E3 2019: Microsoft teases next-gen Xbox specs, brings out Keanu Reeves

Microsoft has announced the first tech spec info about its next-generation Xbox console, and it sounds like a beast.

Project Scarlett will be released in late 2020, and it'll feature a custom-designed processor from AMD that the company says will "deliver a new level of fidelity, precision and accuracy never before seen in console gaming".

Over 60 games were also showcased at the Xbox E3 2019 media briefing, along with further details on the xCloud service and Xbox Game Pass subscription service for PC users.

But the big news was Project Scarlett, with the key hardware details being:

  • Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA architecture
  • High bandwidth GDDR6 memory
  • A 'next-generation'' solid state drive (SSD)
  • Hardware accelerated raytracing
  • Variable refresh rate
  • 8K capability
  • Ultra-low latency input

Some hard lessons were learned with the release of the Xbox One, originally billed as a Kinect-driven device that would play TV more than games. As a result of the backlash, Project Scarlett is concentrating on delivering extreme power over anything else.

Microsoft flexed its muscles hard with the 2019 E3 press conference, showing off a massive investment into the gaming sector of its business that will be intimidating for competitors.

They also had one of the coolest guests to ever appear in-person on an E3 stage.

The briefing kicked up a gear with an intense new Cyberpunk 2077 trailer that gave a better look into the game's story. It ended with the reveal of Keanu Reeves starring in a key role - before the man himself walked out on stage.

As the crowd rose to its feet cheering in mutual exhilaration, it was a special moment and the sort of moment that makes being at an E3 media briefing so much better than watching a stream of it.

Other game highlights included Gears 5, a terrifying looking Blair Witch game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the new Flight Simulator, Ori and the Will of The Wisps, interactive thriller 12 Minutes and Elden Ring, a collaboration between Game of Thrones author George RR Martin and the team behind Dark Souls.

And of course, then there was Halo Infinite. This was the single title Microsoft showed off that will release with the next-gen console and was a great way to finish the media briefing.

Halo is the flagship franchise of Xbox and while we didn't get to see how Infinite's actual gameplay looks, the production level on it was showcased and it looks suitably epic.

Unlike every other E3, Xbox's main rival PlayStation isn't following with its own press conference.

Sony decided to skip the event this year as it focuses on its own next-gen console with less of an emphasis on a range of games.

And while Nintendo will be showing off its upcoming releases in an E3 media briefing, it's unimaginable it'll match the massive scope of Xbox's.

Newshub is attending E3 2019 as a guest of Microsoft.