The next Xbox is coming.
Microsoft said on Sunday, during its scheduled press conference ahead of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, known as E3, that its next Xbox, called Project Scarlett, is launching in 2020. The new device will also launch Halo Infinite, the company's blockbuster space war game, to help promote the console.
"A console should be built and optimized for one thing and one thing only: Gaming," Xbox head Phil Spencer said during the company's presentation.
The announcement brought drama to E3, the video game industry's biggest trade show. Unlike previous years, there aren't as many blockbuster new games or consoles launching, in part because the industry is waiting for Microsoft's and Sony's new consoles. There's hype over several big games, though.
One of the games attendees were sure to talk about is Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, shown off during EA Play, a fan event put on by Electronic Arts before E3. During a 15-minute demonstration, the company showed how you can control the Force while playing as Cal Kestis, a Jedi in training. The character can push and pull objects, run on walls and throw his blue light saber like a boomerang.
Fighting with the light saber is "really satisfying," said Vince Zampella, head of EA's Respawn Entertainment, the team behind the game.
Among the big-name titles at E3 this year: Bethesda's shooting game Doom Eternal, CD Projekt Red's sci-fi epic Cyberpunk 2077, Nintendo's Pokemon Sword and Shield and Ubisoft's dystopian hacking game, Watch Dogs: Legion.
One of the most highly anticipated games, however, is a new take on one that many people have already played. The mention of that game in 2015, Square's Final Fantasy VII Remake, was enough to make the crowd at Sony's press conference hysterical. Some people were brought to tears. You may scoff, but the game is frequently near the top of all-time-best lists, despite having been released in 1997. Now, Square Enix says its remake will be landing on store shelves in March, 2020.
There's also new blood in the game industry too. This year, internet giant Google announced its Google Stadia game-streaming service, which is launching in November.
Meanwhile, there were a host of new game announcements, from Square Enix's upcoming Marvel's Avengers game for 2020 to Nintendo's planned sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Bethesda announced new updates to its online postapocalyptic game Fallout 76 for later this year. And Ubisoft announced a new installment in its hacking adventure series, Watch Dogs: Legion, coming next year.
You can read wrap-ups of each press conference below.
The 17 most anticipated video games of 2019See all photos
All the big news from E3's press conferences
Saturday, June 8
- Electronic Arts -- The game maker showed off 15 minutes of gameplay for its upcoming adventure game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It also announced new features for its free-to-download Apex Legends last-man-standing battle royale game, offering a new character and weapon to play with. The company also showed off a new paid update for The Sims 4, called Island Living, that brings the series to a tropical beach. Finally, the company did discuss drama over the mixed reviews for its Anthem action adventure game, saying it "learned a lot" and had more updates and features planned soon.
Sunday, June 9
- Microsoft/Xbox -- The gaming giant's biggest news was Project Scarlett, its next-generation Xbox, coming in 2020. The new device is up to four times more powerful, the company said, and like the next-gen PlayStation, it'll include a fast nonmechanical SSD hard drive, and it'll be powered by custom innards built with the help of chipmaker AMD. The company also announced that Halo Infinite will launch alongside Project Scarlett next year. Meantime, Microsoft is starting public tests of its Project xCloud streaming service in October, promising people the ability to play high-end games on their mobile devices while away from home. While fans wait, Microsoft announced an update to its Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 as well as a slew of new games. And action star Keanu Reeves, fresh off the success of John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum, was on stage to announce his involvement with Cyberpunk 2077, which is coming next year.
- Bethesda -- Bethesda kicked off its event with humility over the mixed response to Fallout 76 but quickly went back on the offensive. Fallout 76 got a new Battle Royale mode, Wolfenstein Youngblood received a new trailer and a co-op mode. We got a new game called Deathloop from the clever folks behind Dishonored, and Bethesda introduced us to Orion, a piece of tech from ID Software designed to make game streaming better on services like Google Stadia. The lion's share of attention, however, went to Doom Eternal, which looked fantastic in both single player and multiplayer.
Monday, June 10
- PC Gaming Show -- This annual PC Gaming Show is held at a theater a short walk from the Los Angeles Convention Center but still draws a large crowd, filling the 1,700-person capacity Mayan Theater. Inside, the usual suspects, from Halo to Doom, were nowhere to be found. Instead, the crowd cheered for PC-centric games including Zombie Army 4, Baldur's Gate 3 and Terraria: Journey's End. (No, the game sequel problem isn't any better on PCs.) The highlight was a brief onstage appearance by legendary game designer Yu Suzuki, responsible for classics such as Hang-On and Virtua Fighter. His long-awaited Shenmue 3 is expected in November, 18 years after Shenmue 2.
- Ubisoft -- The French gaming giant announced its next big dystopian hacking adventure game, Watch Dogs: Legion, launching March 2020. The new game is set in near-future post-Brexit London, where the economy is failing and the government is breaking down. The company also announced a new television show, called Mythic Quest, that'll launch on Apple TV Plus. And it celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Just Dance party games.
- Square Enix -- Aside from the Final Fantasy 7 remake release date announcement, Square Enix also showed off its new comic book tie-in, Marvel's Avengers: A Day. Though the new game is different from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, some fans criticized the characters' looks. It's coming in 2020.
Tuesday, June 11
- Nintendo -- The Mario maker surprised fans with its announcement of a new Legend of Zelda game, which appeared to be a direct sequel to the critical darling The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It also announced that its newest Animal Crossing game is being delayed to 2020, and it gave a look at Luigi's Mansion 3, coming later this year.