Feature Article

What We Know About The Next-Gen Xbox Console, Scarlett

Xbox on.

Update: At E3 2019, the Xbox press conference revealed the new Xbox Scarlett. Seemingly a codename for now, Project Scarlett releases in Holiday 2020 alongside Halo Infinite. There's still a lot to find out, but Microsoft boasted about the specs being far beyond that of the Xbox One X.

The Xbox One has been around since 2013, which, scarily, is six years ago. Console cycles typically last between five and seven years, meaning we should be due a new Xbox pretty soon. However, there's the complicating factor that this generation included mid-cycle upgrades, the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X.

Regardless, we know Microsoft is working on the next Xbox console, and there've been a fair few reports surrounding what to expect. Without further ado, let's dig into everything we know about the next Xbox.

What is the new Xbox?

Microsoft might not have unveiled its new Xbox just yet, but it is definitely working on it. The company confirmed as such during E3 last year. In fact, it could even be multiple consoles on the way. Xbox boss Phil Spencer said in June 2018 that Microsoft is "deep into architecting the next Xbox consoles where we will once again deliver on our commitment to set the benchmark for console gaming."

Of course, the pluralizing of 'console' could mean Spencer was referring in part to the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, which was announced just recently. However, the latter half of his quote--about setting the benchmark for console gaming--surely refers to a new generation, where it sounds as if Microsoft wants to come out swinging with the most powerful console available, just as it did with the Xbox One X.

Reports from Thurrott suggest the new Xbox consoles are being developed under the umbrella codename Scarlett. Two consoles are in the works, say the reports: one is a high-power machine codenamed Anaconda that will be approximately the same price as the PS5, while the other is a budget-orientated machine known as Lockhart. The latter is potentially a streaming-centric device that does not boast much processing power itself; rather, it will ostensibly utilize Microsoft's nascent xCloud technology to play games via the cloud.

Update: Xbox Scarlett is real. While Microsoft has so far only detailed one new device, we do know the codename is legitimate, and it could be that a second console is revealed at a later date.

When is the new Xbox's release date?

Microsoft hasn't spoken about its timeline for the new Xbox consoles' release date(s). However, the consoles are not expected to launch until Fall 2020. For comparison's sake, we don't precisely know when the PS5 will launch either, but in May 2018 the then-head of PlayStation, John Kodera, said that the PS5 was "three years" away. However, plans change, and it's also possible Kodera was merely trying to keep a lid on the rumors that were flying around at the time which were saying the PS5 would be released as soon as 2019.

What about E3 2019?

Of course, E3 2019 is just around the corner, so can we expect to hear more about the new Xbox consoles at the convention? The answer, according to a report from Jeux Video, is yes. The site states Microsoft plans to reveal its new Xbox consoles during its E3 2019 press conference. Of course, this is all conjecture for now, but Xbox boss Phil Spencer has stated the company intends to be "as big at E3" as it's ever been.

Do we know the new Xbox console specs and price?

Unlike Sony, Microsoft has so far kept quiet about the internal specifications of its new consoles. However, all the reports point to both Anaconda and Lockhart ditching hard drives in favor of the quicker solid state storage option--a move the PS5 is also making. Of course, if those reports are proven accurate and Lockhart is essentially a streaming box, it's likely the console will eschew a disc drive and state-of-the-art specs, relying instead on Microsoft's xCloud streaming service for its playing power. Jeux Video has reported the following specs for the two Scarlett consoles:

Xbox LockhartXbox Anaconda
CPUCustom eight coreCustom eight core
GPUCustom NAVI 4+ teraflopsCustom NAVI 12+ teraflops
RAM12 GB, GDDR616 GB, GDDR6
Storage1 TB SSD, 1 + GB / s1 TB SSD, 1 + GB / s

The site also reports the Anaconda price will be around $500, which is the same price the Xbox One X launched with in 2017. Unverified rumors from Reddit place Lockhart, meanwhile, at around $250, which would put it at the same price point as the newly-launched Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, which also forgoes a disc drive. These are yet to be substantiated by any reputable source, however.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Oscar Dayus

Oscar is GameSpot's Staff Writer, and as the youngest member of the UK office he's usually the butt of the joke.
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Frizzkills

So for everyone who bought a ONE X.... sorry

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DeltaCobra

Safe, boring, uninspiring upgrades.

Woohoo I need a new console for better load times.

Wake me up when the real next gen is here.

Avatar image for craigtl
CraigTL

Everything we know about Microsoft's next gen Xbox: Not a damn thing!

Avatar image for kingofqueen
kingofqueen

I believe the more powerful one should be named Xbox One X2 or Xbox X2, so the new Xbox family is Xbox One X, the current One X should be able to play all new game next-gen with lower graphic (and maybe frame rate) and avoid confusion with the current Xbox One family.

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PapaPico619

@kingofqueen: what would be the point of a new generation if we aren't going up so far we ditch the last one? That would kill microsoft.

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kingofqueen

@papapico619: but the One X is too young to die just like that, a huge waste of a console that powerful, no game had really pushed it limit, and that would significantly impact next gen "mid-cycle update", imagine buying a premium console only to watch it go completely obsolete within 2-3 years. It would be best to offer some kind of support for the X during early stage next gen.

