One thing that is a given whenever a new game console comes out is that it will have upgraded hardware that is leaps and bounds ahead of the previous generation—it comes with the territory of riding a console for several years before introducing an entirely new model. That is again going to be the case when the next Xbox arrives, but what will it look like? We do not know yet, but according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer, expect something "cool looking."
The design of the next Xbox—codename Project Scarlett—has not been finalized yet, which is not surprising since it is more than a year away from launching. Nevertheless, Microsoft at least has a general idea of the overall design, and Spencer is excited about it.
"At some point we'll show what it looks like," Spencer said, according to GameSpot. "The physical ID is not done. I know what it's gonna look like. It's gonna be—I think it's a cool-looking, new thing, which will be interesting. But we don't have a final ID done."
Microsoft opted not to tease a glimpse of the console at E3 because the final design is still being hammered out, and instead focused on features and game launches. Spencer said Microsoft did not want to put a "half-done ID" in the public's eye.
"That's not really the thing that's going to drive purchase decision," Spencer added.
In any event, expect something cool-looking, apparently. Hopefully that also means it will be physically cool, as in good airflow. I actually cooked the GPU in my Xbox One X last year by leaving it in an enclosed A/V cabinet. It was a dumb mistake for sure, but it also highlights that today's consoles, which are more PC-like than ever, are not immune to heat damage.
As for the hardware, Project Scarlett will be based on a custom AMD Zen 2 processor and Navi graphics, with a solid state drive in tow. We already know that Sony's PlayStation 5 will support real-time ray tracing, and we fully expect that to be the case for Project Scarlett as well.
What about pricing? Microsoft has a price point in mind, but admits it could change.
"The price will be important. Clearly, price is one of those things that people want to know," Spencer added. "As we're watching how the cost of the components are coming in, and things like tariffs and other things, trying to figure out what that price is going to be next year. We have a price point in mind; I think we're going to hit that. But we want to make sure everything comes in right. We'll get price out as soon as we can."
If all goes to plan, Project Scarlett will launch by the end of next year.