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Microsoft's vision for Project Scarlett is a console four times as powerful as Xbox One X

By Cal Jeffrey · 57 replies
Aug 13, 2019 at 2:27 PM
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  1. In a recent interview with Gamespot, Phil Spencer revealed that the key pillar for Project Scarlett will be consistency. The company wants to be sure that games load fast and run at 60 fps all the time.

    "I think the area that we really want to focus on next generation is frame rate and playability of the games," the Xbox head said. "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."

    This revelation is not new. Spencer had said as much back in June 2018 when they first officially unveiled Project Scarlett at E3. What is different is the statement that they are shooting for 60 fps in 4K.

    "Making sure that all four generations of content … run on the next platform is important to us."

    Additionally, the team is shooting for full backward compatibility. Remember how cool it was when Sony made the PlayStation 2 back-compatible with PS1 as well as with PS3 playing PS2 games? Well, until they stripped that part out during the PS2's mid-lifespan refresh and did away with it entirely on the PS4 (unless you subscribe to PS Now)?

    Microsoft is not just taking us back to the days of previous-console compatibility, but the next system will play all Xbox games ever made.

    "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," said Spencer.

    Not only that, the team wants to make it possible for players playing on any generation of Xbox to play together without worrying about cross-platform playability issues. The new Box would also ideally "respect the compatibility of the controllers you already have." If you have spent $100 on a controller that you love, Spencer says that they want to make sure you can still use it.

    This vision seems overly ambitious, with many hurdles to overcome. Although, if Microsoft can pull it all off, it might just overtake Sony’s number one spot in the console market. However, it’s still too early to declare victory. A lot of work still needs to be done, and Sony has not yet played their next-generation hand.

    Permalink to story.

  2. redgarl

    redgarl TS Enthusiast Posts: 63   +72

    Basically... the One was a 1080p consoles... so at 4 times the rendering power, it would make the Scarlet a 2160p console...

    Is there really anything new about it?
    Eldritch and BigBoy like this.
  3. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,929   +712

    So many promises, I've never own an Xbox, well, bought an Xbox, but one that would be able to play games from the entire ecosystem is somehow appealing?

    And it'll do all that while playing new games at 4K 60 FPS, I'm genuinely interested to see this all materialize.
  4. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Evangelist Posts: 751   +1,087

    Ultimately the GPU performance won't be anything like 4 times faster than Xbox One X. Maybe twice. Not much more than this. AMD don't even have a 7nm GPU four times faster available to the high end desktop market, let alone one to fit inside the costs and thermal constraints of a console box. It'll also not have anything like that leap for the amount of memory or bandwidth available.

    The CPU and storage performance will be 4 times better, but that's easy when both are so damn slow on existing consoles....
    Theinsanegamer, Omid Matin and Lounds like this.
  5. Nightfire

    Nightfire TS Maniac Posts: 244   +152

    Even with a gpu 2x what the OneX has and a CPU 3-4 times as powerful, they should be able to reach their goals due to how well these games are optimized. There are already alot of games that hit 4k/1800p dynamic on the OneX right now.
    OptimumSlinky likes this.
  6. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 2,270   +1,479

    I never liked the PS4 Pro or X1X, they still aren't that powerful for the money (about RX580 performance) and struggle to run 4K anywhere near what an average high end PC can.
    I'm a fan of consoles as they have their place for sure (I own a 1TB X1 myself), but obviously they have never and will never be able to keep up with PC Gaming hardware and those 'revised' consoles never sat well with me.
    Anyways I believe next gen consoles with run 4K pretty well, and by the time they release next year, a niche part of the PC Gaming industry will be gaming at 8K.
    This monitor https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0727ZQ21F/?tag=httpwwwtechsp-20 reminds me of when I bought my U3011, years before 1440p monitors were close to being affordable...believe I paid about $1200 for my Dell when I got it. I could never go back to 1080p gaming after that. Only paid $400 for my HP Omen 27" as a current example, a monitor that Amazon wanted $795 for about 18 months ago (have screenshot), my point is, doesn't take long for things to trickle down.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019 at 4:02 PM
  7. neeyik

    neeyik TS Maniac Posts: 171   +123

    Microsoft specifically say "4 times the processing power" and that's certainly achievable - depending on what one wants to use for the term "processing power." The immediately obvious one would be CPU float performance.

    The XBox One X has a twin module 4 core Jaguar-architecture CPU at 2.3 GHz. We know that Scarlett (presumably the high end model) will be a Zen 2 CPU and if we assume they go with an 8 core Zen 2 (possibly in the form of one CCX) running at something like 3.0 GHz, then just from the CPU alone there will be 4 times more FP performance.

