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 (opens in new tab).

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.

Xbox accessories you'll love

Every one of these quality accessories is guaranteed to enhance your Xbox experience.

PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller for Xbox One (opens in new tab) ($20 at Amazon)

PowerA's take on the Xbox One controller is an attractive pickup for budget-conscious gamers that nails all the basics.

Talon PDP Xbox media remote (opens in new tab) ($20 at Amazon)

The Talon PDP Xbox media remote is great for watching shows on your console.

Xbox One S vertical stand (opens in new tab) ($10 at Amazon)

Stand your console upright with this accessory.

Matt Brown is 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.

9 Comments
  • Wills support also Kinect ???
  • Give up on Kinect buddy, it ain't happening.
  • Despite never achieving the popularity Microsoft had hoped it would, there were still quite a few games published that support Kinect. Without Kinect support going forward (for those who want it), games that support Kinect can no longer be experienced as originally intended on newer consoles, despite Microsoft's much touted backwards compatibility programme. Microsoft may no longer be manufacturing Xbox Kinect units, but if they were serious about backwards compatibility for accessories & peripherals, they'd find a way to make Kinect work on the new consoles.
  • Ok yeah, I imagine you will still be able to hook one up via USB, but I doubt there will be any troubleshooting or future advancements. But then again, who knows, they might just move entirely away from it (which is a shame because I actually thought the Kinect was fantastic when it worked).
  • It should support Kinect because Phil literally said 'All your accessories are compatible moving forward as well", but I'm expecting that not to be the case because Microsoft has already thrown Kinect customers and developers under the bus.
  • I'm excited. If like for this to be the first console I ever pre-order and buy day one, but I have a lot to do in the next year and a half.
  • So much for the standard five year cycle. I would be curious to know what it will offer, outside of 8k support and 120fps
  • If true, this is great. If controllers don't change massively Sony should really do the same with the PS5.
  • Agreed, to be honest I can't really think of how controllers could advance beyond what Xbox/PlayStation already offer, other than incorporating high end controller functionality as standard (variable travel on triggers, paddles, multiple layouts, etc).