Project xCloud will be powered by Xbox One S server blades when it launches, but Microsoft may eventually beef up its racks with Project Scarlett hardware.
Microsoft's new next-gen Zen 2 CPU and Navi GPU-powered Project Scarlett console will power Project xCloud game streaming at some point in the future. Right now each of Project xCloud's server blades are powered by 8 Xbox One S systems, but that could change a few years after Scarlett's on the market.
"We designed Scarlett with the cloud in mind as well, and just as you're going to see our console product family evolve with that next generation, the cloud is going to evolve along with it," Microsoft cloud exec Kareem Choudhry said in a recent interview with Stevivor.
We shouldn't expect the switch to Scarlett to happen soon after the system's launch. The next-gen Xbox will be expensive to make (Microsoft still hasn't ironed out the manufacturing yet) and Microsoft will be shipping most Scarlett hardware to consumers, not making enterprise-level blades out of them. Remember that the Xbox One S hardware is being re-purposed to power the cloud as Microsoft transitions towards a new generation of console hardware.
It's somewhat similar how Nintendo recycled old Wii U controller parts for the NES Mini.
Once the pricing for the components like GGDR6 RAM and the custom AMD SoC die down some, then we'll see Scarlett transform into a cloud solution, maybe 2-3 years after launch.
Project xCloud has a lot to gain from enhanced hardware, though. We're not 100% sure on resolution and frame rates, but more processing power will amp up graphical fidelity and immersion when playing on-the-go.
Project Scarlett is due out by Holiday 2020. No pricing has been announced.
Check below for confirmed specs and details, and a huge content listing of everything we've heard about Project Scarlett so far:
Project Scarlett confirmed details:
- 8-core, 16-thread Zen 2 CPU
- Navi GPU
- Highly customized 7nm SoC from AMD
- GDDR6 memory
- 4x as powerful as the Xbox One X's 6TFLOPs of perf
- Can deliver up to 40x more performance than Xbox One in specific use cases
- Adaptive sync supported
- Super-fast SSD that can be used as VRAM
- Supports 8K resolution (likely media playback)
- 120FPS gaming
- Variable refresh rate
- Raytracing confirmed with dedicated raytracing cores
- Backward compatible with Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games
- Compatible with Xbox One accessories
Project Scarlett coverage:
- Next-gen Xbox Scarlett plays four generations of Xbox games
- Microsoft teases next-gen Xbox: 8K, 120FPS, super-fast SSD
- Xbox Scarlett CPU: 'no compromises', allows for 4K 120FPS gaming
- Microsoft: Xbox Scarlett will kick PlayStation 5's ass in perf/price
- Next-gen Xbox may hit 4K 60FPS in every game
- Project Scarlett to hit 1080p 120FPS gaming
- Project Scarlett trade-in program announced, but there's a big catch
- New Viking Assassin's Creed may be next-gen console launch game
- Next-gen Xbox may get room-scale VR gaming
- PS5 and Xbox Scarlett will both handle ray tracing differently
- Gears 5 developer says Xbox Scarlett has dedicated ray tracing cores
- GTA 6 on PS5, Project Scarlett to have insane hyper-realistic visuals
- AMD 'Flute': Xbox Scarlett SoC: Zen 2 8C/16T @ 3.2GHz on 7nm
- Project Scarlett's price isn't locked in yet
- Project Scarlett isn't the last Xbox console