Microsoft's Project Scarlett arrives in the 2020 holiday season alongside Halo

Microsoft had a lot to show at its E3 presentation today, but the most interesting announcement may have been in the form of its next-generation console, codenamed Project Scarlett. For the first time, we have an idea of when the console will be available, with Microsoft telling us to expect it in the holiday season of 2020.

Microsoft didn't dive deep into the technical specifications, but it did share some details about the performance of the new hardware. As usual, the company is using a custom-built chip based on AMD's technology, this time using its Zen2 and Navi architectures, which promise four times the performance of the Xbox One X. Microsoft says Project Scarlett will be able to run 8K games, support up to 120fps (presumably, not both at the same time), variable refresh rate, and real-time ray tracing.

But it's not all about just the processing power. As you might expect for a 2020 console, Microsoft will be using an SSD for storage on the new Xbox. Microsoft says it has created "a new generation of SSD", and it's actually using it as virtual RAM. This provides a huge boost to loading times, which should be up to 40 times faster than its predecessors.

Finally, in one last bit of good news, Microsoft announced that Project Scarlett, when it arrives in 2020, will launch with the much-anticipated Halo: Infinite. Microsoft also said it's "delivering four generations of content" in a way that hasn't been seen before, suggesting that backwards compatibility will remain on the new console.

At this point, there's no information on pricing, but now is probably a good time to start saving up if you want to get the goodies as soon as they launch.

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