E3 2019: Next-Gen Xbox Project Scarlett Revealed with No VR in Sight

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With the curious case of Microsoft initially announcing VR support for Xbox One X and then later pulling the plug before launch, it wasn’t clear if the company would use its next console as its opportunity to finally jump into VR. Today at E3 2019, Microsoft revealed its next-gen Xbox ‘Project Scarlett’ but had nothing to say about VR on the console. Meanwhile, Sony has already confirmed support for PSVR on PS5, and hinted at plans for a next-gen headset.

Today at E3 2019, Microsoft capped off their keynote presentation with the announcement of Xbox Project Scarlett, the company’s next-gen console which will bring powerful new hardware to your living room come holiday 2020.

Microsoft is focusing heavily on pure performance improvements as the primary innovation of Xbox Project Scarlett.

Based on Zen 2 and Navi processors from AMD, the new console is said to be “four times more powerful than the Xbox One X.” In addition to support for 120Hz output, 8K resolution, variable framerate, and hardware accelerate ray-tracing, Xbox Project Scarlett is equipped with a super speedy SSD and GDDR6 for drastically reduced loading times, the company says. Microsoft is also promising that the console will support the same content as existing Xbox One and Xbox One X consoles.

Unsurprisingly, Project Scarlett sounds quite a bit like Sony’s next-gen console, which the company has spilled some hardware details on, but hasn’t made a proper announcement just yet. Where the two consoles majorly differ right now from a feature standpoint is VR support. Microsoft has yet to mention VR at all with regards to Project Scarlett, while Sony recently confirmed that PS5 will support the existing PSVR, and also teased what a next-gen headset might look like from the company.

We’ve reached out to Microsoft for comment on plans to support VR on Xbox Project Scarlett.

Microsoft has had something of a messy history with VR and Xbox. This writeup explores that history (and its relationship to the Xbox’s biggest competitor) in more detail, but in short, the latest Microsoft has said on the matter was last year when it affirmed the company doesn’t have “any plans specific to Xbox consoles in virtual reality or mixed reality […].”

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