On Sunday at E3 2019, Microsoft made some really big announcements that had the audience screaming. These included release date of Project Scarlett, Xbox One successor, more than 60 game trailers, Keanu Reeves humbling the stage for promoting Cyberpunk 2077, and much more.
E3, which stands for Electronic Entertainment Expo, is one of the biggest gaming events of the year. Its official dates are June 11-13, however, these dates are just for the shows happening at Los Angeles Convention Center. The press conferences were held on June 8 and 9.
Along with hosting the world premiere of several computer and video games, this event also showcases new hardware and software products that take the gaming experience to the next level.
Here are some of the highlights from Microsoft’s press conference:
Project Scarlett will arrive in fall 2020 with Halo infinite
Rumors have been going around about the next-generation of Xbox since December last year. Putting all these rumors to rest, Microsoft officially announced that Project Scarlett is planned to release during fall next year. The tech giant further shared that the next big upcoming space war game, Halo Infinite will launch alongside Project Scarlett.
According to Microsoft, we can expect this new device to be four times more powerful than Xbox One X. It includes a custom designed CPU based on AMD’s Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA architecture. It supports 8K gaming, framerates of 120fps, and ray-tracing. The device will also include a non-mechanical SSD hard drive enabling faster game loads than its older mechanical hard drives.
xCloud will open for public trials in October, one month ahead of Google’s Stadia
After giving a brief live demonstration of its upcoming xCloud game streaming service in March, Microsoft announced that it will be available to the public in October this year. This announcement seems to be a direct response to Google’s Stadia, which was revealed in March and will make its public debut in November.
Along with sharing the release date, the tech giant also gave E3 attendees the first hands-on trial of the service. At the event, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said, “Two months ago we connected all Xbox developers to Project xCloud. Today, we invite those of you here at E3 for our first public hands-on of Project xCloud. To experience the freedom to play right here at the show.”
Microsoft built xCloud to provide gamers with a new way to play Xbox games where the gamers decide how and when they want to play. With xCloud Console Streaming you will be able to “turn your Xbox One into your own personal and free xCloud server.” It will enable you to stream entire Xbox One library including games from Xbox Game Pass to any device of your choice.
With Console Streaming from your Xbox One you'll be able to:
✅ Turn your Xbox One into your own personal console server
✅ Stream your Xbox One library, including Xbox Game Pass, for free
— Xbox ➡️ E3 (@Xbox) June 9, 2019
Xbox Elite 2 Wireless Controller to reach you on November 4th for $179.99
Microsoft announced the launch of Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, which it says is the totally re-engineered version of the previous Elite controller. It is open for pre-orders now and will be available on November 4th in 24 countries, priced at $179.99.
The controller’s new adjustable tension thumbsticks provide improved precision and shorter hair trigger locks enable you to fire faster. The device includes USB-C support, Bluetooth, and a rechargeable battery that lasts for up to 40 hours per charge. Along with all these updates, it also allows you to do limitless customizations with the Xbox Accessories app on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.
Cyberpunk 2077 featuring Keanu Reeves to release on April 16th, 2020
Last year, CD Projekt Red, the creator of Cyberpunk 2077 said that E3 2019 will be its “most important E3” ever and we cannot agree more. Keanu Reeves aka John Wick himself came to announce the release date of Cyberpunk 2077, which is April 16th, 2020. The trailer of the game ended with the biggest surprise for the audience: the appearance of Reeves’ as a character apparently named “Mr. Fusion.”
The crowd went wild as soon as Reeves took to the stage to promote Cyberpunk 2077. When the actor said that walking in the streets of Cyberpunk 2077 will be breathtaking, a guy from the crowd yelled, “you’re breathtaking.” To which Reeves kindly replied:
— Xbox ➡️ E3 (@Xbox) June 9, 2019
The guy from the crowd was YouTuber Peter Sark, who shared on Twitter that “Keanu Reeves just announced to the world that I’m breathtaking.”
— Peter “Breathtaking” Sark 🔛 #XboxFanFest (@petertheleader) June 9, 2019
CD Projekt Red is now giving him a free collector’s edition copy of the game, which is amazing! For everyone else, don’t be upset as you can also pre-order Cyberpunk 2077’s physical and collector’s edition from their official website.
Though as xCloud, attendees will not be able to get a hands-on trial now, they will still be able to see the demo presentation. The demo is happening at the South Hall in the LA Convention Center, booth 1023, on June 11-13th.
The new Microsoft Flight Simulator is powered by Azure cloud AI
Microsoft showcased a new installment of its long-running Microsoft Flight Simulator series. Powered by Azure cloud artificial intelligence and satellite data, this updated simulator is capable of rendering amazingly real visuals. Though not many details have been shared, its trailer shows a stunning real-time 4K footage of lifelike landscapes and aircraft. Have a look at it yourself!
Though this simulator has been PC-only in the past, this newly updated simulator is coming to Xbox One and will also be available via Xbox Game Pass. The specific release dates are unknown but they’re expected to be out next year.
Double Fine joins Xbox Game Studios
At the event, Tim Schafer, the founder of Double Fine, shared that his company has now joined Microsoft’s ever-growing gaming studio. Double Fine Productions is the studio behind games like Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, Broken Age. He jokingly said, “For the last 19 years, we’ve been independent. Then Microsoft came to us and said, ‘What if we gave you a bunch of money.’ And I said ‘OK, yeah.‘”
Schafer posted another video on YouTube explaining what this means for the company’s existing commitments. He shared that Psychonauts 2 will be provided to crowdfunders on the platforms they chose, but going forward the company will focus on “Xbox, Game Pass, and PC.”
These were just a few key announcements from the event. To know more, you can watch Microsoft keynote on YouTube: