E3 2019: New Xbox Project Scarlett coming 2020, xCloud public test this fall, says Microsoft
Microsoft’s showed off its upcoming streaming service, Project xCloud, in addition to a new Elite controller.
Ian SherrFormer Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. At CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Microsoft's next-gen Xbox is on the horizon, and the company is starting to talk about it.
The video game giant announced its new Xbox, called Project Scarlett, at its Xbox press conference. The new device, Microsoft said, will be 4x more powerful than its Xbox One X, promising faster loading times and more intense visuals with 8K graphics, support for 120fps and an SSD when it's released in 2020.
"We have thousands of games in development across Xbox One and Windows PC," Spencer said.
Microsoft showed off more than 60 games during its presentation -- some big like CD Projekt Red's futuristic dystopian adventure game Cyberpunk 2077 and Microsoft's own Gears 5 and some small. The company said 14 of the games shown came from the company's development arm, known as Xbox Game Studios. And over 30 games premiering on the company's Xbox Game Pass subscription service.
"My team and I are single minded in our resolve to bring everyone the games they wan to play," he added.
The company's also discussed its upcoming Project xCloud service, which will allow people to stream games over the internet in a similar way they watch Netflix videos today. That will be going up against Google's Stadia, a competing service announced in March, designed to work alongside the company's massively popular YouTube video site.
Microsoft said xCloud will not be a standalone video game service, but rather it will work with an existing Xbox to help you play games on mobile devices at home or while traveling. The new service will enter a public testing phase later this year.
While Microsoft prepares for a streaming future, it's also starting to push on its subscription service, Xbox Game Pass. The company said its Game Pass for the PC will cost $9.99, and will begin public testing Sunday. Microsoft also said the service will be included in its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate service, a $14.99 per month subscription that combines the company's Xbox Game Pass for console, its Xbox Live social network and, now, its Xbox Game Pass for PC.
Microsoft / Xbox -- The gaming giant's biggest news was Project Scarlett, its next-generation Xbox, coming in 2020. The new device is up to 4x more powerful, the company said, and like the next-gen PlayStation it'll include a fast non-mechanical 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.
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 downtown 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 government is breaking down. The company also announced a new television show, called Mythic Quest, that will launch on Apple TV Plus. And it celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Just Dance party games.