Xbox Project Scarlett specs - what's inside the next-generation console?

Xbox Project Scarlett specs - what's inside the next-generation console?
Image credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has finally unveiled Xbox Project Scarlett, its next-generation console initiative. While we have yet to see the console itself, we do have a firm of idea of the Xbox Project Scarlett specs, giving us insight into what's inside of this thing and how powerful it'll be. With the Xbox Project Scarlett launch date confirmed for late 2020, there's no time like the present to dig into some of the confirmed Project Scarlett specs. 

Xbox is already touting that Project Scarlett will deliver the "most immersive console experience ever," as stated during its Xbox E3 2019 media briefing. And honestly, looking at the Xbox Project Scarlett specs, there's a very good chance that this could play out to be true. 

Xbox Project Scarlett specs confirmed

Looking at the Xbox Project Scarlett specs broadly, Microsoft is packing this high-end, next-generation Xbox console with enough tech to give it a clear advantage over its closest competitors, Google Stadia and Sony's PS5

To achieve this, Xbox Project Scarlett specs include custom-built tech based off of AMD's ZEN 2 CPU and the Navi GPU architectures. The system will also come equipped with lightning-fast, high-bandwidth DDR6 RAM that the company claimed will "usher in resolution and framerates we've never seen before" when it hyped up the system at E3 2019

While it'll be a while before we can see this console in action for ourselves, this does mean that Xbox Project Scarlett will be four times as powerful as the Xbox One X – which currently holds the title for the most powerful home console ever made, with capabilities comparable to a GeForce GTX 1060. To put that in perspective, the Navi chipset supposedly outperforms the extremely powerful GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card by a whole 10%. 

What we're looking at is a console that will natively support up to 8K resolution and 120 frames-per-second gaming experiences. If that wasn't enough, Xbox Project Scarlett will also have support for variable refresh rate and real-time ray tracing. While AMD is yet to properly detail its ray tracing solution, Microsoft has made it clear that ray tracing is a priority and that it is "hardware accelerated" by the custom AMD chipset. Given that AMD is partnering with both Microsoft and Sony (which has also committed to delivering ray tracing on PS5), we expect to hear more on this front soon enough. 

Xbox Project Scarlett SSD to decimate loading times

Credit: Casey Rodgers/Invision for Xbox/AP Images

Credit: Casey Rodgers/Invision for Xbox/AP Images

(Image: © Casey Rodgers/Invision for Xbox/AP Images)

Xbox Project Scarlett will also combine all of that super fast DDR6 memory we mentioned earlier with an SSD drive, and the results sound incredibly impressive. "We’ve created a new generation of SSDs... We’re using the SSD as virtual RAM," Microsoft said during the reveal video (linked up top), and the result will effectively make loading times a thing of the past. It'll make your favorite games smoother and faster, ironing our creases in performance. In theory, this should boost core performance 40 times over what the current generation is offering in this department. 

It's also been confirmed that Xbox Project Scarlett will have a disk drive, with Microsoft committing to a future with physical media, and that the console will support four generations worth of backwards compatibility. "Your games, your achievements, your progression, your accessories... your console gaming experience with Xbox, it all comes forward with Scarlett," Microsoft said.

Microsoft is trying to define the next generation conversation early. It has outlined the Xbox Project Scarlett specs and we have to admit, we're pretty impressed by everything we've heard so far. The combination of the custom AMD architecture, the DDR6 RAM, and the SSD drive could well give us a console that feels truly revolutionary. 

With Xbox Project Scarlett set to launch in the Holiday 2020 window, we have no idea when Microsoft will decide to reveal more information. For now, all we can do is look at the latest trailer for Project Scarlett's first confirmed launch game, Halo Infinite. Created using 343 Industries' new Slipstream engine, which is purpose-built to draw the most out of the next-gen system, it gives us only the smallest hint as to how detailed and beautiful gaming will be on Xbox Project Scarlett. We're totally here for it, though - bring on the next generation!

We explore how important real-time ray tracing will be for Xbox Project Scarlett and PS5