Microsoft Officially Reveals Xbox Project Scarlett And Its Next-Gen Console Plans At E3 2019

Project Scarlett is real. Here's what we know.

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Now Playing: New Xbox At E3: Everything We Learned About Scarlett

As expected, Microsoft's Xbox E3 2019 press conference brought with it one particular piece of news that was bigger than everything else: official announcement of the next generation of Xbox. For the time being, the project is codenamed "Scarlett," and it has a release window of Holiday 2020. Launching alongside the system will be the latest entry in the Halo franchise, Halo Infinite, which got a new trailer during the press conference. Unfortunately, we won't hear much more about that game until 2020.

Lots of details about Scarlett still remain unclear: We didn't see what the system looks like or find out how much it will cost, among many other things. Instead, Microsoft talked up Scarlett's incredible specs and hardware capabilities, and it sounds like a big step up from the current Xbox One systems. The company says it's four times as powerful as the Xbox One X as a point of reference. Scarlett comes equipped with an SSD and components capable of 8K resolution and 120 FPS. Load times should be much faster, on top of the myriad other improvements made possible by this next-gen hardware.

The original story follows.

It's no secret that Microsoft is at work on a next-generation Xbox console. Just when that system will be revealed is the big question, but signs have been pointing to the Xbox E3 2019 press conference as the likely time and place. Microsoft has been known to drop a cheeky message or hint at a big console announcement, and it seems like there's precisely what it's doing in the lead up to E3 2019. Ahead of Sunday's Xbox briefing--the Xbox stream is now live if you want to watch--Microsoft has dropped a subtle but clear hint at a new console showing up.

Within its daily countdown videos for the Xbox press conference are RGB color codes for the specific color scarlet. For some time, rumors have suggested one of the next-gen Xbox systems is codenamed "Scarlet(t)." There are rumors of other Xbox consoles under the codenames "Anaconda" and "Lockhart" as well, which could pave the way for Microsoft to mimic the Xbox One S and X setup of the current generation.

Back to the tease: In the "3 Days To E3" video, the background had the text "R 255," and the next day had "G 36," and Saturday showed "B 0"--this turns out to be 255, 36, 0, or scarlet. You can see screen caps of this in the tweet below.

In the past, there were hidden messages in pre-E3 videos that teased Project Scorpio, which turned out to be the Xbox One X. And in the lead up to Microsoft's press conference this year, we expected news of new console hardware at the show given that head of Xbox Phil Spencer made mention of it last year.

If Microsoft is indeed announcing a next-gen Xbox at E3, it will be doing so during its press conference on Sunday, June 9. It begins at 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET / 9 PM BST (6 AM AET on June 10). You can watch the event live here on GameSpot or follow our Xbox liveblog.

For all things E3 2019, check out all our coverage of the latest announcements and news; catch up on all the Xbox One games we'll see at the show, the details on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order gameplay, and everything that happened at EA Play.

More E3 news:

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Avatar image for hyruler461

These specs make it sound like it will be over $1000.... I'm not even sure my $500 video card would be capable of 8K at a smooth rate. And an SSD is roughly 1$ per GB, though I know they have been getting better, but even if we half that a 500 GB would be like $250 itself.

Avatar image for slakor

I wish I could get excited about Microsoft stuff but they forgot how to do games right like 5 years ago.

Avatar image for Furwings

Both Sony and MS have stated their next-gen systems will be able to do "up to 8K". Don't expect full AAA titles like God of War, RDR2, Gears 5 - those types of games in 8K. Think more like simple, cartoony type games to do this. Bank on 4K at 60 FPS for most games with some devs pulling off 4K at 120 FPS. Both systems will have SSDs - which yes will run games installed on the SSD drive WAY faster than current SATA drives, however given most users now have an external USB 3.0 HDD ranging from 1TB to 4TB attached to their systems, it'll be interesting to see how the load times compare to the internal SSD. And what size of SSD will these machines ship with? a 1TB SSD will be pretty expensive to include.

