The highlight of E3 2019 was Microsoft’s formal announcement of its next-generation console (“Project Scarlett”), which, based on current information, is more similar than not to Sony’s next-generation PlayStation platform—i.e., based on AMD architecture, uses Solid State Drives (SSDs), supports ray tracing, 4K/8K, etc. Microsoft confirmed a late 2020 launch, and while Sony has not provided an official timeline, its platform will likely launch around the same time. In addition to hardware, a great deal of attention was devoted to cloud gaming, regarding both announcements that were made at the show and others that were expected to be, but were not. Google revealed additional details about its Stadia service, including two tiers—a free to access tier (Stadia Base) that supports up to 1080p/60fps gaming in stereo sound (10 Mbps connection required for 720p, around 20 Mbps for 1080p) and a premium (Stadia Pro) tier priced at US$9.99 per month, which includes select games as part of the subscription, discounts, and content up to 4K/60fps HDR and 5.1 surround sound (35 Mbps connection required for 4K).
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