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Project Scarlett Won't Bomb At Launch Like The Xbox One, Says Microsoft

We've already talked at length about the initial failings of the Xbox One. It launched at a price $100 above the PlayStation 4. It was less powerful than the PS4, to boot. And though a digital-only future seems closer than ever now, Microsoft was pushing that idea a little too early back in 2013.


With Project Scarlett, the company is confident it won't make the same mistakes again. In an interview with The Verge, Xbox head Phil Spencer talked about how Microsoft is approaching the next generation.

"I would say a learning from the Xbox One generation is we will not be out of position on power or price," Spencer said. "If you remember the beginning of this generation we were a hundred dollars more expensive and yes, we were less powerful. And we started Project Scarlett with this leadership team in place with a goal of having market success."

So it sounds like Microsoft has taken some valuable lessons away from the launch of the Xbox One, which went about as terribly as a console launch can go. In the years since Spencer took over, the Xbox team has leaned more into player-friendly initiatives, like bringing backward compatibility to Xbox One, and promoting cross-platform play. Not only that, services have become a focus at Microsoft company-wide. On the Xbox side, this has taken the form of Project xCloud — a game streaming service currently in development — and what is perhaps the Xbox crew's crown jewel, Xbox Game Pass.


By all indications, many Xbox services and features will be compatible with Project Scarlett, which could help the new console gain some traction out of the gate.

Of course, we'll have to wait until Holiday 2020 to truly know how everything will shake out. That's when we can expect to see both Project Scarlett and the PlayStation 5. Seven years after the launch of the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, Microsoft and Sony will again face off in an effort to conquer the next generation. Sony has a built-in advantage, given the massive success of the PS4. But Microsoft, it seems, has learned from the disastrous launch of the Xbox One. It could end up being a pretty close race.

"We had the discussion years ago 'do we want to go do another generation?' Yes, and do we think there will be multiple generations ahead of us? I actually think there probably is," Spencer told The Verge. "So we're going all in. We're all-in on Project Scarlett and I want to compete, and I want to compete in the right ways which is why we're focused on cross-play and backward compatibility."