Phil Spencer: ‘I played my first games on Project Scarlett this week’

During a recent Destiny livestream hosted by the game’s developer Bungie — a studio which has enjoyed a rich history with Microsoft and Xbox, owning to their role in creating the platform-defining Halo franchise — Head of Xbox and Executive Vice-President of Gaming at Microsoft Phil Spencer shared an exciting bit of information. Spencer revealed that he’s already played games on the Project Scarlett hardware.

Officially unveiled at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, following a lengthy pre-announce period of mostly accurate leaks and rumors, Project Scarlett is the next-gen Xbox hardware that’s expected to launch in the Holiday period of 2020. With the new Xbox still more than a year out, it’s certainly encouraging to hear that Microsoft already has a prototype up and running.

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Spencer understandably didn’t elaborate on what exactly the “games” plural that he played were, but it’s reasonable to assume that game software targetting a launch alongside the console would already be in some form of playable state. Only one game has been explicitly confirmed to be bound for Project Scarlett so far and that’s Halo Infinite, so perhaps the Head of Xbox enjoyed a pre-alpha state date with the returning Master Chief.

Whatever he played, presumably it looked graphically stunning; it’s already been confirmed that Project Scarlett will feature support for ray tracing and resolutions up to a massive 8K. Presumably it also played well, as not only are there visual enhancements but SSD storage and up to 120 FPS performance have been touted as further selling points.

With next year’s E3 being the last before Project Scarlett hits the market, likely under a different name, we’re almost sure to see what Phil Spencer experienced earlier this week for ourselves then. That’s assuming Microsoft doesn’t follow the emerging trend of hosing their own reveal event, in which case, we might be seeing what the next generation of Xbox holds in store even sooner.