Microsoft unveils Project Scarlett – its latest Xbox console

The new console will sport 120Mhz refresh rates, will include an SSD and an AMD chip. Expect to snag one during the 2020 holiday shopping season.

Microsoft has unveiled its next-gen Xbox console, called “Project Scarlett” which will hit the stores during the 2020 holiday season.

In the Xbox E3 conference in Los Angeles, Microsoft said, its new console will be four times more powerful than the Xbox One X and will be powered by an Advanced Micro Devices chip.

The new console will have a frame rate of 120 – twice that of the average TV and will include a solid-state drive which will allow games to load significantly faster, said Microsoft.

Microsoft will launch its latest version of “Halo” at the launch of the new console.

Microsoft’s rival, Sony Corp, has also unveiled its plans for its next-generation PlayStation 5 console, which will also sport similar specs and will house an an AMD chip. An official release date for the PS5 has yet to be announced. Analysts expect a late 2020 release.

According to Microsoft, its game-streaming service “Project xCloud” will go into preview in October.

Last Thursday, Alphabet Inc’s Google stated it has begun taking pre-orders for its Stadia game-streaming service which will launch later this year in November.

Microsoft’s new feature will allow users to stream games directly from their own Xbox console rather than connect to Microsoft’s servers, said the company.

“Two months ago we connected all Xbox developers to Project xCloud,” said Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s executive vice president for gaming. “Now, the console streaming service will “turn your Xbox One into your own personal and free xCloud server.”

He went on to add, “Whether you’re using a console in our data center or your console at home, this October you’ll be able to use our hybrid gaming cloud to play your games wherever you go. Where you play is now entirely your choice”.

In October 2018, Microsoft had announced “Project xCloud” saying it was testing a new game streaming service designed to work across PCs, consoles and mobile devices. Since then Microsoft has revealed that the service uses hardware similar to that in its existing Xbox One gaming consoles.

“That means an existing library of more than 3,500 games will work on the service without any changes or modifications required by the developer,” said Microsoft in a blog post in May 2019.

According to analysts, Microsoft is better positioned than most to capitalize on cloud gaming, citing its strength in infrastructure, content it owns, and experience in gaming.

Many tech giants are working to boost their revenue streams in the gaming industry, including Nvidia Corp, Electronic Arts, Sony and even Amazon.com Inc, which is supposedly working on its own service as well.

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