'Xbox Series X': Next-gen Xbox Project Scarlett revealed

Xbox Series X
Xbox Series X (Image credit: The Game Awards)

Microsoft's next-gen Xbox Project Scarlett finally got revealed at The Game Awards, showcasing the name and the box itself. It looks more like a PC tower than an actual console, rammed with next-gen tech.

Related: Everything we know about the Xbox Series X

A blog post (opens in new tab) on the Microsoft Xbox site went into more detail about its design, which has been built to maximize airflow, with support for both vertical and horizontal orientations.

Xbox Series X

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Xbox Series X will be our fastest, most powerful console ever and set a new bar for performance, speed and compatibility, allowing you to bring your gaming legacy, thousands of games from three generations and more forward with you. Its industrial design enables us to deliver four times the processing power of Xbox One X in the most quiet and efficient way, something that is critically important in delivering truly immersive gameplay. We also designed Xbox Series X to support both vertical and horizontal orientation. It's bold and unique, very much like our fans around the world and the team of collaborators and innovators who built it.From a technical standpoint, this will manifest as world-class visuals in 4K at 60FPS, with the possibility of up to 120FPS, including support for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), and 8K capability. Powered by our custom-designed processor leveraging the latest Zen 2 and next-generation RDNA architecture from our partners at AMD, Xbox Series X will deliver hardware-accelerated ray tracing and a new level of performance never before seen in a console. Additionally, our patented Variable Rate Shading (VRS) technology will allow developers to get even more out of the Xbox Series X GPU and our next-generation SSD will virtually eliminate load times and bring players into their gaming worlds faster than ever before.

Phil Spencer revealed the console on stage, also showcasing Hellblade 2, built from the ground up for the new system, using in-engine footage that truly looked closer to a pre-rendered scene.

Microsoft also showed off a new Xbox controller, with a revised d-pad that looks more similar to the discs used on the Xbox Elite controllers.

Microsoft adds that all of your games and accessories will work out of the box on the Xbox Series X, which incorporates full backward compatibility with the Xbox One and all of its backward compatible titles from the OG Xbox and Xbox 360 eras.

We're unsure if there will be an Xbox Series "S" to go with the Xbox Series "X," as previously rumored. Scarlett was originally separated into two SKUs dubbed Anaconda and Lockhart, with different power thresholds and price points. "Series" certainly indicates multiple potential devices, and Phil Spencer said the following in an interview with Gamespot when asked about the possibility of other versions of the Series X.

"Obviously, in the name 'Series X', it gives us freedom to do other things with that name so that we can create descriptors when we need to."

The Series X, so far, suggests that there is only one console model going into next year, which is expected to launch in the holiday season of 2020.

Xbox (opens in new tab)


