Microsoft formally introduced Project Scarlett, or at least the concept of it, during the E3 2019 Xbox briefing. Before the showcase, Game Informer’s Andrew Reiner let loose a series of tweets where he stated that developers told him that the unofficially named PlayStation 5 is stronger than the next Xbox — aka Project Scarlett.
Reiner didn’t confirm or deny the prediction after the Scarlett was revealed but, to be fair, on a limited amount of information was shared during the briefing. We know Project Scarlett will be made of a custom AMD processor based on Ryzen 2, a GPU based on AMD’s Navi, and GDDR6 RAM. These components will allow the console to reach 120 frames per second and support 8K resolution, specifications we’re far from experiencing or requiring on a consistent basis. That said, is this better or worse than what we know about the PS5?
So far, the components are eerily similar. The PlayStation 5, as revealed by Sony’s Mark Cerny, will utilize an AMD CPU based on the Ryzen line and a GPU based on the Navi. Xbox engineers mentioned the use of a solid-state drive that will serve as storage and virtual RAM for Project Scarlett. The PS5 will also include an SSD.
The comparisons don’t stop there. Both Microsoft and Sony are preparing similar cloud-gaming options to compete with Google Stadia, which releases at the end of this year. Xbox gamers will be able to access games wherever they have an internet connection via Project xCloud but there are no pricing or technical specs available. Sony’s PlayStation Now platform is a known quantity but there’s a new initiative that aims to make the streaming platform available to use without a PlayStation console. Both consoles even seem to be embracing backward compatibility going into the next generation.
Things are still pretty even but Microsoft has gotten one leg up on the competition by revealing one of the launch titles for the next Xbox: Halo Infinite. It’s no surprise that the company wants to come out of the gate with its most important flagship franchise and we’ll have to see what Sony’s first-party studios bring to the table.