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Xbox Project Scarlet: Microsoft focusing on improving frame rates and launch times

By Cal Jeffrey · 32 replies
Jun 22, 2018
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  1. Aside from a couple of leaks and rumors about possible specs and PS5 dev kits going out, Sony has been tight-lipped about what they have in the works. Microsoft, on the contrary, has been a bit more forthcoming with its plans.

    At E3 2018, Xbox head Phil Spencer revealed that the designing process of the next Xbox was well underway. He didn’t divulge any details, but it was later uncovered that the new console is code-named Project Scarlet and that it might be launching as early as 2020.

    In an interview with Giant Bomb, Spencer commented that two things that the company wants to focus on with Scarlet are frame rate and start times.

    “I think frame rate is an area where consoles can do more,” said the Xbox boss. “When you look at the balance between CPU and GPU in today’s consoles they’re a little bit out of whack relative to what’s on the PC side.”

    It would be fair to assume that Microsoft wants to bring the Xbox closer to a standard of 60fps at 1080p or better in the next generation.

    Spencer also spoke to download and start-up times in current titles. With more games offering higher resolutions and most games reaching well over 50GB in size, install times have become annoying in some cases.

    “I’m always wishing games would start quicker,” Spencer said.

    He pointed out that they are already working on ways to speed up download times. FastStart technology, which was also announced at E3 will be implemented starting with the Xbox One. FastStart loads the most crucial game files first so that players can start the game without having to wait for the whole thing to download. While they play, the rest of the game can install in the background.

    Sony has a similar technology that it has been employing on the PS4 for quite a while now, but Microsoft is looking at improving launch times even more for Scarlet, but he did not mention how.

    It is nice to see that efforts are going toward ramping up frame rates for the next generation. Many current games that have been optimized for the PS4 Pro and XboneX have been offering options to play in higher resolutions while sacrificing fps, or vise versa. It would be nice to see a console where no sacrifices have to be considered.

    Permalink to story.

  2. ghostf1re

    ghostf1re TS Maniac Posts: 323   +200

    Well I think the simplest means of trying to improve frame times and loading games quicker would just be to install a SSD on the next system. If they didn't go this route, I'd be shocked. I'm glad he talked about the difference betweent the GPU and the CPU, because the CPU is really been the big issue with Xbox. They need to bring that more in line with what they can do graphically, because they're extremely limited by the CPU as it stands now.
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,448   +1,618

    Perhaps if they let us install our own SSDs into the system rather then seal in a cheap as chips 5400RPM drive, we wouldnt have this problem.
  4. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,525   +2,835

    The chances of them adding an SSD are very slim, especially one to store games on it. You are looking at $80 added on to the console cost and that's a no go.

    A better option would be some sort of high speed and cheap cache that's roughly as fast as an SSD. The cache would simply store the required files for games you played recently.
  5. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Posts: 775   +145

    You NEED to focus on games cause right now Sony is destroying you.
  6. VBKing

    VBKing TS Enthusiast Posts: 54   +26

    They also need to improve RESTART times. COD Zombies takes FOREVER to restart with COD 3 and later because the developers seem to think we need to see stupid movie cut scenes before showing us our game stats and then it takes forever to restart a game.

    They also need to fix their UPDATES. I have over 50 games installed on my XBox One and I'm ALWAYS having to update games before I play them if I'm connected to the internet. For example, COD BO3 has a 2.5+ GB UPDATE!!! Years after it's been out!!! A FULL DOWNLOAD for some stupid update they're forcing on us. And they update the game it seems once a month at least. You need to hire smarter programmers and quit making the download one massive file so we only have to update just the small pieces of the game that are being patched.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  7. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,525   +2,835

    Unfortunately Microsoft is known for their updates and not in a good way.
    Charles Olson likes this.
  8. McMurdeR

    McMurdeR TS Addict Posts: 127   +93

    Updates should be automatically installed in low power mode.
    TempleOrion and m4a4 like this.
  9. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 580   +1,140

    Decreased load times = SSD, and increased FPS = put a proper "big core" CPU in instead of tablet class "Intel Atom" equivalent Jaguars. But then you reach the point where your $500 "x86 console" basically becomes a $700 SteamBox in all but name...
    TempleOrion, darkgtx and Reehahs like this.
  10. OortCloud

    OortCloud TS Addict Posts: 216   +95

    Agreed. I have both and XBOX exclusives have become very stale.
    Charles Olson likes this.
  11. Skjorn

