Microsoft has been talking up the Xbox Scarlett for two years straight and is getting closer to finalizing their internal and retail prices of the still-unnamed next-gen console. As soon as the Xbox division knows the final costs on their end, they'll be sharing it with the public, keeping their tradition of transparency since Phil Spencer took over as the Xbox boss.
As one of the lightest E3 events in years, none of the 'big three' hardware manufacturers were ready to showcase new hardware offerings on the console front this week. One of them, Sony's PlayStation, didn't even show up to the event for the first time in the history of the annual tradeshow (which is now open to the public for the sake of attendance numbers). Nintendo is reportedly working on hardware upgrades of the Switch, but made it clear pre-E3 that they weren't ready to showcase anything.
For Xbox, E3 2019 was their year and they came with plenty of software, just not much newness. They did however, reveal more specs and set some expectations for the Xbox One successor and how it'll compare to the PlayStation 5. Phil Spencer also conducted several interviews, including on Microsoft's own Mixer stream, where he discussed planning for E3 and the rollout of Xbox Scarlett information. With the Xbox One X, codenamed "Project Scorpio", they informed gamers 18 months ahead of release, and Spencer believes that was a positive experience and believes in transparency for consumers. For Scarlett, they learned a lot from that rollout and are following a similar trajectory.
Spencer reveals that they even have the physical design in mind for the Xbox Scarlett system, but the pricing isn't quite set yet...
"There's a lot of stuff to come, that still hasn't been figured out, but we know what the silicon's gonna look like. We know what our design criteria is," said Spencer. "At some point we will show what it looks like, the ID [Industrial Design]. And there are some things from a marketing standpoint that we want to have different beats of news - there's no doubt about that."
"The physical ID is not done. I know what it's going to look like. I think it's a cool looking new thing, which will be interesting. But we don't have the final ID done so it's not like we're going to put out kind of a half-done ID and say 'this is kind of what it'll look like.' We'll wait on that because that's not really the thing that's going to drive purchase decisions. Even the name. I hope somebody is not making their mind or decision on this product based on what it's named."
As for what the Xbox Scarlett will cost gamers, "the price will be important" explains Spencer.
"Clearly price is one of those things that people want to know and as we're watching the cost of the components coming in, things like tariffs and other things, trying to figure out what that price is going to be next year... We had a design price in mind. I think we're going to hit that but I want to make sure that everything comes in right so that that's the price we're going to hit. We'll get price out as soon as we can so that people can make those decisions but that's kind of how it works."
The Xbox Scarlett will launch alongside Halo Infinite in holiday 2020 but no dates have been given yet for these or the PlayStation 5. Expect a massive E3 2020, with additional events from both companies throughout 2020 for reveals. It will support Xbox One games and controllers.