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Now Playing: New Xbox At E3: Everything We Learned About Scarlett
Microsoft finally announced its next-generation console platform, Project Scarlett, at E3 2019. We know it’s coming in Holiday 2020 with Halo Infinite as a launch title, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the console and the wider thinking behind it. Xbox boss Phil Spencer sat down with Ian Sherr of GameSpot sister site CNET where he shared new insight on the upcoming platform.
Starting off, Spencer confirmed that Project Scarlett will have a disc drive. He explained that it was important for Microsoft to respect the physical purchases–of games and media–that people made in the past. “What we know is physical media for many people is still where their library is,” he said. “We’re obviously leaning into the compatibility across all of our generations in a big way.”
The only reason this is news is because Microsoft is experimenting with an all-digital Xbox One S model that features no disc drive. Some people naturally wondered about if the new Project Scarlett will have a disc drive, and now it’s confirmed that it does. It’s also confirmed that the PlayStation 5 will have a disc drive.
It is undeniable that digital is taking up a bigger and bigger share of the games industry. So for those who no longer use physical media, the all-digital Xbox One S–with its lower price point thanks to its lack of a disc drive–may be an attractive option.
Moving on, Spencer responded to whether or not he thinks the Project Scarlett will be the final console from Microsoft. “Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve been around long enough to know that there have been multiple ‘this is the last generation.’ That’s not a new meme that comes out,” he said.
Spencer pointed out that, despite the rise of streaming in music, film, and TV, that hasn’t slowed down the acceleration of physical hardware. “The number of compute devices around us hasn’t gone down; it’s gone up,” he said.
“Different people will say different things on this, but the truth of the matter is that the best way for you to play a high-fidelity video game for years is going to