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How much will the Xbox Scarlett cost?

In Holiday 2020, Microsoft is poised to kick off the next generation in perhaps the strangest position we've ever seen a platform holder in. Project Scarlett will become the new top-tier Xbox, pushing the Xbox One X and Xbox One S further down the ladder. But those other consoles aren't necessarily going away either.

What does that mean for Scarlett and its pricing? How much will the Xbox Scarlett cost? It's important to note we don't have solid details at the moment. What we're offering is a best guess; one that may or may not hold when Scarlett actually arrives.

Until then: it's our bet Scarlett launches at $499.99. Here's what we see happening.

Microsoft seems to be in love with the idea of an entry-level console, as it provides a budget entry point for consumers and pulls more people into the Xbox ecosystem. The Xbox One S isn't really getting the job done at $299 (or even $249 for the All-Digital version). But when Scarlett comes along, dropping the Xbox One S to $199 or $149 would be game-changing. The One S can run plenty of Xbox Game Pass titles perfectly fine, and that's really all that matters.

Moving the Xbox One S down creates room for a middle tier, and that's where the Xbox One X comes in. The Xbox One X could be the system that touts forward compatibility with games developed for Scarlett, providing a lower-cost option for those who still want to play the latest games (the One X supports 4K in many titles, after all). We could imagine a world where the Xbox One X is dropped down to $349 or even $299, clearing out the top of the lineup for one more console.

And that console is Scarlett. As far as console prices are concerned, we think the PlayStation 3 debacle and the warmer reception for the Xbox One X at $499 proved a point: half a grand is about the maximum console gamers are willing to spend for a new machine. If it's more than that, they're going to freak out. And based on the talk out of Microsoft regarding Scarlett's power, we certainly can't see it costing any less. By the time Scarlett launches, the Xbox One X will be three years old and (theoretically) should cost less to manufacture. That means Microsoft should have some room to cram better hardware into a $500 box.

We'll be sure to update you once we receive word on Scarlett's official price, which will probably happen sometime in early to mid 2020. For now, you have our best guesstimate on how much Project Scarlett will cost.