Xbox boss Phil Spencer does expect Xbox Scarlett to provide “strong visual enhancements” when it launches during the 2020 holiday season, although he told GameSpot Microsoft’s primarily focused on making gains in other areas.
“I think the area that we really want to focus on next generation is frame rate and playability of the games,” he 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.”
From a pure processing perspective, Microsoft has said Xbox Scarlett is four times more powerful than Xbox One X. It’s targeting frame rates up to 120 frames per second and the console will support up to 8K visuals.
“The thing that’s interesting is, this generation, we’ve really focused on 4K visuals and how we bring both movies through 4K Blu-ray and video streaming, and with Xbox One X allowing games to run at 4K visuals will make really strong visual enhancements next generation,” Spencer said.
“But 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.”
Microsoft has confirmed that Xbox Scarlett will feature backwards compatibility with games from all previous generations of Xbox consoles. It will be compatible with older Xbox accessories too.