Avatar image for zabieru

@Furwings: Not even LOL. These systems will be well over 600 dollars if they can even push a full 4k/60 fps.

Avatar image for Furwings

@zabieru: Remember, consoles are highly customized & optimized. They don't have the same overhead PC's do, therefore they can produce near-equivalent performance with lower specs.

Avatar image for 4am

"...the project is codenamed "Scarlett" and has a release window of Holiday 2020..."

How deliciously ambiguous. And which particular "Holiday" might that be?

Avatar image for tiringpillow

@4am: If I had to bet I'd go with Arbor Day or maybe even Flag Day. A third possibility dark horse bet might be Secretary's Day though. You heard it here first.

Avatar image for cyberpunk_2077

It's all sounding the same. I think things will be very vague between Sony and Microsoft.

Avatar image for goobermcdermit

People can argue specs all they want, when 2 of the biggest factors for most console players are cost control and ease of usage. Many console people tend to buy console for their exclusives that do not always make it to PC as well. Pertaining to the whole 8k think, I'm kind of curious how many people out there on console currently have an 8k TV. Looking on the Bestbuy website, a 8k TV is $3999 and thats on sale at $1000 off and thats the most cost efficient one I could find. I doubt many console gamers will be using one. Dont get me wrong, some will, all the power to them, I personally think most will be going to 4k this next generation of consoles if they are not there already. I honestly believe that when companies announce next gen consoles, they need to also feed some information about the actual games, not just specs of something.

Avatar image for rxvitaminr

It’s been seven years since the One came out. It’s time for a major step forward in hardware. I just hope the developers can work with the system and create new and amazing titles. I stopped caring about Halo after 3. Give me something new.

Avatar image for zabieru

@rxvitaminr: LOL Are you stupid? The Xbox One X was an actual release!

Avatar image for wimkuip

In 2022 MS will relaese the Atlanta with a 16k output and 8 times more powerful than the Scarlet. Sure you will feel quite silly with your ‘old’ Scarlet and run to the store to buy the Atlanta (together with a new tv to be able to run Atlanta’s power. After only one year the Atlanta will get her predecessor with the name Solace. The Solace will be able to run games even faster Phil explains. 16 times more powerful than the Atlanta with a stunning 32k output is a must have for every gamer. With this amazing program Microsoft shows how much they care about the gamer community and deliver them the best possible gaming hardware. And Phil can you tell us something more about amazing new MS exclusives? Sorry what do mean?

Avatar image for doomsdayhell01

4 Times more powerful? Eh then the new Xbox might cost $2000. I'm gonna have to sell mine kidneys to buy this one. No new Fable, Banjo, Conker and barely anything was shown from all this beautiful studios. two of the games that i was looking forward the most were pushed to 2020 with Ori and the will of wisps & Battletoads I'm very upset to say the least.

Avatar image for DarkRikuShadow

@doomsdayhell01: i was hoping for the same things man i was so let down.

Avatar image for Zee1027


And, if it's really that powerful, then the XBX upgrade wasn't really an upgrade at all. Just an excuse to sell another $500 system. I, too, was looking forward to fable especially, so I feel your pain my friend.

Avatar image for michael_j_bradley

8K is just one new feature. 8K power is worthwhile if it also means it will support VR games, probably in 4k or plain ol' HD 1080p. A SSD is worthwhile for the boot drive. I'm going to take a not-so-wild guess and assume it will support USB3, 4 or 5 (or whatever the current version of USB max is at the time). That means you should be able to buy a 10TB USB5 drive as fast as a current SSD, to run those wild "8K" or VR games.

Michael Bradley, MCSE

Avatar image for taylor12702003

8k. Lol what a waste. More marketing bs.

