Xbox Project Scarlett to support Xbox One controllers and headsets

Microsoft has outlined the foundations of its next-generation Xbox plans at E3 2019, unveiling its upcoming cutting-edge console, Project Scarlett. Driven by AMD's Navi GPU and Ryzen CPU architecture duo, the powerhouse targets 8K and 120 FPS gameplay, four times more powerful than Xbox One X. However, Microsoft remains tight on details, currently on track for a 2020 debut.

Tailing its recent press conference on June 9, executive vice-president of Gaming at Microsoft, Phil Spencer, has provided further details on its next-generation ambitions. Speaking at E3 2019 in Los Angeles, the Xbox head reaffirmed plans to retain backward compatibility, spanning original Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games, alongside accompanying accessories.

"We thought out our design for Project Scarlett, we definitely wanted to make sure that we were compatible across all the generations," said Spencer. "Not just with the games, but the accessories." The move allows existing Xbox One controllers and headsets to work with Project Scarlett – including the newly-unveiled Xbox Elite Controller Series 2.

Speaking to Windows Central at E3 2019, Partner Director of Program Management at Xbox, Jason Ronald, further expanded on the decision.

Like we said on stage, we're going to bring four generations of content to Scarlett, including all the games on the Xbox One, we have the 360 and the original Xbox games, and not only do we want those to run, we want them to run and play better than you've ever seen them on Scarlett. All your accessories are compatible moving forward as well. If you go and buy an Elite Wireless Controller or Series Two Controller that will be forward compatible on the Scarlett.

It further indicates that, while a generation leap for Microsoft, Project Scarlett remains heavily rooted in existing Xbox One efforts. With internal teams rapidly shifting to tackle Scarlett's challenges, it's the device to watch for the year ahead.

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Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.