Today, video game hardware news and some details about what Microsoft announced at its E3 2019 briefing.
Microsoft details new console, extensive game lineup
Microsoft will release a new Xbox video game console in the fall of 2020. The company made the announcement on Sunday at its annual pre-E3 press event in Los Angeles.
Codenamed Project Scarlett, the new console will have a custom-designed processor, a solid-state drive, and deliver 8K resolution and graphics with ray tracing. It will also be backwards compatible.
More importantly, Halo Infinite, the latest game in the storied franchise, will be a launch title for Project Scarlett. A story trailer seemed to suggest a return to the themes and settings of the first game, which was a launch title for the very first Xbox back in 2001.
We didn’t learn much more about Gears of War 5, in development at Vancouver game studio, the Coalition, but there is an amazing new trailer for the game that perfectly sets the tone.
Other big news at the event included the revelation that Double Fine Productions, which is led by Tim Shafer and is working on Psychonauts 2 has been acquired by Xbox Game Studios. The Psychonauts sequel will still be published for PlayStation consoles, Shafer insisted.
One of the highlights of the Xbox event was an appearance by Keanu Reeves, who is playing a character in Cyberpunk 2077, an action game being developed by CD Project Red. After he referred to the game as being, “breathtaking,” someone in the audience yelled, “You’re breathtaking,” which not only got a laugh from the actor, but a throw back, “No, you’re breathtaking.”
Other games detailed at the Xbox E3 2019 event included Elden Ring, a new game being developed by FromSoftware and Hidetaka Miyazaki (Dark Souls) that has been co-created by Game of Thrones author, George R.R. Martin.
We also got a first look at gameplay for the new Star Wars video game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, being developed by Respawn and published by Electronic Arts. It looks positively astounding.
Sony skipping E3 for the first time
Normally, Monday night in L.A. is when all the gaming journalists head to the Sony press briefing. Not this year, as the company opted to skip E3 for the first time since the trade show began in 1995.
We do know what they’ve got in the works, though, as Sony provided high-level details of its next console, expected to be named the PS5, back in April.
It’s going to support 8K graphics, with an 8-core CPU, ray-tracing, and a solid-state drive.
It’s likely that the new PlayStation console will ship in the fall of 2020.
Google reveals launch date and pricing of its Stadia gaming service
Just days before the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, Google got a jump on all the video game excitement with more details about its Stadia game platform.
The streaming game service launches this November, giving customers all the gaming they want for a subscription price of Cdn$12 a month.
You can play games on the service through any Chrome browser, or on a TV using a Chromecast Ultra streaming device. Bluetooth and USB controllers and mouse and keyboard are supported, but Google has designed its own controller which will retail for $89.
Google has also developed a Stadia app, which is exclusive to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a smartphones for now. But the company expects to make it available on more smartphones.
Google has opened pre-orders for the $170 Founders Edition package which includes a limited-edition controller, a Chromecast Ultra, a three-month subscription, and all of Destiny 2, including the new Shadowkeep chapter and an annual pass.
You’ll also be able to transfer your guardian from a Destiny 2 game on PC or Xbox One to your Stadia account.
Tied with this, Bungie announced that cross-platform saves are coming to all Destiny 2 players this September.
As for other games, the online briefing opened with a reveal of Baldur’s Gate 3, in development at Larian Studio (known for the Divinity: Original Sin games).
Other launch titles include three titles from Ubisoft (Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Ghost Recon Breakpoint and The Division 2, four titles from Bethesda (Doom, Doom Eternal, The Elder Scrolls Online, Wolfenstein: Youngblood), and four titles from Square Enix (the Tomb Raider trilogy and Final Fantasy XV).
Also coming are Borderlands 3 (2K) and the “Stranger Things-esque” Gylt (Tequila Works).
You don’t have to go with a subscription, either. Next year, Google will add the Stadia Base tier with which you can purchase standalone games that you’re interested in.
Google’s Stadia service promises lag-free gaming over an internet connection, up to 4K, HDR video at 60 frames per second.
Keep in mind that the drawback to this kind of delivery is a drain on your bandwidth. PC Gamer has done the math and determined that you’ll use up 1 TB of your data in 65 hours of gaming. Not good if you’ve got an internet plan with a data cap.
Watch the video of Google Stadia briefing below.