Xbox Details Specs for Next Gen 'Scarlett' Console

Some new Xbox silicon.

Microsoft debuted its next gen Xbox here at its press conference at E3. Microsoft is calling it Project Scarlett, and it will release in Holiday 2020. No pictures of the system were shown, nor was a price announced.

The next gen console uses AMD's Zen 2 architecture and Navi graphics, which Xbox boss Phil Spencer said it co-engineered with AMD. It also uses GDDR6 memory and an SSD that doubles as virtual RAM.

"It's not just PC, it's not just console, it's not just mobile," one Xbox team member said in a trailer.

The company said it will have ray tracing and frame rates up to 120 fps.

Halo: Infinite will launch alongside the system, and you can read more about that here.

The company hinted that streaming services will be a big part of the console, but didn't specify how. Project xCloud will be coming to existing Xbox Ones, howeer, so it's very possible this will have a similar offering.

Previously, competitor Sony had detailed that its next-gen PlayStiation would be based on AMD's Zen 2 8-core processors and Navi graphics, support ray-tracking, and, in some circumstances, offer 8K graphics. The company also said it will use an SSD out of the box and have a custom audio chip.

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE

  • epobirs
    It's funny how both Sony and Microsoft refuse to come out and say they'll use a PCIe 4.0 SSD for main storage when it's painfully obvious and such will already long be available in PCs by the time those consoles launch. Why be mysterious at this point?

    A bigger question to me is what will be available for going beyond the base storage. Will there be a second M.2 slot, packaged in a way to make it easy for consumers to plug in more storage? What will be the USB version? If USB 3.2, that will offer a big boost over current gen, even if it pales before the throughput of the internal storage. The companies could apply some analysis to the games to determine which ones will most benefit from being prioritized to use the internal faster storage. A smallish game that entirely reside in RAM or close to it would get less benefit than some sprawling epic with very frequent random accesses.
  • hotaru251
    epobirs said:
    use a PCIe 4.0 SSD for main storage
    TBH i hope not.

    given the "specs" these are either gonna be huge or there gonna be extremely hot while gaming.

    pcie 4.0 is already suggested to run hot in normal PC's. in a small console package this would liekly be much worse.
  • bit_user
    AndrewFreedman said:
    Xbox Details Specs for Next Gen 'Scarlett' Console
    Eh, kinda thin on the details, really. I think we could've guessed this much.

    Okay, not necessarily ray tracing, but Zen2, Navi, GDDR6, SSD, and VRR - and that typically means the potential for framerates > 60 Hz.

    IMO, the biggest news is the release date.
  • Roland Of Gilead
    So....basically, we have two near identical consoles coming out! Both will perform pretty much close to the other, with only titles really separating what is otherwise just another yawn moment from Sony/MS.
  • daglesj
    Ahh well I'll wait for the 'improved X version' 8 months after release.

    Like that's not going to happen...
  • DavidC1
    epobirs said:
    It's funny how both Sony and Microsoft refuse to come out and say they'll use a PCIe 4.0 SSD for main storage when it's painfully obvious and such will already long be available in PCs by the time those consoles launch. Why be mysterious at this point?

    Who cares? The SSDs on consoles will be way, way faster, in a way PCIe versions don't matter. You could have Optane, you could have PCIe 6.0, it doesn't matter. This is the advantage of having a purpose-oriented platform. It allows you to do things better at a lower cost, by sacrificing flexibility.

    The patents describe what they'll do with every aspect of the system to fully take advantage of SSDs. The same thing is not viable on the PC, or will take a long time to come just because you need to cater to a vast market with vastly different requirements.

    This is why NVMe SSDs are in practice not much better than SATA SSDs, and why SSDs in general show 2-4x gains rather than 100x shown by benchmarks.

    With consoles as a developer you target a platform that does not change for 5-7 years, and on only one hardware specification. That means you get to absolutely maximize its capabilities.
  • i highly doubt it will need or use a pcie 4.0 ssd... lol, regular sata ssd are moare than enough for gaming.

    will they make it easy for end user to upgrade? No, and who cares? you can add on storage NAS for games like I do and never use the primary storage except for system stuff. you don't need SSDs to game.
  • daglesj
    I never understand the rush for NVMe type storage in everything. Once you get one you realise there is such a thing as the Law of Diminishing Returns.

    5000MBps? You aint gonna notice!

    Good old 500MBps SATA would do fine. Maybe even better with a custom setup.
  • Giroro
    I don't think memory pricing is going to stay low like it is right now. It won't take long for the industry to get back to business-as-usual once the heat from China's price-fixing investigation is off. In the very least, MS and Sony will be looking to save every penny that they possibly can.
    So I expect that at one or both consoles will use a small fast SSD cache in a tiered memory configuration with a HDD. A 128GB SSD + 1TB "elite" console launched alongside a 64GB-only "Arcade/streaming" edition (which ultimately knee-caps performance for the entire generation) seems like exactly the kind of thing Microsoft would do. I think there are some important questions Microsoft should be answering right now like "Will the new Xbox automatically switch to the right HDMI input like my PS4/Chromecast?", "Will the menu on your 'fastest console ever' be able to scroll smoothly?", and " Will you finally get around to putting a rechargeable battery into your expensive first party controllers?".
    Which, uh, yeah... I was super disappointed with my XboneX..

    So has AMD or anyone actually gotten around to explaining how they plan to pull off Ray-Tracing with Navi, which doesn't seem to have hardware for it?
  • i have never had any issues using any xbox not connecting to the correct hdmi--even when using an hdmi switch. never had any scrolling issues or issues of any kind.