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E3: Video-games wars reignite as Microsoft launches latest Xbox in a blaze of fanfare 12.06.17

The video-game wars burst into flames again last night as Microsoft took the wraps off its latest Xbox console aimed at taking back the lead from rival Sony.

The Xbox One X, which was officially unveiled at a typically noisy and bombastic press conference in LA, goes on sale on November 7 priced at €500.

Microsoft had previously dropped teasing hints about its new machine, which it had dubbed Project Scorpio.

But at the packed Galen Center auditorium in Downtown Los Angeles yesterday, Xbox boss Phil Spencer finally showed off the souped-up machine to a crowd of hooting, cheering fans and world media.

The event was also live-streamed on the internet to an audience of millions.

"Xbox empowers game developers large and small to create different types of games for every type of player," Spencer said.

"Not only do we have the biggest cross-platform blockbusters on our platform, we've also scoured the world to bring our fans unique content from creative artists that capture the imagination."

Despite being described as having the "fastest, most advanced processor to ever power a console", the Xbox One X is nonetheless the smallest console Microsoft has ever made. It will also be backwardly compatible with the previous generation of Xbox games, with the main attraction being its graphics update to 4K, also known as Ultra HD.

The new Xbox One X is not intended to replace the current Xbox One.

Sony has already launched a 4K console, the PS4 Pro, so Microsoft faces a significant challenge to convince gamers that its higher-spec machine will be worth the extra investment this Christmas.

PlayStation already outsells Xbox by a reported two-to-one in US and as much as three-to-one in Europe.

However, Spencer wooed the crowd with the promise of more than 42 new games for the Xbox family, 22 of which are exclusive to the platform.

"We have the most diverse range of games ever and we are pushing the boundaries of the art form," he said.

Spencer also won applause for the announcement that games from the original Xbox era in 2001 will soon become playable on the new machines too.

Fresh instalments of familiar titles such as Forza Motorsport and Assassin's Creed were shown off, alongside new games such as Anthem, Metro Exodus and Ashen.

The Microsoft show comes just ahead of E3, the annual video-games conference in LA, which runs this week from tomorrow until Thursday.