Microsoft announces Project Scarlett, new Xbox coming in 2020

Microsoft has shared the first details about its next-generation Xbox, coming in 2020.

At yesterday’s E3 conference, Microsoft lifted the lid on Project Scarlett, its codename for the new games console with a scheduled release date of ‘Holiday Season 2020,’ meaning the device is coming a lot sooner than some had initially expected or predicted.

The new Xbox will be powered on a custom-designed CPU with GDDR6 RAM, which will “usher in resolution and framerates we’ve never seen before.”

Of course, details on the tech specs remain scarce as the company has more than a year to go until the Xbox’s release, but Microsoft was quick to point out that its gaming experience would be truly elevated.

The console was designed to support 8K gaming, as well as framerates of up to 120fps, and ray-tracing and variable refresh rate support.

What’s more, Project Scarlett will use an SSD rather than HDD, from a “new generation of SSDs,” with the company confirming that it would be using “the SSD as virtual RAM” to boost performance 40 times on current levels.

Alongside the announcement of the new console, Microsoft lifted the lid on a bunch of new games expected to launch both on PC and on the Xbox 2020.

Halo Infinite, for example, is one of the confirmed titles, whilst Microsoft will also revive Microsoft Flight Simulator for both computers and consoles, with the press release reading: “From light planes to wide-body jets, fly highly detailed and stunning aircraft in an incredibly realistic world. Create your flight plan and fly anywhere on the planet. Enjoy flying day or night and face realistic, challenging weather conditions.”

Also in gaming news, Microsoft confirmed xCloud, its long-awaited cloud gaming service.

With the new platform, users will be able to “turn their Xbox One into their own personal and free xCloud server,” so they can play their favorite Xbox games on their desktops, laptops, and tablets.

Apple banned Steam Link, a similar service, from the App Store earlier in the year, so it’s unknown whether Microsoft’s xCloud will work on iOS and macOS devices.

With Sony set to release its PlayStation 5 next year, Google launching its cloud-based Stadia platform and Apple entering the game with Apple Arcade this fall, it’s a pretty exciting time to be a gamer. Keep it AppleMagazine for the latest gaming news, as and when we get it.

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Everything Apple, every day. This post was written by an AppleMagazine newsroom writer.