    Missed your post before putting mine up. You're absolutely right about the GPU side of things - the One X actually has a pretty decent processor, in terms of compute performance; it's only the ROPs, TMUs and memory bandwidth that holds it back. I should imagine they'll go with a Navi 10 XL or similar variant that's also running with a much lower boost clock, to keep the thermals in check.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019 at 4:14 PM
  8. yeeeeman

    yeeeeman TS Addict Posts: 175   +145

    4 x the power is easy to do on the CPU side and much harder to do on the GPU side of things. Given Xbox one x has a ~ GTX1060 class GPU, 4 times faster would be something in the region of RTX2080Ti+another few percents. Still, when looking at what leaps and efforts console makers did on the past generations (say xbox vs xbox 360), this is not much. xbox 360 has triple cores with hyperthreading at 3.2Ghz. Xbox has a puny Intel single core at some hundred megahertz. The GPU difference is something like 10x, given xbox has a geforce 3-ish gpu, meanwhile xbox 360 had a 7900GT class GPU.
  9. hover389

    hover389 TS Rookie

    4 times more powerful than the Xbox One X not the Xbone. Also one would hope games will continue to have better graphics in the future compared to today so that would be on top of the increased resolution.
    TechLord2021x1 likes this.
  10. Fuzzy Dunalap

    Fuzzy Dunalap TS Member Posts: 17   +19

    I'll get one just for that.
    MarkHughes likes this.
  11. TechEnthusiast

    TechEnthusiast TS Rookie

    Well to be honest In the hardware space we're used to calling Cpu power as just Processing power, while the Compute power is used when talking about the Gpu, since you mostly measure the compute power in a Gpu, so I'll assume that's the case here, with the processing power being about the cpu. Which perfectly aligns with the performance improvements brought on by the zen 2 core when compared to the jaguar cores in the one X, since 8 Zen 2 cores are 4 times more powerful than 8 jaguar cores. So that's that!!!
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019 at 5:07 PM
  12. TechLord2021x1

    TechLord2021x1 TS Rookie

    It's 4 x the power of the XboxOneX dude not the standard Xbox One
  13. Lounds

    Lounds TS Maniac Posts: 221   +139

    I'd like to know what they're basing it on? CPU would be easy to get 4x the power nowadays. GPU not so much, I highly doubt the PS5 and Xbox 4/5 will not have anything much more powerful than the current 5700 due to power consumption in a small enough box to fit under your TV. I think it's possible that we might see a GPU with HBM2 maybe in the Xbox but the Playstation might be GDDR6?
  14. pcnthuziast

    pcnthuziast TS Evangelist Posts: 607   +204

    Marketing speak aka contextually constrained and contrived unrealistic optimism.
    Peter Farkas likes this.
  15. Nero7

    Nero7 TS Evangelist Posts: 421   +170

    Microsoft continues the trend of being the best consumer friendly company.
    Morris Minor likes this.
  16. poohbear

    poohbear TS Maniac Posts: 308   +213

    MS isn't exactly a normal customer, and they certainly won't be buying the GPUs available to u and me. They'll have their own custom GPU, and it'll be fire.
  17. amghwk

    amghwk TS Guru Posts: 542   +330

    Xbox has always been the more powerful brother of the two - generation by generation. But PlayStation has always been the more popular brother. Generation by generation.
  18. Footlong

    Footlong TS Addict Posts: 149   +79

    True, Microsoft is not your average consumer. I don't believe that the Scarlett Xbox will come for more than 499 US dollars. Even if the subsidize it Microsoft still has to somehow put a blu-ray device, plus a hard disk and the cost of developing the next OS for their console.
    I'm putting my money on Microsoft next-gen because this time they have to succeed while Sony is at a more comfortable position.
  19. Nightfire

    Nightfire TS Maniac Posts: 244   +152

    Wrong. PS4 is more powerful than the Xbox one original.
  20. Nightfire

    Nightfire TS Maniac Posts: 244   +152

    I paid $380 for my OneX. Find me a pc with 4k BLUray that can come close to the performance for the price.
    OptimumSlinky likes this.
  21. Adi6293

    Adi6293 TS Maniac Posts: 239   +217

    8K gaming will not happen any time soon. Not only we would need something at least 4 times faster than 2080Ti to get 60fps and its just silly to game at 8K on a monitor, you wouldn't notice a difference......
  22. vayeate

    vayeate TS Enthusiast Posts: 25   +17

    I'm hoping for constant 60fps at 1080p for the next gen. I prefer high framerate over high res.
    hahahanoobs likes this.
  23. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,496   +5,063

    That might be when VR becomes worth while. But as you say 4k is more than enough for me to play on screen.
  24. Axiarus

    Axiarus TS Evangelist Posts: 473   +272

    Its pretty sad that people are hoping for things that have been around for almost a decade.
  25. Eldritch

    Eldritch TS Addict Posts: 133   +131

    So 4x power but wouldn't it be the basic requirement to move to 4k 60 fps? Also, what about ray tracing and at what level will it be supported?
    4k 60 fps with ray tracing doesn't seem possible for even the new gen consoles with supposedly 6-8 years life and while you can say that it will run 4k 60 fps without ray tracing but I will argue that even a decade old graphics card display stuff at 4k 60 fps if you disable enough stuff.

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