Microsoft

E3 2019: Microsoft says Xbox Project Scarlett and Halo Infinite coming 2020, xCloud public test this fall

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Microsoft’s next Xbox is coming in 2020.


James Martin/CNET

Microsoft’s next Xbox is on the horizon, and the company is starting to talk about it.

The video game giant announced its next generation 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.

“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 ahead of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3, in Los Angeles

To help boost the console’s appeal, Microsoft said the device will launch with its next big upcoming space war gameHalo Infinite. The original Halo was released in 2001 alongside the original Xbox, and helped make the device a household name.

“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.

As part of its push, the company said it’s acquired Double Fine Productions, a popular video game developer whose upcoming Psychonauts 2 adventure game is highly anticipated.

The company also said it’ll offer its upcoming Gears 5 space war game will be released September 10, though Xbox Game Pass subscribers will get it four days earlier.

Upcoming E3 press conferences

Saturday, June 8

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 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.
  • Bethesda — 5:30 p.m. PT (8:30 p.m. ET)

Monday, June 10

Tuesday, June 11

  • Nintendo (livestream only) — 9 a.m. PT (noon ET)

We’re there

CNET will be on the ground, covering covering E3 2019 alongside our sister site, Gamespot. We’ll update this page throughout the show as more games are announced.

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