E3 2019 was a pretty big show for the games industry. Even though Sony wasn’t in attendance, Microsoft was, and it shared the first details about its next-generation console, which for now is called simply Project Scarlett. Microsoft made some big promises about Project Scarlett during an E3 sizzle video, but now Xbox chief Phil Spencer is getting a little more specific about his company’s major goals with the console.
We already know that Project Scarlett will be able to support 4K resolution, and we wouldn’t expect anything less considering the current-gen Xbox One X is capable of supporting 4K as well. In a new interview with GameSpot, Spencer said that one of the major focuses of Project Scarlett is to get games running at 60 frames per second in 4K, while at the same time making sure that games load quickly.
“I think the area that we really want to focus on next generation is frame rate and playability of the games,” Spencer said. “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.”
That isn’t to say that load times are taking a back seat to FPS and resolution. Spencer went on to say that “playability is probably the bigger focus for us this generation,” meaning that Microsoft wants to ensure that games not only look good, but load fast and feel good to play as well. Indeed, Microsoft engineers seemed very excited about the SSD at the core of Project Scarlett in that video we saw at E3, so to hear that load times are a big focus isn’t really surprising.
Spencer also said that Microsoft wants to make sure that backward compatibility is up to snuff in Project Scarlett. That doesn’t just stop at games, but also controllers too. While you more than likely won’t be able to use your original Xbox controller with Project Scarlett, it sounds like you’ll be able to use gamepads from the current generation, like the Xbox Elite Controller or controllers you customized through Xbox Game Labs.
There’s still a long way to go before Project Scarlett is here, as Microsoft isn’t planning to launch it until late 2020. For the moment, though, it sounds like it’s going to be a solid next-generation console. Be sure to read through GameSpot’s full interview with Phil Spencer if you have a moment, but beyond that, stay tuned, because it hopefully won’t be long before we learn more about Project Scarlett.