E3 2019: New Xbox console arrives late 2020

Phil Spencer, Executive President of Gaming at Microsoft, speaks about 'Project Scarlett' during the Xbox E3 2019 Briefing at The Microsoft Theater on June 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) 

It’s been a few months since Sony shared details on its next PlayStation console. On Sunday, Microsoft upped the ante, revealing specs and a definitive launch date for the next Xbox at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

The upcoming console will be the successor to Xbox One, which was released in late 2013, and extended through hardware revisions which added 4K support and storage. The next Xbox, codenamed Project Scarlett will arrive in the holiday season in 2020, and will be powered by a custom-designed AMD Zen 2 silicon, GDDR6 memory, and will use a solid state drive (SSD) for storage and faster load times. Microsoft says that its upcoming console will be capable of raytracing, framerates of up to 120fps, and support 8K resolution displays. 

Microsoft did not reveal any details on its price, or tell us what the console would look like. The specs mentioned are similar to Sony’s next generation console, which is also powered by an AMD chipset, SSD storage, and supports ray tracing and 8k graphics. Hardware-wise, the only major difference seems to be that Sony’s console supports 3D audio. 

The next instalment of the Halo franchise, Halo Infinite will launch alongside the company’s next-generation console.

Microsoft also announced an October launch date for xCloud, its console streaming service that let gamers access their Xbox One and Game Pass titles on the go on a variety of devices, including mobile. “This October, you will be able to use our hybrid gaming cloud to play your games, wherever you go,” said Xbox chief Phil Spencer at the briefing on Sunday. xCloud will go up against Sony’s PlayStation Now service, and Google Stadia, which will launch in November for $10 a month.

Microsoft also launched Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, a $14.99 per month subscription offering that offers to more than 100 games on both the PC and Xbox, along with access to Xbox Live Gold, which costs $9.99 per month if purchased separately.

A new Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 which boasts 30 new features will be available in November this year for $179.99.