Microsoft Has An "Advantage" With Project Scarlett, It Believes

Backwards compatibility means Scarlett will have a massive launch lineup, Matt Booty says.

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2020 will be a big year for the Xbox brand as it hopes to turn things around from this console generation where Sony has dominated. Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty said in a new interview with GamesRadar+ that he believes Scarlett has "an advantage" thanks to one feature in particular: backward compatibility.

Microsoft has said the Xbox Scarlett--which is actually now called Xbox Series X--will have the largest launch lineup of any Xbox console ever because it will play titles from Xbox One, Xbox 360, and the original Xbox through backwards compatibility. A person who buys a regular Xbox One today can do with with the confidence of knowing their purchases will move forward should they decide to upgrade. This is is what may separate Scarlett in the next-gen race, Booty said.

"We want--when you invest in Xbox--to know that you're bringing that legacy content library with you. It's why we think we've got an advantage with Project Scarlett, because our goal is that any game that runs on an Xbox One will run on Scarlett," Booty said. "You're not porting to a different operating system; you're not porting to a different graphics API; you're just running an Xbox game, right? So we hope that that's a big advantage in terms of our initial content library."

Microsoft stopped adding more backwards-compatible titles to Xbox One in June this year. The company said it ended the new releases so the company could focus on preparing Scarlett to support four generations of Xbox games. In addition to games, Scarlett will work with regular Xbox One controllers and other peripherals you might already own.

Backwards compatibility has been one of the Xbox One's standout features that separates it from the PlayStation 4. Sony's console also offers backwards compatibility through the streaming service PlayStation Now, but players need to buy games again to play them. The PlayStation 5 will support backwards compatibility for PS4 games, and these titles will run even faster on the new hardware in some cases.

Xbox Scarlett is scheduled to release in Holiday 2020 with Halo Infinite as a launch title.

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