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E3 2019: Microsoft Reveals Project Scarlett, Its Next Console With Cloud Gaming Capabilities

The next console war has officially kicked off. Microsoft announced its new Xbox console at its E3 briefing in Los Angeles Sunday. The new console, named Project Scarlett, will launch for the holiday season of 2020.

While many expected Microsoft would provide a great deal of information on its cloud gaming efforts, it did emphasize that Project Scarlett would be streaming-capable. No information on a launch date or pricing was made, however.

So far, it’s the only console maker with concrete plans to bring cloud gaming to the public.

However, it still has Google to contend with. On Thursday, the tech giant provided additional details on Stadia, its upcoming cloud gaming venture. Stadia is set to launch in November.

In terms of console competition, the field remains quiet. Nintendo previously said it did not plan to announce any updates to its Switch. PlayStation-maker Sony opted to skip E3 entirely. Though it announced some pieces of information and talked up the increased performance of its planned successor the PlayStation 4 just last week, Sony still hasn’t set a launch date.

Microsoft developers touted the new device’s capabilities including playback at 120 frames per second, and a processor that runs four times more powerful than the Xbox One X.

For those less interested in tech specs and more concerned with what exactly you can play with it, Spencer made another announcement that takes the console-maker back to its roots.

Halo Infinite will be released along with the new Xbox for the holiday season, much like when the first Xbox console first came out.

Microsoft also updated fans on its Game Pass feature. The program works similarly to PlayStation’s PlayStation Now service, as they both allow users to play from a library of games without having to buy each title individually.

Xbox’s previously announced the expansion of Game Pass to PCs, but told the L.A. crowd the service would launch in beta today. Game Pass for PC costs $9.99 a month, the same as the console version, but it’s available at a $4.99 beta price currently.

But that wasn’t the only Game Pass news Microsoft had. The company announced details on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The Ultimate pack comes with access for Xbox Game Pass on consoles and PC along with Xbox Live Gold, which is needed to play online with others. The upgraded package costs $14.99 a month.

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