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The 14 biggest announcements for Microsoft Xbox at E3 2019

The 14 biggest announcements for Microsoft Xbox at E3 2019

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The Xbox X in a circle logo against a dark background with green lines.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The first major E3 2019 keynote kicked things off with a bang. With Sony absent from the show, Microsoft used the opportunity to make a number of big announcements, including detailing its next Xbox, called Project Scarlett, as well as providing release dates and trailers for much-anticipated games like Halo Infinite and Gears 5. We also got a new Elite controller, a surprise Blair Witch game, and a whole lot more.

If you weren’t able to catch the press conference live, here’s all the big stuff you missed.

Project Scarlett is real, and it’s coming soon

The next Xbox is closer than you might think. Today Microsoft officially unveiled Project Scarlett, the long-rumored successor to the Xbox One. The device will support 8K gaming, framerates of 120fps in games, and ray-tracing, and it’s going to launch in the holiday 2020 period.

xCloud is launching in October

In addition to new hardware, Microsoft also finally announced a release date for its long-awaited cloud gaming service, xCloud. With the new streaming platform, you can “turn your Xbox One into your own personal and free xCloud server,” according to Xbox head Phil Spencer. It’ll be available in October.

The Elite controller gets revamped

Microsoft’s surprise hit Elite controller for the Xbox is ready for an update. Today the company announced the Elite series 2, which “features over 30 new ways to play like a pro, including adjustable-tension thumbsticks, new interchangeable components, up to 40 hours of rechargeable battery life, and limitless customization with the Xbox Accessories app on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.”

Halo Infinite and Gears 5 get release dates

Two of the Xbox’s biggest games finally have release dates. The brutal action of Gears 5 will be available to play on September 10th, while Halo Infinite won’t be out until late next year. The twist? It’s coming to Project Scarlett. Not a bad launch title.

George R.R. Martin’s Elden Ring is officially unveiled

The leaks were real: Elden Ring, a fantasy game collaboration between George R.R Martin and Dark Souls creator FromSoftware, is in the works. And based on the first trailer, it looks to be exactly the fantasy epic you’d expect.

Flight Simulator is making a return in 2020

One of the most iconic PC games is making a comeback. Today Microsoft revealed a gorgeous new take on the classic Microsoft Flight Simulator, which is launching on PC next year. As you’d expect, it sounds pretty realistic: “From light planes to wide-body jets, fly highly detailed and stunning aircraft in an incredibly realistic world. Create your flight plan and fly anywhere on the planet. Enjoy flying day or night and face realistic, challenging weather conditions.”

Keanu Reeves is in Cyberpunk 2077, which now has a release date

John Wick is headed to the future. In the latest trailer for CD Projekt Red’s open-world epic Cyberpunk 2077 revealed that none other than Keanu Reeves will be starring in the game. Really, what else do you need to know? Well, it has a release date now: expect to play the game on April 16th, 2020.

Another good look at The Outer Worlds

Obsidian was on hand to show off a new trailer for its Fallout-style sci-fi role-playing game The Outer Worlds. First announced back at The Game Awards, the game looks to blend the first person RPG gameplay of Fallout with a somewhat over-the-top sci-fi universe, that takes place on what looks like a backwater planet. The game is launching October 25th on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

Ninja Theory is making a 4v4 action game

Dmc developer Hellblade is bringing its action game pedigree to a new multiplayer experience called Bleeding Edge. In the debut trailer, the game has somewhat of a Team Fortress 2 vibe, but with 4v4 battles and a greater focus on melee combat. You’ll be able to experience it for yourself very soon: a technical alpha kicks off on June 27th.

Minecraft Dungeons is coming next spring

Last year Microsoft announced a surprise spinoff for Minecraft, with the dungeon crawling action RPG Minecraft Dungeons. Not only did we get a new trailer today, showing off the isometric gameplay, we also learned it’ll be launching in spring 2020.

Blair Witch is getting a terrifying looking game

Blair Witch is being turned into a video game, and it looks horrifying. The brief trailer showed off an experience that looks a lot like classic Silent Hill, only transported into first-person.

A first real look at the Battletoads revival

Last year Microsoft teased the return of classic beat ‘em up Battletoads, and today we got our first proper look at the 2D brawler. It looks gorgeous, though unfortunately it still doesn’t have anything resembling a release date.

Double Fine joins Microsoft

One of the most iconic indie studios is no longer independent. Tim Schafer’s Double Fine, the team behind games like Psychonauts, is the latest addition to the ever-growing Microsoft Game Studios. “And with that we’re officially no longer independent, though forever indie in spirit,” says Double Fine’s Greg Rice.

Phantasy Star Online 2 is coming next year

One of the biggest MMOs in Japan is making its way westward. Sega’s Phantasy Star Online 2, which launched in Japan way back in 2012 on PC, is coming to the Xbox One some time next year as a free-to-play experience.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 24 Striking out

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Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.

Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.

The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.

Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.

A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.

Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.

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If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.

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Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.