At this year's E3 Microsft announced Project Scarlett, its next generation of Xbox console. There wasn't much to go on, but we do know the console will feature a custom AMD processor that is four times more powerful than the Xbox One X and a solid-state drive (SSD).
Now Phil Spencer has revealed more information in an interview with Gamespot. Some of the primary focal points that Microsoft is investing its time on for Project Scarlett are frame rates and how smoothly games will run. Spencer said:
"I think the area that we really want to focus on next-generation is frame rate and playability of the games, Ensuring that the games load incredibly fast, ensuring that the game is running at the highest frame rate possible. 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"
Although the new power of Project Scarlett will most likely usher in a new generation of console graphics, Spencer has said that for Microsoft, the playability of games is probably the biggest focus for the upcoming console:
"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."Backwards compatibility and cross-gen is something that Microsoft is also looking into. Spencer is pleased with the success of the Xbox One backwards compatibility program and said:
"Making sure that all four generations of content — so the original Xbox games that run on your Xbox One today, the OG Xbox; the 360 games that run on your Xbox One; your Xbox One games; and the new generation games — all run on the next platform is important to us."Although previously, Spencer has said that not every game will be backwards compatible with the next console and it will most likely be restricted to games that are already backwards compatible and games that Microsoft can license.
Backwards compatibility isn't just reserved for games though. You will still be able to use your Xbox One controller with Project Scarlett. With controllers such as the Elite Controller and other customised controllers, Spencer said they want to allow players to use them on their next console:
"We came out with the Elite controller, we've done work on controllers, and people have invested in personalised controllers, the things that they love, and we want to make those compatible with future generations of our console as well."
Spencer also spoke briefly about cross-gen and allowing players to play games with friends on previous generations Xbox consoles, and confirmed that cross-gen would be coming to Project Scarlett:
"We want to make sure that the generations can play with each other, so if you happen to adopt the next generation early and somebody stays back, that if their games are on both platforms, you'll be able to cross-gen play."Project Scarlett is set to be released during the holiday period of 2020. We will keep you updated with further developments on the next generation of Xbox console as soon as we get them.