Microsoft has scored a key victory for the newly unveiled Xbox Scarlett, acquiring veteran games make Tim Schafer and his studio, Double Fine, to make exclusive titles for the next-gen console.
The deal was announced at Microsoft’s E3 2019 press conference alongside the new Project Scarlett console and a wealth of other games, including Halo Infinite last night. Shafer then confirmed the deal and answered fan questions in a video on Twitter.
— Double Fine (@DoubleFine) 9 June 2019
Related: PS5 vs Xbox 2
The move is a key victory for Microsoft, which has struggled to entice developers to make exclusive games for its current generation Xbox One console. Double Fine has confirmed it will continue to work on existing projects, including the highly anticipated Psychonauts 2, which was demoed at the same event.
The original Psychonaughts was originally launched on the first generation Xbox and is views as one of Schafer’s classics. Other big titles he’s worked on include Grim Fandango, The Secret of Monkey Island and Brutal Legend.
Project Scarlett is the codename for Microsoft’s next generation console, which is commonly referred to as the Xbox 2. The console features radically upgraded hardware and is intended to take on Sony’s competing next-gen PS5.
The Xbox Scarlett is based of AMD’ Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA architecture, will come with faster GDDR6 memory, and a “next generation solid state drive (SSD)” that should radically improve load times. According to Microsoft the console will be able to handle 8K resolutions, ray tracing and play games at variable refresh rates over 30fps. There aren’t a whole lot of displays to actually play 8K content on at the moment, but the claims are impressive nonetheless.
Microsoft also soft-launched its Project xCloud streaming service at E3. The move will eventually let Xbox owners stream select Xbox titles to mobile devices and tablets over the cloud. The project is a direct rival to Google Stadia, which offers similar streaming services and is set to launch in November.