While the next gen XBox Scarlett will clearly provide improved visual fidelity thanks to the more powerful Ryzen 3000 CPUs and Navi GPUs from AMD, Microsoft is also aiming to provide a smoother gaming experience via high framerates (at least 60 fps) and fast load times with the addition of custom NVMe SSDs.
Current gaming consoles are not what they used to be in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Back then,these gaming machines integrated advanced hardware derived from supercomputer tech, making them leaps and bounds ahead of the PCs of that time. Nowadays, however, consoles somehow ended up in a position of inferiority, coming specced with watered-down versions of powerful PC components. Sure, they may be custom-made for increased performance, but they are still based on the same architectures available to PC gamers. Speaking of performance, the latest console may be offering 4K support, but they either struggle to deliver 60 fps or they are flat-out limited to 30 fps, while PC gamers are already tasting the 120 fps goodness. Microsoft intends to change all this with the next gen XBox Scarlett console scheduled to launch next year.
We already know that XBox Scarlett will be equipped with custom-made Ryzen 3000 CPUs and Navi GPUs, so we are still looking at hardware that is already available for PC gamers. However, head of XBox Phil Spencer revealed in a recent GameSpot interview that the new console will shift its focus from visual fidelity to gameplay smoothness and responsiveness. “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. We’re also the Windows company, so we see the work that goes on [for] PC and the work that developers are doing. 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 addition of custom NVMe SSDs will certainly help provide a smoother gaming experience. Spencer backed this up stating that “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.”
XBox Scarlett will also feature backwards compatibility for all previous XBox titles, as well as for existing controllers. The new console is expected to launch in December 2020 bundled with Halo Infinite along the highly anticipated xCloud gaming platform.