Xbox Scarlett Specs
To round out the Microsoft E3 2019 press conference they revealed that the Xbox Scarlett would be coming next year featuring built-in SSD, 8K support, and frame-rates of up to 120fps. The core of the Scarlett is to reduce load times, to focus on gaming (which is the complete opposite of the Xbox One) and to push hardware capabilities forward utilizing AMD’s custom Zen 2 and Navi technology, working in conjunction with streamlined GDDR6 RAM that can also be leveraged thanks to the integrated SSD that can be utilized as virtual RAM.
The Scarlett will supposedly feature real-time ray-tracing, support similar to Nvidia’s RTX technology, and it will also feature backwards compatibility, enabling Xbox gamers to make use of four generations of gaming that spans the Xbox Scarlett, the Xbox One, the Xbox 360, and the OG Xbox. As per Microsoft’s claim, all your Xbox gaming “comes forward with Scarlett”. How true that is remains to be seen, but it also ties into their next-gen efforts for re-introducing gamers to Halo with 343 Industries upcoming Halo: Infinite.
In addition to revealing some of the first specs for the Xbox Scarlett, the head of the Xbox, Phil Spencer, also revealed that 343 Industries Halo: Infinite will take gamers back into the fight as Master Chief in holiday, 2020 as a launch title for the Scarlett.
Halo: Infinite Release Window
They teased Halo: Infinite with a short in-engine cinematic where some Indian dude retrieves Master Chief from out in space. He powers up the Spartan warrior before being attacked by some unknown force. The Indian dude is a weakling and suggest they try to escape, but the Chief reminds everyone why he’s the top badass in space and tells the weak beta-male that they need to stay and fight. He proceeds to open the airlock after grabbing a rifle and heads out into the unknown in order to kick some butt. It’s the complete opposite of how they’re marketing Gears of War 5: Bound In Blood.
Hands down it does appear as if Microsoft is actually putting some serious effort into pumping out some serious salvos for the ninth generation of gaming next year when they go head-to-head against Sony.
Of course, all of this will depend on what Halo: Infinite plays like and whether or not 343 bungles the whole thing by trying to make it more convoluted than it needs to be. Sometimes getting back to basics is what’s best, and so far they’ve intimated that they’re trying to get back to basics, but we won’t know for sure until we see some unedited gameplay footage that isn’t spruced up by cinematics and cheap parlor tricks.
Anyway, there’s some sliver of fanboy left inside my blackened heart that beats in a faint rhythm to the tune of hope that Halo: Infinite will rekindle the kind of fun I had when I first played Halo: Combat Evolved on the OG Xbox. But it’s just a sliver, and it could fade away like a whisper in the night if 343 or Mircosoft start rolling out that cringe-worthy dialogue about “diversity”, “inclusivity”, and “safe spaces” in connection with the gameplay of Halo: Infinite.
We’ll likely find out more at this year’s GamesCom.