After wearing attendees out with new game trailers, Microsoft's Xbox chief Phil Spencer hit the stage at E3 2019 and breathed new life into the show. He did that by providing fleshed out details on the company's Project xCloud, a cloud gaming service.
We already knew Project xCloud would allow gamers to stream Xbox titles onto any device and platform. That would be possible through the power of Azure, which would handle all the processing requirements.
Spencer confirmed Xbox games will be available everywhere from this October, which is when Project xCloud will launch.
However, some gamers still want a console, so Microsoft has them covered. Spencer revealed a new Xbox console. This was a major surprise because the company was not expected to announce its next generation console at E3.
Project Scarlett is now a real thing, the next generation Xbox console, it will launch in 2020. This is Microsoft moving ahead of Sony in the next generation of home console technology. Microsoft may be moving towards the cloud and digital but is still committed to consoles.
Spencer revealed Project Scarlett will be the most powerful console ever made, a true pathway into the future of gaming.
It is 4 times more powerful than Xbox One X, and provides 8K resolution at 120fps. Spencer said it brings “resolution and framerates that we've never seen before”. Microsoft confirmed its will have a solid-state drive offering 40x performance improvements over the previous models. Spencer says gamers can say goodbye to loading times.
Microsoft was widely expected to go all digital, at least with one Xbox model. That may be an Xbox One S variant, but Project Scarlett still allows users to play through a disc. However, Spencer said it will also allow seamless (his word of the day) streaming capabilities for cloud gaming.
As you would expect, Microsoft has turned to its flagship game series to help launch Project Scarlett. The company says Halo Infinite will be a launch title for the new console.
The game continues the story of Master Chief, and the trailer shows him appearing to a marooned space soldier watching his family through old messages. We know what to expect from Halo games at this point, but we hope Infinite brings something new by leveraging the power of Scarlett.
Unfortunately, Microsoft did not show the design of Scarlett or expand details beyond an announcement. We expect to hear more about the console in coming months, including its official name. Still, we don't expect Project Scarlett to launch until the fourth quarter of 2020.