The Electronic Entertainment Expo 2019 (E3 2019) kicked off its 25th year, and Microsoft took the opportunity to introduce one of the biggest announces this year: the Xbox Project Scarlett — a new generation of Xbox hardware.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3 is one of the world’s most significant gaming events where hardware manufacturers, software developers, and publishers from the video game industry gets to present new and upcoming products to the world. This year, the event took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Microsoft took center stage during its keynote and introduced innovations on how they see the gaming industry in the future through their new-generation Xbox consoles. Primarily, they indicated that one of the problems users encounter when playing console games is the load time.
In their reveal trailer, “sitting there in the fake elevator because you know that the game’s loading the background. It’s just an elevator ride forever,” the gaming giant said.
To innovate and address loading time, Microsoft discussed the development of its custom processor in partnership with AMD. The new CPU will “leverage” AMD’s Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA architecture, and it’s promising this new console will be four times more powerful than the Xbox One X. Microsoft is also using fast GDDR6 RAM, that it claims will “usher in resolution and framerates we’ve never seen before.”
Codenamed Project Scarlett will be able to provide framerates up to an impressive 120 frames per second, will support 8K-compatible gaming, ray-tracing, and variable refresh rates. “It’s real-time because it’s hardware is accelerated for the first time ever.”
Microsoft is also including an all-new SSD on Project Scarlett. “We’ve created a new generation of SSDs. We’re using the SSD as virtual RAM.” The new SSD will be able to boost performance speeds up to 40x compared to the current generation of the Xbox. Meaning, games will not just load faster but users will also have a seamless experience when playing games. “When you’re able to move through worlds without waiting for the screen to load; that speed, that performance is what the next generation’s about.”
In addition to the new Project Scarlett console, Microsoft also introduced the new Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2.
Microsoft’s high-end controller features adjustable tension thumbsticks that you can set according to your preference using an adjustment tool to improve precision. There’s also changes to the trigger locks that should make users apply more control and faster shooting speeds, for example. Even the paddles and thumbsticks have been overhauled for more customization.
The Elite Controller Series 2 also includes a USB-C support and Bluetooth connectivity, and a rechargeable battery that lasts for up to 40 hours per charge.
Sony is also promising that the PlayStation 5 will also support up to 8K graphics, 3D audio, SSD storage, and backward compatibility with existing PlayStation 4 titles. The PS5 will also use an eight-core CPU based on AMD’s third-gen Ryzen line, and ship with a GPU that supports ray-tracing graphics. Sony is also teasing 4K graphics at a 120Hz refresh rate support.
However, since Sony decided to skip this year’s E3 2019 event (for the first time), the upcoming PlayStation 5 and its specs and other details have yet to be confirmed.
Other than the Xbox Project Scarlett hardware, Microsoft also introduced new bundles for its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription — now includes PC games.
Moreover, users with the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription will also benefit from the new range of content coming to the new Xbox Project Scarlett and Halo. With faster performance ratios, users will experience a new set of gaming.
Users can purchase the $14.99 bundle for both Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass for both Xbox and PC. Gamers who both use Microsoft’s PC and console games can significantly benefit from this bundle since Xbox Game Pass for PC are available at $9.99 per month, Xbox Live Gold at $9.99 per month, and Xbox Game Pass for Xbox at $9.99 per month. That’s a combined separate total of $29.97, so the Ultimate deal is a saving of around $15 per month if you want all three of Microsoft’s subscriptions.
There’s also a $1 Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for first-time users available. Moreover, here are the available subscription services with its benefits included:
- Xbox Game Pass PC – $9.99 per month, includes more than 100 PC games
- Xbox Game Pass Console Games – $9.99 per month, includes more than 100 Xbox games
- Xbox Live Gold – $9.99 per month, includes access to online multiplayer games
- Xbox Game Pass Ultimate – $14.99 per month, Xbox Game Pass PC, Xbox Live Gold, and Xbox Game Pass Console Games
The new Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription is available over at Microsoft’s site.