Right when Microsoft’s lower-powered “Lockhart” next-gen console is apparently back from the dead, Xbox’s Phil Spencer kind of addressed the new rumors yesterday in a quite interesting way. The head of Xbox announced on Twitter yesterday that he’s just brought his next-gen Project Scarlett console at home, and “having a blast" with it.
And it’s started….this week I brought my Project Scarlett console home and it's become my primary console, playing my games, connecting to the community and yes, using my Elite Series 2 controller, having a blast. Great work by the team, 2020 is going to be an incredible year.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) December 4, 2019
Spencer’s Scarlett teasing caused quite a stir on Twitter, with his tweet getting 33.4K likes and 4.6K retweets as of this writing. There’s clearly a lot of anticipation about Project Scarlett, and Phil Spencer shared in a recent interview with Eurogamer that the first Scarlett dev kits had just started shipping to game developers.
It’s not clear yet if hardware specs for Project Scarlett are already set in stone, but previous reports mentioned a custom 8 core 16 thread Zen 2 CPU, a custom AMD Navi GPU delivering 12+ teraflops of power, 16GB of GDDR6 RAM, and a 1TB NVMe SSD providing 1+ GB/s of bandwidth.
Spencer’s tweet still suggests that Project Scarlett is just one console, ignoring the recent rumors about the less powerful and disc-less Lockhart SKU. We’re still scratching our heads about Microsoft launching two new consoles in 2020, as the company should absolutely avoid the confusing communication that led to the disastrous Xbox One launch six years ago.
"I will never remove options for us," Spencer recently told Eurogamer, but the console market may be in a strange position next year when both Sony and Microsoft introduce their next-gen consoles, while keeping the already powerful and "good enough" PS4 Pro and Xbox One X on sale.