E3 is underway, and Microsoft held its briefing already. The company announced new games, teased its upcoming game streaming service and gave us more details about the next-generation Xbox. Like the next PlayStation, it should be incredibly powerful.
At its E3 event yesterday, Microsoft gave us the most details yet for its upcoming Xbox. What we don’t know yet is a name, pricing, or exact release date. For now, we have to settle for “Holiday 2020.”
The next Xbox should be powerful. Microsoft detailed out a system powered by a custom-designed Zen 2 processor from AMD, the company also promised it would use SSDs for storage and virtual ram. Traditional ram will be present too, of course, in the form of GDDR6.
What does all of that mean? Microsoft promises the new Xbox will be capable of 8K resolution, 120fps framerates, and ray tracing. That’s a giant leap over the current Xbox One X but falls in line with the promises Sony made about the next PlayStation hardware. [The Verge]
Other Xbox News:
- Microsoft’s xCloud comes in multiple flavors: Everyone wants to get into game streaming, and Microsoft is no exception. The company teased a few more details about the service, coming in October. You’ll be able to subscribe and stream from an Azure server or stream from your own Xbox for free. [Engadget]
- The new Elite Controller is expensive: The original Xbox Elite controller is aging. It lacks Bluetooth, and requires a cable for PC use, for instance. In addition to an unnecessarily long name, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 comes with Bluetooth, USB, a rechargeable battery, and adjustable-tension thumbsticks. You’re going to have to really want it, as the price is $180. [Venture Beat]
- Microsoft bought game developer Double-Fine: The Xbox One’s more prominent weakness is the lack of exclusive games. So while announcing a raft of upcoming games including Halo, Gears, and Ori sequels, the company announced it bought Double-Fine, the developers behind the popular Psychonauts game to help shore up its exclusive game library. [TechCrunch]
In Other News:
- Google Assistant can now control Waze: Google is rolling out an update to Waze that embeds Google Assistant. Drivers can ask for traffic reports, report incidents like potholes, or alter their directions to avoid tolls, highways, and so on. Anything to keep your eyes off the phone and on the road is good. [9to5Google]
- Apple’s Mac Pro is coming in September: The Mac Pro is super powerful and super expensive. But, in an unusual move for Apple, when it revealed all about the new monster desktop, it didn’t give a release date beyond “fall.” We still don’t know exactly when you can mortgage your house to buy the Mac Pro, but Apple at least narrowed it down to September. [MacRumors]
- FedEx drops Amazon Contract, and it’s no big deal: FedEx decided not to renew its express delivery contract with Amazon. You’d think that would be detrimental to both companies, but that’s not the case. On FedEx’s end, the Amazon contract represented 1.3% of the company’s annual revenue. And Amazon can still rely on UPS, USPS, and its growing delivery chain to get your package to you on time. [CNET]
- DeepFakes get even easier to create: Standford researchers recently demonstrated the ability to make and alter deepfakes by merely editing a script. By changing the words in the text, the spoken words in the video also change to match. It still isn’t easy and requires plenty of footage of the subject speaking many phonetic sounds. But between that and the Mona Lisa fake, it’s a bit disconcerting how far along the tech has come. [The Verge]
In the future, it may be possible to vacation on the International Space Station. That possibility comes as a surprise as previously NASA stood against any plans to commercialize the space station. But now a change of heart gives a few people hope.
“Few people” being the keywords. Each night aboard the ISS is slated to cost $35,000. You can stay up to 30 days for a total of one million dollars. But that total does cover the costs of meals and use of the gym. Speaking of the gym, you’ll also need to be physically fit to take the trip since travel to space is hard on the body of course.
If you’re thinking a million dollars is a lot of money to ask for a trip to the ISS, you better sit down because that’s still not the entire cost. That chunk of change only covers your actual stay on the space station. You’ll also need to hand over $58 million to get there and back. So that brings the total price of a month-long stay to $59 million. Better start saving your pennies now. [LiveScience]