 'games streaming' service for the less powerful console. Instead of discs, players would be able to stream their games directly from Microsoft's servers - similar to how Netflix runs its service. The game's model has been attempted before with the failed OnLive PC service from 2015. Whether or not that would be a success on console remains to be seen.
This streaming service has been codenamed 'Project xCloud' and it is likely to make its way onto Xbox One consoles before the next-gen. The service was showcased at the Games Developer Conference (GDC) back in March, showing off how digital Xbox One games would work on it before public trials begin sometime in 2019.
Again, there is no official word on the release of the next Xbox. The best lead we have is that Brad Sams also reported that a new console will have a release date in 2020. However, a new tease from the Xbox Wire website states that the Xbox team is "focused on implementing new Microsoft technologies" and "delivering content for new platforms."
Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, stated during E3 2018 that his team were “deep into developing the next generation of Xbox consoles” so a new console or two can’t be all that far away. However, new a report from French website JeuxVideo states that they believe at least one of the two new consoles will be presented at E3 2019.
If Xbox does choose to launch the new Xbox One S All-Digitial in May, it may mean we might not see the Xbox Scarlett this year, as it's unclear as to whether they would release two new consoles in one calendar year.
It remains to be seen if Xbox will make the new console a part of their E3 2019 show, which is coming up on June 11 through June 13, seeing as PlayStation are not making the annual trip to Los Angeles.
This post was last updated on Monday, May 20, 2019, at 11:24 am Eastern Time.