Microsoft at E3: the Xbox One X, ‘Minecraft,’ and other highlights

The Xbox One X, formerly Project Scorpio, will arrive in November and come with the power to render games in 4K ultra-high-definition, Microsoft said at its E3 briefing.

LOS ANGELES — Microsoft’s souped-up video game console, the Xbox One X game will arrive on Nov. 7, the company said at the opening of its E3 media event Sunday.

Phil Spencer, who leads Microsoft’s Xbox unit, said it will cost $499, and will be the most powerful game console ever built. 

It’s also the smallest Xbox console ever. And existing Xbox One games will be compatible with the new hardware.
 
The Redmond company turned up the rhetoric to market the device, which is aimed at enabling ultra-high-definition graphics of the sort required by high-end virtual reality headsets.   

A flotilla of fans took the floor seats of the basketball arena here wearing shirts that read “I witnessed the most powerful console ever.” On stage, the superlatives flowed. Most powerful. Maximum power and efficiency. Seven million pixels. Eight billion transistors. A monster. 

Microsoft’s console commanded much of the hype, but it wasn’t the only news the Xbox team announced Sunday afternoon.

Among other announcements:

  • Microsoft’s backward compatibility push is going all the way back to the original Xbox. Two years ago, the company started making some popular Xbox 360 titles available for Xbox One, a popular feature that let fans make use of a portion of their old libraries. That program will extend to original Xbox games later this year, Spencer said, including “Crimson Skies,” among other games.
  • “Minecraft,” the wildly popular Microsoft-owned world-building game, is getting an overhaul aimed at bringing players together regardless of the device they’re using to play. An update coming this summer will link the game realms on Windows 10 personal computers,…

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