LOS ANGELES - Microsoft announced that its new Xbox gaming console, codenamed Project Scarlett, would be four times more powerful than Xbox One X and will be released next year.
Project Scarlett's official reveal capped Microsoft's media briefing at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), one of the world's largest gatherings for the video games industry. E3 this year is held from June 11 to 13.
Microsoft also revealed that the console will ship with Halo: Infinite as a launch title - heralding the return of one of Xbox's best-known video game franchises.
At its briefing, Microsoft said that the goals for Scarlett, which is being developed by the same team that created the Xbox One X, include faster load times and loading screens. The console will have a "bigger generational leap" compared to its previous consoles.
Microsoft's head of Xbox Phil Spencer said: "For us, the console is vital and central to our experience." He added that it would be designed for "one thing only - gaming".
The new console will include storage in the form of a solid state drive, which will mean faster load times for games. This means that players will be able to process levels, graphics and other gameplay elements faster in their games.
In a teaser shown at the briefing, Microsoft said the solid state drive will be 40 times faster than the drive in the current Xbox.
Faster game loading times and faster gaming performance look set to be a key battleground in the upcoming console war for Microsoft and Sony. Sony had said that its upcoming PlayStation will be able to load 10 times faster than the current generation.
Sony, however, has yet to announce a launch date for this new console. It is not participating in E3 this year.
On its website, Xbox said that Project Scarlett will also have features such as hardware accelerated ray tracing, variable refresh rate, 8K capability and ultra-low latency input.
Ray tracing models light travel to simulate complex interactions in 3D environments and will allow for more realistic visuals.
"With Project Scarlett, we continue our commitment to compatibility by ensuring your gaming accessories and Xbox career will also move forward with you, along with thousands of games across four console generations which will look and play best on Project Scarlett," it added.
The statement implied that the new console will likely feature some form of backward-compatibility. This means that it might be able to play games made for previous iterations of the Xbox console.
Microsoft made several other announcements as well, including an update on its new xCloud streaming technology.
From October, Xbox owners can stream games from an Xbox One console to smartphones and tablets using xCloud. This means that they can play Xbox games on the go.
On its website, Xbox said: "With Project xCloud, Xbox is investing to ensure players have the choice and freedom to play the games they want, with the friends they want, how and where they want."
New and upcoming gaming titles were also announced, such as Elden Ring, a collaboration between Game Of Thrones author George R. R. Martin and Dark Souls developer FromSoftware.
Trailers for other games that were shown include Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order from Electronic Arts, Borderlands 3 from 2K and Cyberpunk 2077 from CD Projekt Red, an open world role-playing game that Microsoft revealed will feature actor Keanu Reeves.