And don't forget the Xbox family is running Windows 10, make no sense if they dont take advantage of this somehow. From X360 to Xbox One was a huge leap 'cause of OS and hardware (heavily custom made hardware of X360 to basically PC hardware on One), even store platform. But from the One to next-gen, I really don't think so.

IMO, MS is not pushing hardware sale, they are trying to sell "services" as much as possible. Doesn't matter which hardware it is (even if it is the Switch, iPhone from major competitor or older hardware), as long as it runs MS services: Xbox Live, Gamepass, it is fine for them.

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ChrisAnetkaC

@kingofqueen: But X1X is not a next generation console. They may drop the X and just call it XBOX Two.

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kingofqueen

@ChrisAnetkaC: I know it is, but it is so powerful compare to the One, huge waste if MS doesn't support it.

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ChrisAnetkaC

@kingofqueen: I agree with you that they will continue supporting it for a good while. They still release new games for the 360, like FIFA 19. There is significant jump in performance between the original XBox One, XS and X1X (unlike PS, PS slim and PS4 Pro (this one had a slight boost)) but I can't see game developers making their games too demanding for all 3 of those consoles. Not anytime soon. They'll scale down their most demanding future projects maybe if X1 generation can't lift them.

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kingofqueen

@ChrisAnetkaC: apparently the PS5 is gonna be backward compatible, Sony demoed Spiderman running on PS5 proto. I assume this is possible thanks to x86 architecture which both Sony and MS adopted this gen. I gonna bet on the future of console to be like smartphone update, with no significant systems changes, only hardware performance jump and this means a huge chance for Mid cycle consoles will be able to play next gen games at cost of graphic fidelity

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TrialMonkey

Hmm, 1+ GB/s is a lower-midrange SSD nowadays. I hope the next gen consoles get closer to M.2 speeds (3.5 GB/s). It would allow developers to stream content from the drive much faster, and with some fancy tricks (programming), they could put in much more complex/believable environments. Sony said something along the lines of their storage solution being "faster than anything available" and I took that to mean it may be a custom pipeline that is faster than even M.2. One can dream at least. Looks like the consoles will be competitive everywhere else though, which I wouldn't be surprised by given they are using the same supplier (AMD) for their chips.

I have to question the 12 TFlop number though, given I thought that RTX 2080 was clocked in at just ~13 TF and that card is $$. Possible, sure. Feasible given a price range around 4-500? 'X' to doubt.

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IanNottinghamX

I will never put money into the Xbox brand again. Unless their consumer practices when dealing with hardware and tech support changes. It will just be wasted money.

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PapaPico619

@IanNottinghamX: Sony is ten times worse. I always buy both but Sony won bc of the always online bs plus putting cameras into people homes to spy. Don Matrix was on some CIA spy shit.

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teamparadox2k

@IanNottinghamX: What are you taking about? I've had great customer service. They refunded a game I didn't like and a movie I rented by accident. They also sent me a brand new elite controller because my left joystick mount broke (but I fixed it) so now I have 3 elites and one was FREE.

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Jrxbarrett

@IanNottinghamX: What happened to you?

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IanNottinghamX

@Jrxbarrett: What happened is Xbox customer service is unprofessional and a joke, the people they have as customer service is a bigger joke. Theyll take your money for the console itself but when that console has a problem you are completely fucked.

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PapaPico619

@IanNottinghamX: I think u are talking about the red ring of death. That was messed up but that was long time ago.

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teamparadox2k

@IanNottinghamX: What are you taking about? I've had great customer service. They refunded a game I didn't like and a movie I rented by accident. They also sent me a brand new elite controller because my left joystick mount broke (but I fixed it) so now I have 3 elites and one was FREE.

Avatar image for IanNottinghamX
IanNottinghamX

@teamparadox2k: Lucky you. maybe you can get them to refund me for my messed up Xbox1X Scorpio edition and stop their bullshit. No **** that not a dime of my money will ever go to Microsoft consoles ever again.

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teamparadox2k

@IanNottinghamX: A launch edition? You're way past warranty dude. They will make exceptions if you are like 2 months past and a good customer but... It's been years why would they give you a deal?

I've had 2 ps4's die on me and 1 pro along with 4 controller and I baby everything. I was in warranty for the pro and I got some messed up refurb that is scratched to hell and his stickers on it. It took me weeks to get a new one and it involved the BBB and the FTC before Sony would budge.

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IanNottinghamX

@teamparadox2k: It doesnt matter if its launch in this case its a rare expensive edition. They should offer some sort of way for me to pay to fix it at the very least. Especially for light use. When something is wrong with my Sony or Nintendo console or acessories, they offer a paid repair if you are out of warranty. Out of warranty is no excuse. And tbh thats not what I was even referring to. I was talking about the fact that their customer service quality and the professionalism of their workers is straight up $HIT. Plain and simple. Their customer service needs training and they need proper policy for their hardware etc. Its an amateur hour operation Microsoft has going on.

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Jrxbarrett

@IanNottinghamX: Were you passed the manufacturer warranty? They should've been able to help if your warranty wasn't expired and your issues weren't caused by accidental damage.