    Skjorn TS Maniac Posts: 308   +169

    Most likely going to be Ryzen2+Navi right? 1-2TB SSHD? seems affordable and considerably better than before, will the DRAM price fix investigation drop the prices for next console?
    TempleOrion likes this.
  12. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Evangelist Posts: 617   +809

    Just buy a gaming PC already.
    darkgtx, Puiu, Burty117 and 1 other person like this.
  13. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,360   +831

    Wow that sucks.
    Sadly my $168 RCA Smart TV from Walmart does.
    Evernessince likes this.
  14. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,350   +865

    People seem to be missing the fact that the faster launch times he's talking about (for project scarlet) is for installing the core game files, not launching an already installed game.
    Faster SSD doesn't mean much when you're installing from a slower internet connection, or a slower media format (disc).
  15. DJMIKE25

    DJMIKE25 TS Addict Posts: 181   +72

    I'll third that. I only use my XBONE for Media purposes. PS4 and PC for gaming. If the talk about read dead on the PC is true, I'm not sure what I'll ever play on the Xbox.
    Charles Olson likes this.
  16. Nighthawkrl

    Nighthawkrl TS Rookie

    I am so glad that I no longer own any consoles (never will again). AMD just needs to bank on the consoles and use that money to give Intel an *** kicking in the desktop and server markets.
    TempleOrion and darkgtx like this.
  17. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Evangelist Posts: 617   +809

    No? Consoles are great, just Microsoft's is pretty much pointless if you have a gaming PC. Which you should, because it's still way better than their best effort (the Xbox One X.)

    I have a PS4 Pro and it's great. Horizon Zero Dawn/God of War, HDR, on a quality 4K display. It's fantastic. Sure it's no match for my PC at it's very best but boy it's got some beautiful looking and great playing games you can't play anywhere else better.

    Can't exactly say that about Xbox....
    Charles Olson and Jules Mark like this.
  18. VBKing

    VBKing TS Enthusiast Posts: 54   +26

    When I re-read this article, it appears that Microsoft is focusing on improving the START TIMES of DIGITALLY DOWNLOADED games. While that is ok to fix, that is really a ONE TIME EVENT when you purchase the game / map pack. They should focus on improving the Start Times of the GAMES WHEN YOU PLAY THEM all the time, which would be so much more beneficial.
    Charles Olson and TempleOrion like this.
  19. alabama man

    alabama man TS Guru Posts: 563   +355

    SSD isn't a miracle cure, if you put one on xbone or ps4 it will load faster but not that much. The motherboards are rubbish so it doesn't help putting faster parts, the motherboard can't move the data any faster. And most times it takes long to load it's not because of the hardware but because of the network infrastructure, GTA 5 took 40+ hours to load with a 500mbs connection on ps4.
  20. alabama man

    alabama man TS Guru Posts: 563   +355

    If either of them manages 60+ fps standard I buy that console. Even if it's 480p, as long as it doesn't go below 60fps it's progress. Been waiting for 60fps console gaming since they promised it with ps3.
  21. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,634   +288

    This can only happen if developers deliberately try not to make the most of the hardware, and you wouldn't really want that, would you?
  22. dirtyferret

    dirtyferret TS Evangelist Posts: 494   +519

    What ever console you have, you are powered by an inefficient brick power supply since no one wants a large box in their living room. So the idea of sticking a power demanding CPU in a console is not happening hence the use of tablet CPUs in the current generation of systems.
  23. jaryn211

    jaryn211 TS Enthusiast

    that may have been the case 5 years ago but we've come a long way since then. hardware is far more efficient now. keep in mind that the consoles were made within the limitations of the time and it didn't help that AMD weren't exactly doing very good with their cpus at the time. so it's a little premature to say it won't happen.
    TempleOrion and darkgtx like this.
  24. Nighthawkrl

    Nighthawkrl TS Rookie

    All I said was that I'm glad to not own a console anymore, I never said they weren't great or that they are bad. I actually came from a PS4 before building my rig in 2015. I just don't want to own another console. Tbh, I don't really care what exclusives the PS4 has, Xbox and PC say the same thing about their exclusives. I wasn't really bashing consoles or trying to start a war, I just wanted to point out how crazy the console industry is right now.
  25. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 591   +579

    In ancient times, the best reason to own a console was for local multiplayer. Sadly, everything just seems to be online-only now. My GF and I spend ages searching for local co-op games for her PS4 then usually give up and jump back onto our PCs. Bring back local co-op! Rabble, rabble, rabble!
    TempleOrion likes this.

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