Jez Corden
Managing Editor

Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • There you go, guest, you were right they are retaining the naming from the One X. In seriousness though, just read the CNET article, there are some amazing functions coming out, like instantly resuming multiple games (I always have a few games I'm playing, so not having to deal with splash screens and menu options every time I decide to play something else is actually something I'm really looking forward to. Also, Hellblade 2, yes, yes, an infinite times yes!
  • Looks cool. Can't wait.
  • This is the ugliest design since Apple's litter bin.
    Easy pass for me.
    Call me when the well designed version console in this "series X" comes out 2/3 years after launch.
  • That's understandable, because when I'm playing a game I look at the console too. That being said, I also didn't care about the Apple design either. Or the design of any product that isn't actually used for design aesthetic. Although this will actually mirror my Panasonic Smart Speaker which is also a Black squared monolith.
  • I use my Xboxes more to watch TV and films than to play games these days. Regardless, I have the consoles on my media centre. And all of them are the slimmest as possible. I'm not going to add a gigantic trash can in the middle of the media centre, calling all the attention to it. Call me whatever you want, but I do care a lot about the design of things I have to look at daily. Be them consoles, cars or smartphones. Design does matter.
  • Yeah, I understand that, just ribbing ya. For me it works well because it looks to be a similar size to my smart speaker, so I can put one either side of my TV and aesthetically it will actually look quite nice. But I can understand that some people it won't suit for, especially seeing as a lot of people will put their console inside a cabinet or shelf rather than in the open.
  • I actually am upset by the design, but only because I JUST hid my console behind my TV with a Hide it mount and love it. I was about to even ditch my almost not used entertainment center! Also, imagine trying to fly with this thing! I guess travel with the box is pretty much done.
  • I agree, also it looks really big
  • That's fair. Its not like looks can please everyone. I actually like the industrial design. It reminds me of some recent small form factor of towers. It's sleek with the finish they used. Then the little touch of green light from the top is nice, not too much. In my setup, I'll probably have it out on my table under my tv. It doesn't have a bunch of annoying lights on the front. From an engeneering standpoint, I bet this works great for efficient cooling and quiet operation. So from that point, seeing this should make you feel very at ease that it should be very reliable. Design has never kept me from buying a console, but this looks better than the 360 to my eyes. But again, we all have our own tastes.
  • I'm not going to lie when I saw this the first thing that came to my mind was apples trash can machine 🤣🤣🤣. Hopefully it will be well cooled though.
  • Why, it's really a computer such are box or rectangle shaped and have been for decades. They're just narrowing the gap between the two. Honestly you seem to be a very negative person as that's all you ever express in your views here. Maybe you should start a company and new breakthrough designs, etc. You can put Apple, Google, and Microsoft out of business.
  • I really dislike the design. I will not have that huge box in my TV rack. Hellblade 2 looks great, though.
  • If you look it'd only 3x the size of the controller so it's not really that big and about as wide. I will not be getting one as I have moved to pc gaming as for me fits my needs better but that said I like thos design.
  • Soo is the top grill an exhaust like a chimney? 😅
  • Like I said, this thing is a BEAST!!!
  • With the green light on the top, it reminds me of that device The Riddler had in everyone's living room in Batman Forever. That being said, if I can't turn that green light off I will not buy it. I cannot stand lights in my entertainment center especially while I'm trying to watch something or play something. I don't need some random light distracting me. It also looks like they put it in a place to where I can't cover it up to make it go away because then the thing would self-destruct. If I can't turn that light off I will just use my One X for the foreseeable future. It's already good enough anyway so I really don't care about the new one. Also how the hell am I supposed to mount that on the back of a TV if I wasn't using an entertainment center? I do understand why they made it that way as that is the best way to dissipate heat. Maybe I will just have to find a way to make it look like one of the other decorations in my entertainment center. Maybe I'll decorate it too to make it blend in, ha.
  • Rodney, a small piece of black duct tape will do the trick. :-)
  • Yep, this indeed. They even make small black out stickers of various sizes. You can dim or totally black out.
  • Like I said in my comment, I don't think I could cover it up with tape considering it's beneath the main air vent.
  • Some of you on here are such children. Now I see why the world is falling apart. It looks like a PC tower I will not buy this, there is a light on it I will not buy it, blah blah blah. I get you guys have opinions however I reserve the right to say your complaints are kind of stupid. First off when playing games your looking at a very very bright light called your television lol. Second you don't stare at the console under your entertainment center and if you do your missing the point lol. Third, none of you have any idea what the design features are as far as cooling and noise reduction. Anyhow, why all you fail to play on the most powerful console on the market because it's a rectangle or because it has a green light I'll be enjoying both the Series X and PS5.
  • The shape I can work with and can accommodate, it's just not standard nor ideal. A bright green light that I cannot turn off is something I cannot work with because I will be looking at it instead of my TV because of it. I'm the guy that puts electrical tape or dark tinted tape on all of the lights on my electronics because even those are distracting to me. A giant green light that I can't turn off is something i can't deal with, especially since I play/watch in the dark 90% of the time.
  • I can definitely understand why this device might not be ideal, a lot of entertainment units aren't really designed for upright positioning, there are some, but not all and if someone then needs to purchase a new cabinet just for a console, well that's kind of a check box in the negative. The light is an interesting one, honestly I would freaking love for them to make it RGB and not just green.
