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E3: Microsoft’s Xbox One X 4K Game Console Due Nov. 7 At $500

As expected, Microsoft used its pre-E3 news briefing in Los Angeles Sunday to finally provide key details about the new 4K video game console it announced a year ago.

The official name of the console, previously codenamed Project Scorpio, is the Xbox One X, and it will go on sale Nov. 7 at $499 in the U.S.

The console will come with 1TB of HDD internal storage and 8GB of flash memory, and Microsoft said the new console offers 40 percent more power than any other console. It’s “the most powerful console ever made,” head of Xbox Phil Spencer said during the briefing. But Microsoft noted that it’s also the company’s smallest console to date.

As Microsoft disclosed at its pre-E3 news briefing last year, the new console also features a 6-teraflop GPU, high dynamic HDR10 support for games and movies, and it can deliver native 4K gaming and virtual-reality gaming.

Supported audio includes DTS 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1/TrueHD with Atmos.

Like the current, cheaper Xbox One S, which now starts at $250 for the entry-level SKU, the Xbox One X will ship with an Ultra HD Blu-ray optical disc drive, and it also supports 4K video streaming. In stark contrast, the rival PlayStation 4 Pro console introduced by Sony last year also offers 4K video streaming but doesn’t support Ultra HD Blu-ray.

The Xbox One X also features an eight-core custom central processing unit from Advanced Micro Devices that Microsoft said on its website is clocked at 2.3GHz, to bring enhanced artificial intelligence, “real world detail, and smoother interactions” to gaming. Game graphics, meanwhile, are “faster and more detailed” thanks to the console’s Scorpio Engine that Microsoft said offers 326-GB-a-second memory bandwidth.

Microsoft touted 42 games for the Xbox One X during its briefing, including 22 that it said will be exclusive to the console (at least for the launch period). This includes the action role-playing game “Ashen” developed by Aurora 44; the massively multiplayer online role-playing game “Black Desert” developed by Pearl Abyss; and the Xbox One and Windows 10 exclusives “Crackdown 3,” developed by Microsoft Studios with Sumo Digital and Reagent Games, and “Forza Motorsport 7” developed by Turn 10 Studios and published by Microsoft Studios.

 Spencer underscored that each game for the Xbox One X will also play great across other Xbox One consoles, and the Xbox One X will also make gamers’ existing libraries of games for their current Xbox One consoles even better, with superior textures, smoother frame rates and faster load times.

In addition, existing Xbox One accessories that consumers already own will be compatible with the Xbox One X, Microsoft said.

Spencer also announced that Microsoft will expand the Xbox One backward compatibility library of 385 popular Xbox 360 games to include original Xbox game titles, starting with fan favorite “Crimson Skies.” He noted that Microsoft has “seen tremendous growth” in the backward compatibility program since it was started by Microsoft two years ago. More than 50 percent of Xbox One gamers have already played a backward compatible game, he said, adding those customers have requested more titles.

 The company also revealed that the games “Gears of War 4,” “Forza Horizon 3,” “Minecraft,” “Resident Evil 7,” “Final Fantasy 15,” “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands,” “Rocket League” and dozens of other popular Xbox One titles will receive free updates to take full advantage of the power of Xbox One X. At least some of those titles will be enhanced to run in true 4K, and many will be available at the Xbox One X launch, Microsoft said.

 The Xbox One X will coexist alongside the original Xbox One and Xbox One S, Microsoft said. The console will go on sale globally on the same date as the U.S. launch, Spencer said.