Notebookcheck

AMD and Microsoft are bringing hardware ray-tracing to the masses with the Xbox Scarlett

The next-generation Xbox, codenamed Scarlett, is set to arrive late next year. (Image source: Microsoft)
The next-generation Xbox, codenamed Scarlett, is set to arrive late next year. (Image source: Microsoft)
News about the Xbox Scarlett has been quiet lately. However, a recent Gamespot interview with Studio Technical Art Director at The Coalition, the studio behind the Gears of War series, has sparked debate about what GPU on which the Xbox One successor will be based. Whichever way you cut it, the AMD and Microsoft co-engineered custom graphics chip will bring features currently exclusive to high-end gaming GPUs to market.

The emergence of a PlayStation 5 developer kit patent and a third-party PlayStation 5 placeholder have been the only noteworthy news about next-generation games consoles since E3 2019. A recent Gamespot interview with Colin Penty, Studio Technical Art Director at The Coalition, about Gears of War 5 has changed that.

Microsoft has already announced that has co-engineered a GPU with AMD that will support real-time ray tracing. Lisa Su, CEO and President of AMD has reiterated that too. Penty did not go into specifics during the interview, but he remarked the following when asked about the technical and creative possibilities that Xbox Scarlett opens up:

...I’m definitely super excited about what the new hardware could do. Having dedicated ray tracing hardware is huge.

According to the Project Scarlett announcement trailer, the next-gen console will feature the “latest Navi technology”. The PlayStation 5 should leverage comparable hardware too. Current-gen Navi supports ray-traced shaders, but not hardware ray-tracing. AMD is reserving this for its next-gen RDNA, which will use hardware ray-tracing for “select lighting effects for teal time gaming”. RDNA 2, as AMD currently calls it, is scheduled to arrive in 2020, right on time for the launch of Microsoft and Sony’s next-generation consoles. So, it appears as though at least the Xbox Scarlett will combine a Zen 2-based processor and a 7 nm+ GPU. We would be surprised if any upcoming GPU will be powerful enough to utilise 8K and ray-tracing simultaneously though, considering how resource-heavy ray-tracing has proven on current-gen NVIDIA GeForce RTX cards.

Working For Notebookcheck

Are you a techie who knows how to write? Then join our Team! Indian citizens welcome!

Currently wanted: 
News and Editorial Editor - Details here

(Image source: AMD via Wccftech)
(Image source: AMD via Wccftech)

Source(s)

static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 09 > AMD and Microsoft are bringing hardware ray-tracing to the masses with the Xbox Scarlett
Alex Alderson, 2019-09-12 (Update: 2019-09-12)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.