  • The PS5 could be just as large or larger we know nothing about it at this point. I'm with you though I'll have both in my living room.
  • Are you guys sure this is any of the two project scarlett consoles?
  • I see that Microsoft is really taking the "Box" in Xbox to heart next generation. That being said, with it still being almost a year out, I think the final design will be different than what was shown tonight, probably smaller. Both the S and the X were smaller than the original One so I really don't see them reversing that trend with the next console.
  • Yeah, I have a hard time believing this is the final design. It does not go well with living room, entertainment center setup at all. The shape is one thing, the size is a bigger problem. I'mooking at our entertainment center now and this rectangle will take up the entire middle shelf, top to bottom. And there is nowhere we could fit it standing up vertically. Not a good design and MS will be laughed at again if this is their design and PS5 comes out looking sleek and cool. I think this is a placeholder design, they better hope so. Besides, they wouldn't use the games show for their full reveal. Would they?
  • Impressive! I'm curious if it would be possible to connect xbox x to a surface dock and use the power of its GPU, similar to egpu for rendering and stuff. It would be amazing to be able connect o a surface pro with Xbox X to work on complex 3D renders.
  • Just put it in a closet and stream it to your tv with project x cloud they talked about your x box acting as a personal server. Im on the x cloud beta and locally with this beast and a new router I doubt there be any lag.
  • Yes, because it makes sense to use your internet data for local playing... This could be a good idea if you use the local streaming option that is built into the Windows 10 app already, but you aren't getting 4K with that!
  • If you pay for local data you seriously need to switch ISP's...
  • Xcloud uses internet data. The option to stream from your console is made for remote play, not local. As I stated in my original comment if you bothered to read it, this could be a solution for the local streaming option through the Xbox app, but the resolution will be crap.
  • Sorry I meant remote play, I think they should take a page from Stadia and have a wifi controller. Lets say you had the money and all the tvs you had in your house were wired via Ethernet and you stream from the xbox to what ever tv you want and the controller would work because it connected wifi to the same network. With Ethernet i dont think you would loose resolution.
  • Yes, with ethernet you still lose resolution and it lags using local streaming in the Xbox app. This happens all the time with my X and my PC and I have Gigabit eithernet cables connecting both. They could update the local Xbox app, but that's doubtful. Xcloud could be better, but I don't think the Xcloud app will just work on the local network without connecting through cloud servers.
  • Um... Excuse me But can we talk about the tower pc Panos just designed called series x #PumpedbyPanos2019
  • After seeing the Hellblade's drawings at the end I can't stop thinking about Quake 1 !!!
  • Love the design. Really like the green glow through the heat vent at the top. Looks much more modern. Clean lines design. I genius to have the heat vent out the top like that. And Hellblade 2!!!!!!! And to think there were those on this very site that laughed at those who said Ninja Theory were working on a single player Adventure. This time AAA instead of AA. MS have laughed in the face if all those accusers who claimed they only make Online games as a service due to Gamepass. Bravo MS. I've already seen posters in heavy Sony forums like VGChartz say they are actually now interested in the next Xbox. Because of Ninja Theories announcement. Well done Phil Spencer. Next Gen is anyone's game.
  • So does this mean there will also be a series "S"? Perhaps a console optimized for XCloud and media consumption at a low price point? Maybe low enough that it would be free with a three year XCloud subscription?
  • Geeez. What a bunch of whiners.
    It's not that tall. Only about 3 times the height of standard controller.
    Your CURRENT XBox1X is taller than that when set on end (and unstable and will fall over.)
    I think this looks great. Nice airflow will be key to it working properly as it has lots of high-heat components in it. GDDR6, PCIe4 (probably), New APU (AMD is not known for low-heat devices) etc.
    This looks like modern art, clean lines, no weird edges, etc. Compared to gamer-bling abomination seen in the PS5 renders, it's waaaaay nicer looking. You can't really tell if there is another vent on the one side you never see in any of the images. Probably.
    Glad to see they kept the 4K drive (I expect the lower-spec version will not have one at all.)
    You also cannot see if the Power Supply is internal or not. I kind of doubt it to keep the thermal-budget down.
    That means a power block on the floor like with previous XBoxes. Meh.
    Looking forward to more info later this year. Very promising start.
  • I actually like the design of the Series X. I think the green glow of the light in the vent is a nice touch. Although it's designed to be vertical or horizontal, they seem to prefer the system to be vertical. Not unless there is a light on both ends that could contribute to some cool effects, with the right set-up. Not to mention, I don't think it will be nearly as big as people think it will.
  • Looks fine. As long as it doesn't sound like a jet aka PS4 Pro and doesn't overheat it's fine.
  • Looks like the times of console games looking better than pc games (90's-early 00's) are coming back. 12TFLOP on a system made specifically for games is gonna be jawdropping. Just hoping all games for this system still shows PC love.
  • What are you smoking? PC games have always had better graphics and more depth in them. It just depended on how much you spent on your rig.
  • After getting a better look at it,it doesn't look to bad. It isn't as big as you think when you see it next to a controller and use them as a guide to judge its size. But like alot of others have said I have no idea where I would put it. But for all we know the PS5 could be just as big if not bigger.
  • Who says it's big it looks like like a few GameCubes stuck together in size like 3 maybe... This ain't big and easily hideable if the design doesn't suits you... I'm not a fan but this seems like an non issue in almost any configuration you have... With cable management and a few tech tweaks you can pretty much have your Xbox in your basement and play with it in your attic with almost zero latency these days....