Avatar image for leenkroon

I had hoped for Age of Empires 4 update or release but … nothing

Avatar image for baral-o

everything they say about scarlet, is oddly similar with what they says about ps5...well not similas...exact

Avatar image for isildor

@baral-o: amd cpu and gpu on both so no surprise

Avatar image for baral-o

@isildor: I was referring mostly about the obsession with load times, even though most games today load only once at the start, that was never a problem with me this generation, plus a custom HDD will limit you a lot and it will be very expensive, especially if it's only 1tb (hypothetical) or even 2tb, it will not be enough with next gens 4k heavy games

Avatar image for michael_j_bradley

@isildor: Probably the new Ryzen 20 core, maybe 32 a server CPU in a gamer.

Avatar image for Megavideogamer

Microsoft will a least provide a glimpse of Xbox 4. Scartlet will make a brief appearance. Hopefully MS will go all out on the reveal.

Avatar image for Terminator95

A New console with No Exclusives. The only 3 exclusives it does have: Halo, Gears, and Forza Sport, I could just play on my more POWERFUL Computer.

So what's the point in buying a Xbox when I can just play the SAME games on the PC !?

Like Honestly ! What good is a Xbox Console? Paper weight !

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

@Terminator95: There is no point.

Avatar image for doomsdayhell01


Have you heard of something called Ori and the will of wisps? That's gonna be the sequel to one of the best Metroid style games of all time and I'm expecting part 2 to be just as good and even better and far much bigger than the first game. Another one which might turn out to be crap but hoping the best out of this one is Battletoads. Also there will be much more first party games to come with all this studios so E3 2020 must be the year when you will start seeing footage's from games from all this studios. Is not just Halo, Gears, and Forza Sport, you Troll there is much more than that.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

@doomsdayhell01: ....Ori 2 is releasing on PC also.

Avatar image for michael_j_bradley

@Terminator95: Har! Your currently more powerful computer, which will be like a Pentium 4 by then........also, I run Sling TV, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and I've run Netflix, and done some other weird multimedia things like Pandora and Amazon Prime Music, on my X - don't turn me in - Kodi.

Avatar image for ticktockman1979

@Terminator95: Price. $500 versus $2000. Plus ease of use for kids and teenagers.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

@ticktockman1979: If you think kids have problems using computers, you clearly do not have kids. Kids are more tech savvy than ever. You probably got a computer in your house at some point in your life. Kids these days START with one.

Avatar image for michael_j_bradley

@ticktockman1979: New state of the art systems will ALWAYS be more expensive. Just like the XBox One X was when it first arrived. Now you can look around and buy a One X for half the initial price or less, maybe refurb or open box or a display model. I've had little trouble with refurb cell phones, laptops, and my X One is a half price refurb at $150 a couple years ago..........

Avatar image for lonesamurai00

@Terminator95: With console you can avoid tweaking games settings, and if you play in your living room a console is made to be easily connected to your TV unlike a Gaming PC. It's also more simple to play with a party of people. Plus console gamers prefer having their games on discs with collector's editions and physical extras which you don't have that on PC, and if you play games online it's safer to play on console. If I remember correctly Xbox gamers really like Xbox Live.

Avatar image for Simulator_Shock

@lonesamurai00: "With console you can avoid tweaking games settings"

What the hell does that mean? Are you really too dumb or too lazy to adjust your games for optimum performance? Or are you just so used to playing console games stuck on potato settings?

And you do realize that you can actually stream your PC games to your living room TV and play your games with controllers right?

PC gaming has never been more accessible in the living room than now.

And on that note physical games are being phased out on consoles the same way they were on the PC. Console games are going to be released digital only in the near future.

Avatar image for michael_j_bradley

@Simulator_Shock: Get reality. Most normal people like doctors, lawyers and bricklayers, prefer or don't have time to waste "tweaking." They are about as likely to buy a gaming laptop and 36" monitor as a tweaker is to buy an office

Avatar image for sitosama


Not dumb. Just have a life with other things to do than to adjust for each game while in mommy's basement.

Avatar image for lonesamurai00

@Simulator_Shock: Relax fool! I don't play games on a console!