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Ravenlore_basic

I just do not think additional graphics are going to make next generation consoles better. Im going to wait and play as many games now as possible

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PapaPico619

@Ravenlore_basic: I just hate hate hate the load times. Darksouls would be so so so so much better if dying was like super meat boy. U just woke up one or three seconds later not 1 min later.

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TrialMonkey

@Ravenlore_basic: Personally, I love VR and think it is the next leap in gaming that just hasn't been widely adopted yet. You absolutely need the horsepower to provide a decent experience for VR. I'm thinking MS will announce their console and some VR teaser stuff this year at E3, and Sony will follow up with their own stuff (though not on an E3 stage, obviously). We should all be holding our breath come June.

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IanNottinghamX

@Ravenlore_basic: I half agree and half disagree. As an artist who has worked on a game or 2 before. Hardware can slightly place limits on the true vision of the end product. BUT...but you can always scale that vision down to weaker hardware very easily. Its harder to scale something down than to scale something up. So at the end of the day its kind of not that big a deal unless you want the best graphical experience on your 4k Tv or high res monitor.

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bat725

The only thing I need to know is that it will have very little first party support, which is a deal breaker for me.

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PapaPico619

@bat725: u do realize they now own more studios than Sony does.

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bat725

@papapico619: I don’t care. Show me the games, and they better be better than Crackdown 3.

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CBTDesigner

My concerns are that 1. I require backward compatibility. 2. I require a Blue-Ray (Preferably 4k) drive. 3. Production values, i.e. drawing a blade of grass in 8k, have overshadowed game play. 4. Requiring internet connections to play games is horsefeathers!

I am more than willing to spend $500-600.00 U.S. dollars for a system that delivers at least that amount of gaming value. IMO, the XBOX One X was a cheap money grab. I may have to wait it out, to see whether Microsoft will actually deliver on its' hyperbole.

Avatar image for g4r37h
g4r37h

@CBTDesigner: 1. is a given. Microsoft has invested heavily in backwards compatibility in recent times and that isn't going to suddenly change.

2. is a given too, I'd say, considering that the S and X already have such a drive.

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CBTDesigner

@g4r37h: With the XBOX One SAD, I worry they'll continue to drive costs down by eliminating features. We'll see.

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Jrxbarrett

@CBTDesigner: MS has already said next gen will have a disc drive. At the point of reveal, it will be take it or leave it.

Avatar image for g4r37h
g4r37h

@CBTDesigner: As the article says, there will be a cheaper version (probably streaming, without an optical drive) and a premium version. Microsoft isn't going to cut off 50% of their own game sales by ignoring physical media so the premium console will obviously have an optical drive. And going backwards from what they had on the S and X would also not make any sense.

I think you're worrying over nothing there, tbh.

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santinegrete

Stupid question: could the Xbox X run next gen games at lower resolution? Because if it can, I can deal with 1080 and 720 any day :D

Seriously, the Xbox One X entered in the middle of the generation, could it have a kind of extended life cycle plan?

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PapaPico619

@santinegrete: you want to hold the next gen back for your own selfish purpose of getting more life for a money grab console?

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santinegrete

@papapico619: no, I just want an answer. You make me look like an asshole

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Creepshow2

@santinegretePhil Spencer already confirmed Xbox One X will be supported well into the new genration cycle. However he did not say anything about the Xbox One S getting support.

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ChrisAnetkaC

@creepshow2: What kind of support are we talking about? I planned on getting X1X but I'll pass. It's not that much more of an upgrade over X1S, which I own. Future games will probably still run on all 3 XBOX One consoles. I can't see how Microsoft would exclude their older, weaker brother. We still have new games coming out for 360 even now.

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Sonofsamus

@santinegrete: It should. If I bought an X I would be mad if it didn't. If they can get ps4 games running on switch they can get Xbox 2 games on xbonerx.

Avatar image for dr_derogatory
dr_derogatory

@santinegrete: My assumption is that they'll continue to support it. With the specs given above, the X should outperform the Lockhart model, at least as far as the GPU, which I think clocks in over 6 teraflops. The X is pretty powerful and should be capable of outliving the original 2013 model given it's substantially smoother performance and true 4k abilities.

Avatar image for g4r37h
g4r37h

@dr_derogatory: The X's weakness compared to next generation is the CPU rather than the GPU. Sure the GPU is 6 teraflops but the CPU is weak, and if Sony's plans for the PS5 are any indication of what Microsoft might be doing with their next console, next generation is going to provide enormous gains to CPU performance which should hopefully result in more complicated AI. And that's where the X would struggle to keep up.

Having games run at 60fps on next generation and 30fps on X would possibly mitigate for that though.

As for S... well... at least it can play 4K movies, right?

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texastitan123

@dr_derogatory: Lockhart is probably just a driveless X with a solid state drive. The way Microsoft is going their consoles are just mini PCs that run the xbox operating system. Hopefully this is the case because I am a huge fan of backwards capability.

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stewart24

@texastitan123: sounds from what Phil has been saying is they want all their future consoles to be backwards compatible