Microsoft's Next-Gen Xbox 'Scarlett' Rumored To Use AMD Zen 2 And Navi For 4K Gaming Domination

We're beginning to hear a little bit more about Microsoft's next-generation Xbox gaming hardware. Although we don't have an official name for the console, the device is currently being developed under the codename Scarlett according to various reports.

xbox one x exploded

So, what will Scarlett bring to the tablet? Well, according to Microsoft Insider Brad Sams, it will be based on AMD's upcoming 7-nanometer Zen 2 microarchitecture, which should be no surprise. Zen 2 forms the basis of Rome-based EPYC server processors, and will also underpin AMD's third-generation Ryzen 3000 Series mainstream processors.

Zen 2 should provide quite the boost in performance compared to the current Xbox One X, which is using a custom version of AMD's Jaguar microarchitecture paired with a GPU that is roughly equivalent to a Radeon RX 580 in terms of performance. The Xbox One X CPU/GPU is based on 16nm process tech, so the move to 7nm should do wonders from a performance/watt vantage point.

The baseline target for games destined for Scarlett will be 4K resolution (3840x2160) at 60 frames per second, which will made possible thanks to an AMD-based Navi GPU (also built on 7nm process tech). While the Xbox One X is currently capable of playing games at 4K, it's not consistent across the board.

If all of this sounds familiar, it's because rumors have pegged similar specs for Sony's PlayStation 5. The PlayStation 5 is also expected to use a Zen 2-based CPU along with Navi graphics. 

Both consoles are on track for launch in 2020 -- roughly 7 years after the original launch of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 -- which will spark another arms race in the gaming console market. Sony's PlayStation 4 has been the runaway sales champion for this console generation, and Microsoft is looking to turn the tables with Scarlett.