The biggest gaming conference, E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), has just started, but the first day of press conferences from brands like Microsoft, EA, CD Projekt Red and Bethesda wrapped up on 9 June 2019. Let’s take a look at their announcements, including Microsoft’s upcoming gaming console, Project Scarlett.
1. Project Scarlett
A console that’s going to support 8K gaming, ray tracing technology and 120 fps? Just a few years ago, every gamer would have scoffed in disbelief. Now it’s a reality.
Releasing in 2020, Microsoft’s Project Scarlett will run a custom-designed AMD processor which is claimed to be four times more powerful than the one in the Xbox One X. There’s even an internal SSD which can be used as VRAM to significantly reduce load times in games.
The best part? It’s backwards compatible so owners of the Xbox One can still play their games on the new console!
2. Project xCloud
Following hot on the heels of Google’s Stadia, Microsoft has also introduced their cloud-gaming solution, Project xCloud. The entire Xbox One library will be able to be streamed to laptops, tablets and smartphones.
The pricing has yet to be announced but the service will be available from October 2019 onwards.
3. Xbox Elite Controller
Microsoft’s iconic elite controller has been redesigned, and can be used on the Xbox One and PC. It will also be compatible with Project Scarlett when it launches. The Series 2, as it’s called, provides a slew of adjustments and customisability over the standard controller: adjustable tension thumbsticks, higher precision controls, a new trigger grip with redesigned bumpers, new textures and three custom key profiles.
The controller will be available from November 2019, but is now available for pre-order in the USA.
4. Halo Infinite
Many gamers would have grown up with Halo, and just the words “energy sword” or “needler” brings to mind fond memories of me and my cousins sitting in front of the TV shouting at each other as we frantically mash buttons.
So it’s immensely exciting to know that Halo Infinite, the next chapter in this story, is set to launch with Project Scarlett in 2020. This will definitely be a console seller, the same way the release of Super Smash Bros Ultimate helped propel Nintendo’s sales for 2018.
Oh, EA. The company has come under a lot of flak in recent years for microtransactions and games that feel incomplete, like the Star Wars: Battlefront 2 game in 2017. But the Respawn Entertainment’s Apex Legends has gone a long way in helping EA regain a bit of footing, and now we have some game footage of the highly anticipated Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Star Wars fans might even notice the inclusion of a young Saw Gerrera, who first appeared in the movie Rogue One as a grizzled, old man.
Apex Legends creators, Respawn Entertainment, have also announced some long-requested features like a ranked mode in their Season 2 update. A new legend, Wattson, and gun are also included.
6. Cyberpunk 2077
One of the most awaited RPGs, Cyberpunk 2077 started off their E3 conference with a bang, bringing Keanu Reeves onstage to host the presentation. It was also revealed that Keanu Reeves, who plays the titular character in assassin movie John Wick, will also be appearing in the new Cyberpunk game.
A release date has also finally been confirmed, with the game slated to be released on 16 April 2020.
7. Orion Cloud Gaming System
Cloud gaming is clearly all the rage, with Bethesda getting a finger in the pie as well, introducing their Orion Cloud Gaming System. This is slightly different however, being targeted towards developers instead.
The system helps developers better optimise their games for cloud streaming, claiming that it can deliver streamed games with better frame rates, up to 40% lower bandwidth requirements and 20% less latency.
To back up their claims, the company showed off footage of 2016’s DOOM playing on a smartphone, running at 4K with a constant 60 fps. Now that’s something!