I was giving the man reasons why a console might have some merits for gaming. You're on the attack and don't even no what's up! I mean I appreciate your excitement about PC Gaming because I am the same way, but calm down fool!

Avatar image for Terminator95

@lonesamurai00: Fool LOL 😂

Avatar image for face76

@Simulator_Shock: yea console gaming is still cheaper better alternative. As the person said, consoles are pretty much plug and play. No messing with settings or anything. Where PCs are just that a PC. PCs are multifunctional. Where as consoles are for gaming and streaming.

Yes PCs can stream or be hooked up to your tv but neither would take full advantage of say a real high pc. First streaming is nowhere what it needs to be for games to be streaming, stadia has a very long road. Especially in the US. Second monitors are better and have the resolution and frame rate to work with a high end pc. What I’m saying is if you are going to go all in for a pc and use a tv then you are kind wasting it’s potential. Whereas a console is better equip for TVs.

As for going all digital, we got awhile for that. First, as games get big and better they take up more space. Second the Internet isn’t there yet for an all digital world. The US still has places where dial up and dsl still exist. Those people aren’t buying a 65gb game to download.

Avatar image for michael_j_bradley

@face76: Uhhhh...I absolutely HATE to mention this, but I will.........LTE 5G......or whatever it's 10 Gbps cable equivalent is..........face it, they'll download and setup 8K or VR games probably somewhat faster than the hour or less it takes for current X One games at 100 Mbps......ever try a 1 Gbps connection available now??? Must usually live in Austin next to Dell, or somewhere in Chicago or next to the NSA / NYSE data center in VA, or close to MSFT in Redmond........or of course, somewhere in Malaysia by Sony, Samsung, etc. I think the area is called, Cyberjaya - Kuala Lumpur - ever see the movie, "Entrapment?"

Avatar image for cage_92

@Terminator95: "Whats the point" Well first of all most people don't want or don't have a gaming PC duh ! Also what did your powerful PC cost like $2000... well at price I hope it's going to be powerful. Plus PC gaming has a real problems like cheating and hacking in many multiplayer games. At work I only know one guy that has a gaming PC but everybody else play on consoles so that says a lot. No thanks I'll stick with console gaming.

Avatar image for michael_j_bradley

@cage_92: People won't be able to "build" a PC as powerful for less, I guarantee MSFT and SONY have a lock on least for about 3 - hey, just like today??

Avatar image for pcps4xb

@Terminator95: this gen I have a powerful PC, ps4 pro and I also purchased an xbox X for Dolby atmos and UHD Bluray. Next gen I might not get ine if ps5 has UHD support. There may be no justification of a purchase for you but many people don't have PC's and don't mind having all consoles. I dont believe xbox will ever reach at the level of PlayStation is but next gen Sony will have an even better competitor. Xbox having these extra dev teams is also a positive for gamers. Another positive for PC gamers is xbox will start releasing first party games on other platform's such as Steam. I actually wish PlayStation release their own platform on PC to compete with platforms like Steam, Epic, Windows and such.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

Do people actually get excited about consoles? I get excited by the games you can only play on those consoles, or lack thereof in Microsoft's case.

Avatar image for pcps4xb

@Thanatos2k: I get excited for games regardless of the platform.

Avatar image for ChiefReaver

@Thanatos2k: What a dumb question.

Avatar image for moonco

@ChiefReaver: Nothing Thanatos writes is dumb

Avatar image for edwardnygma

@moonco: True that

Avatar image for avane

Why dont u call it by its real name??? XBOX INFINITY!!!

Avatar image for bdrtfm

They should not announce a console until it's ready to launch. By the time they get it out the door, it's old news and the anticipation is lower. Then the competition announces their console much later and closer to launch and they steal the excitement. Which is why Sony is just hinting at stuff here and there and skipping E3 this year. Next year they will drop the bomb for their new console and release it soon after. So unless MS is planning on releasing a next gen console in the next 6 months, they are announcing it way to soon.