Tue, Jun 11, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Microsoft offers glimpse of next-generation Xbox

AFP, LOS ANGELES

Attendees watch a pyrotechnics display during a Microsoft Corp Xbox event on Sunday ahead of this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Microsoft introduced a new console touted to be four times more powerful than the current Xbox generation thanks to an AMD processor that allows 120 frames per second.

Photo: Bloomberg

Microsoft Corp on Sunday gave the world a first glimpse of a powerful next-generation Xbox gaming console that it aims to release late next year.

Xbox head Phil Spencer pulled back the curtain on Project Scarlett, the creation of a successor to the Xbox One that would give game makers “the power they need to bring their creative visions to life.”

No pricing plans for the new console were revealed at a gala event ahead of the opening of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) video game industry gathering.

The new Xbox was promised to be released in time for next year’s Christmas holiday shopping season.

“For us, the console is vital and central to our experience,” Spencer said during a media event that showcased 60 new games for Xbox.

Xbox battles in the console gaming arena with Sony Corp’s PlayStation.

The commitment to consoles by longtime contenders in the market comes with the rise of video games hosted as subscription services streamed Netflix-style from data centers in the Internet cloud.

Xbox said at the E3 event that it is adding the ability for players to stream games in their libraries for play on mobile devices with Game Pass subscriptions.

“We will bring Xbox to the cloud with Project and console streaming,” Spencer said. “Where you play is entirely your choice, you decide.”

The new service would be previewed later this year, Microsoft said.

According to the Entertainment Software Association, which runs E3, more than 164 million adults in the US play video games, and three out of four US households have at least one video game player.

“This right now is the single most creative and energizing time in gaming history,” Spencer said. “In under two decades, the number of players in the world has more than tripled. Now more than two billion of us play games.”

Games on mobile devices have accounted for a lot of that growth.

Microsoft also announced the launch of a beta version of an Xbox Game Pass that lets people using computers powered by the latest Windows software access a library of more than 100 video games.

Included in the lineup is the entire Master Chief collection of the popular Halo science fiction shooter franchise on Xbox.

The Game Pass for PC would be priced at US$9.99 monthly.

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