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Phil Spencer already ‘having a blast’ at home with Xbox Project Scarlett

At least one next-gen Xbox Project Scarlett is already in the wild — at the home of Microsoft’s head of Xbox, Phil Spencer.

The next version of the Xbox isn’t set to launch until the holiday season of 2020, when it will go head to head with the Sony PlayStation 5. But the console’s development is advanced enough for Spencer to bring it home.

And it’s started….this week I brought my Project Scarlett console home and it's become my primary console, playing my games, connecting to the community and yes, using my Elite Series 2 controller, having a blast. Great work by the team, 2020 is going to be an incredible year.

— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) December 4, 2019

One of the major takeaways from Spencer’s tweet is that, even though its launch is still a year away, the Xbox Project Scarlett is already capable of most of its expected primary functions. It is easy to see why Spencer has seamless shifted to it as his “primary console,” as it is already able to play Xbox One games, access online features, and connect to accessories such as the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2.

With Spencer already “having a blast” with the Xbox Project Scarlett at home, it begs the question of why Microsoft will need another year before releasing the next Xbox. The highly likely answer is that the device will undergo heavy testing and optimization to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible; Spencer is himself a beta tester.

The Xbox Project Scarlett will succeed the Xbox One line, which includes the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X. The next-generation console may further blur the line between console and PC gaming, as it will be about four times as powerful as the Xbox One X. Microsoft will incorporate a solid-state drive instead of a hard drive into the upcoming console, which is expected to significantly reduce loading times. It will also continue backward compatibility, which started with Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One a few years ago.

It won’t include all of the bells and whistles, however: Spencer recently said that virtual reality will not be a focus for the Xbox Project Scarlett.

A Kotaku report claimed that Microsoft is still planning to roll out two versions of the next-generation Xbox, with a less expensive version that will skip the disc drive. This console, which will be the successor to the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, will be able to take better advantage of Microsoft’s Project xCloud game streaming service.

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