Microsoft Project Scarlett: new details on how console will tackle Sony PS5 revealed

Emphasis on backwards compatibility could keep Xbox One users locked-in for another console generation

Microsoft Xbox Two Project Scarlett
(Image credit: Joshua Oluwagbemiga / Unsplash)

Microsoft has revealed some tantalising new details about its forthcoming Xbox One X successor, currently codenamed Project Scarlett. The next-generation console, which will go head-to-head with the Sony PlayStation 5 next year, will be four times more powerful than the Xbox One X – already the most powerful console on the market, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has revealed.

Phil Spencer recently sat down with GameSpot for an exclusive chat about the forthcoming Xbox. According to Spencer, the biggest focus for Project Scarlett is consistency of experience. The team wants games to load fast and run at the highest frame-rate possible. Backwards compatibility is also high on the agenda.

"Making sure that all four generations of content – so the original Xbox games that run on your Xbox One today, the OG Xbox; the 360 games that run on your Xbox One; your Xbox One games; and the new generation games – all run on the next platform is important to us," Phil Spencer told GameSpot.

Players with different generations of consoles will still be able to play against one another, Spencer has confirmed. Not only that, but Microsoft will support any existing controllers you own, so you can play Xbox 360 games with a 360 controller.

Spencer admits this decision is "a little bit new" for the Redmond-based company, but with gamers investing more and more money into customised and personalised controllers, it's one that's likely to play very well with future Project Scarlett owners.

So, what does this all mean?

Well, it's clear Microsoft wants to emphasise how painless it will be to upgrade an existing Xbox 360, or Xbox One to the all-new hardware when it launches. With your old video games and controllers all ready to work with the new Xbox from day one, it's likely going to be a huge incentive for existing Xbox owners to stick with the brand... instead of switching over to the PlayStation ecosystem where they would have to start from scratch all over again.