PS5 vs Project Scarlett: What We Know So Far | E3 2019

Project Scarlett

We have seen both Sony confirm that the PS5 and Microsoft their next Xbox, Project Scarlett, are in active development. The details of the PS5 were first unveiled to WIRED in a session with programmer Mark Cerny, and more later on in an interview with PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan for CNET. On the other hand, Microsoft used their stage at E3 to unveil the new system using a video with several Microsoft developers sharing their stories about the desires & expectations of gamers, along with details of what Project Scarlett can do.

PS5 vs. Project Scarlett - What exactly do we know?

Firstly, both consoles will be ditching old, mechanical hard-drives and instead will be utilising an SSD. This is probably one of the most significant advancements in technology in recent years, allows for exponentially lower loading times and other quality of life features. A demonstration video for Marvel’s Spiderman has already shown the difference that an SSD can make, even to an existing game as shown below.

Secondly, they will both be utilising the power of AMD’s next-generation Ryzen Processor technology to power their systems. This is significant as the tech is not even available (at the time of writing) to the crowd that this would normally excite the most, the PC gaming and building community.

Thirdly, both consoles will support games in 8K, double the current 4K standard this is available on their PS4 Pro and Xbox One X consoles. They will also both be able to handle Ray-tracing, a technology that is very ambitious but will make a noticeable difference in the way games use reflections.

Finally, as seen with the joint cloud venture between the two companies, both companies appear to be utilising Cloud-based gaming, though Microsoft so far is the only one to announce it with xCloud officially.

For the PS5, we know that there is still a big drive for Virtual Reality gaming and that the PSVR headset today being used with the PS4 is very much part of their strategy. Mark Cerny in the WIRED article was quoted as saying “I won't go into the details of our VR strategy today, beyond saying that VR is very important to us and that the current PSVR headset is compatible with the new console.

Cerny also confirmed that the console would have backward compatibility with the PS4 due to the similarities in architecture. Whether it will be capable of utilising their older consoles or continue to use the PlayStation Now service for older games is yet to be seen.

Jim Ryan also confirmed cross-compatibility with the next Playstation, where you can begin by playing a game on PS4, and then continue the game you are playing on PS5. This will be a neat feature for those looking to complete a game on their new PS5 console having started it on their PS4, and also means that there will likely be plenty of support for the PS4 even after the PS5 releases.

For the Xbox One, we know that not only will it be capable of 8K, but it will also run at 120hz, meaning it will increase frame-rates to up to 120 per second. It will also use variable frame-rates, something which will help developers when it comes to balancing power output on their games between image quality and frame-rate.

The console will also be hardware accelerated for the first time, something which will allow developers to push the boundaries of the console further than ever before.

Both consoles will likely see a lot more crossover in terms of their capabilities as they move closer to the current pinnacle of technology. Both consoles are likely to be some way off releasing more information as neither model has even been revealed yet, but more is likely to be revealed about both consoles soon. With the rumoured unveiling of the PS5 to be on the next Playstation State of Play, we may not have to wait long.

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