Microsoft revealed the first details about its new Xbox console yesterday, in the build-up to the videogame conference Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3.
During the prerecorded conference video, Microsoft developers claimed a new fast GDDR6 RAM for the console will “usher in resolution and framerates we’ve never seen before.”
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The new console, unveiled under the codename, Project Scarlett, will include a custom-designed CPU based on AMD's Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA architecture.
Microsoft is promising this will make the new console four times more powerful than the Xbox One X (which was, itself, originally unveiled under codename Project Scorpio).
The new model will also support 8K gaming, framerates of up to 120fps, variable refresh rate support and ray-tracing.
Speedy load times
During the unveiling video, developers spoke of their annoyance with loading times in the current generation of games consoles, often seen in-game, as endless elevator rides and lengthy load screens in open world RPGs.
Project Scarlett will largely get rid of this problem, according to Microsoft. “We’ve created a new generation of SSDs. We’re using the SSD as virtual RAM,” said one of the Xbox spokespeople in the unveiling video.
The new SSD technology, according to Microsoft, should boost performance by 40x over the current generation, allowing games to load extremely fast.
What are the competitors up to?
Sony, Microsoft's main console competitor, is promising that the PS5 will support 8K graphics, SSD storage, and 3D audio, as well as backwards compatibility with PS4 titles. It will also use an eight-core CPU based on AMD's third-gen Ryzen line.
Microsoft's Project xCloud, meanwhile, will see it competing with Google Stadia in the game streaming space.
A rumored unveiling of a collaboration between Nintendo and Microsoft didn't come true — though some still hope to see details on this at Nintendo's conference on Tuesday.
A new installment of Microsoft's flagship Halo series, Halo Infinite, will release alongside the new Project Scarlett console. A collaboration between Game of Thrones creator, G.R.R. Martin, and Dark Souls creators, FromSoftware, will also likely be released on the new console.
While yesterday saw early details unveiled about Microsoft's Project Scarlett, next year's E3 will likely bring us a lot more information on what we can expect from Microsoft's new Xbox console, before its release in 2020.