Phil Spencer: Project Scarlett Won’t Be Out of Position on Power or Price When It’s Launched


Project Scarlett, the codename for the next-generation Xbox console, won't suffer from the same mistakes Microsoft made with the current-generation Xbox One.

Phil Spencer, Head of Gaming and Executive VP at Microsoft, vowed as much in an interview published a few hours ago by The Verge.

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I would say a learning from the Xbox One generation is we will not be out of position on power or price. If you remember the beginning of this generation we were a hundred dollars more expensive and yes, we were less powerful. And we started Project Scarlett with this leadership team in place with a goal of having market success.

We had the discussion years ago ‘do we want to go do another generation?’ Yes, and do we think there will be multiple generations ahead of us? I actually think there probably is. So we’re going all in. We’re all-in on Project Scarlett and I want to compete, and I want to compete in the right ways which is why we’re focused on cross-play and backward compatibility.

Spencer also said there's room for a tighter Xbox to Discord integration, after the basic one introduced earlier this year.

Yeah, I do think so. I think it’s more difficult because the voice codecs are different. It’s not as easy as a phone system where everybody’s kind of on the same backend. I think over time it’s a benefit to all of us. Just like how I think cross-play is important, cross-talk — if you want to use that as a term — is something I think we should be focused on.

Project Scarlett is expected to launch in Holiday 2020, presumably very close to Sony's PlayStation 5, its main competitor in the gaming console segment. Both consoles are going to be powered by customized AMD technology based on the Zen 2/RDNA (Navi) CPU/GPU architectures, featuring hardware support for raytracing and an SSD optimized for gaming. Of course, as the full specifications aren't available yet, they may differ slightly from one another, though it is likely their computing power will be similar given that they are using the same technologies.