Xbox Scarlett's Name Will Explain What It's Capable Of

We'll know Project Scarlett's real name by Holiday 2020.


The name of Microsoft's next-gen Xbox console--currently codenamed Project Scarlett--will reflect the console's capabilities, with no connection to the company's previous Xbox releases. That's according to Xbox head Phil Spencer, who provided some insight into how Microsoft approaches the process of naming its new consoles. [Update: The name and look have been revealed for what we now know as Xbox Series X.]

In an interview with Stevivor at this year's X019 event in London, Spencer said it hasn't been difficult naming Microsoft's upcoming console, even if the Xbox 360 and Xbox One follow a vastly different naming convention compared to, say, Sony's sequel-like approach to each PlayStation release.

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"Our naming convention has been around what we think the capabilities are," Spencer explained. "Xbox 360 was about the entertainment experience around the box and the box being in the center of that entertainment experience. Xbox One, if you remember our branding early on, was 'always on input, all in one'. Those names were really built around the purpose of the box. I don't feel like I need to follow in their footsteps because they're kind of self-contained."

So Project Scarlett will have a name that's wholly its own, with no obvious connection to its predecessors. It remains to be seen what that name will be, at least until Microsoft is ready to officially unveil the console ahead of its projected Holiday 2020 release. If the name is reflected in the console's capabilities, however, Spencer has already expressed Microsoft's desire to ensure that each game runs smoothly and loads quickly on Project Scarlett.

"I think the area that we really want to focus on next generation is frame rate and playability of the games," Spencer said in an interview with GameSpot following this year's E3. "Ensuring that the games load incredibly fast, ensuring that the game is running at the highest frame rate possible. We're also the Windows company, so we see the work that goes on [for] PC and the work that developers are doing. People love 60 frames-per-second games, so getting games to run at 4K 60 [FPS] I think will be a real design goal for us.

"The thing that's interesting is, this generation, we've really focused on 4K visuals and how we bring both movies through 4K Blu-ray and video streaming, and with Xbox One X allowing games to run at 4K visuals will make really strong visual enhancements next generation. But playability is probably the bigger focus for us this generation. How fast do [games] load? Do I feel like I can get into the game as fast as possible and while it's playing? How does it feel? Does this game both look and feel like no other game that I've seen? That's our target."

Xbox 60 perhaps? No, that's bad. But you never know. No one was expecting Xbox One when it was first announced. Maybe Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud will factor into the name? It's easy to speculate. Either way, we'll know for sure in the next 12 months.

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