Xbox Series X: Microsoft’s next Xbox console for 2020


Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox is officially called Xbox Series X. Microsoft unveiled the console’s name and design on stage today at The Game Awards. The console itself looks a lot more PC-like than we’ve seen on previous Xbox consoles, and Microsoft’s trailer gives a brief look at the new design.

The console itself is designed to be used both vertically and horizontally, and Microsoft’s Xbox chief Phil Spencer promises it will “deliver four times the processing power of the Xbox One X in the quietest way possible.” and the most efficient.

Microsoft used the Xbox Series X to showcase Hellblade 2, a new game from Ninja Theory in development for its upcoming Xbox console. Although Microsoft revealed the design here, the company does not reveal the exact specs beyond what was previously discussed.

Xbox Series X will feature a custom-designed processor based on AMD’s Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA architecture. Microsoft is also using an NVMe SSD on Xbox Series X, which promises to increase load times. Xbox Series X will also support 8K gaming, frame rates up to 120 fps in games, ray tracing, and variable refresh rate support. It will play existing Xbox One games, in addition to new titles.

Microsoft isn’t talking about GPU performance specifics yet, but Spencer did drop some hints in a interview with GameSpotand the graphics you see in the Hellblade 2 trailer were supposedly captured in a game engine, running on the console, in real time. “We wanted to have a dramatic upgrade from the base Xbox One console,” says Spencer. “So when we do the math, we’re over eight times the GPU power of the Xbox One and twice what an Xbox One X is.” The Xbox One X is 6 teraflops of GPU performance, so the Xbox Series X might be capable of 12 teraflops.

GameSpot also says the console is about as wide as the Xbox One controller and about three times as tall.

Speaking of controllers, Microsoft also unveiled a new Xbox Wireless Controller today. “Its size and shape have been refined to fit an even wider range of people, and it also has a new Share button to make it easier to capture screenshots and gameplay clips,” explains Spencer. It is slightly smaller, but will retain rumble triggers depending on GameSpot. The updated controller will work with existing Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs, and will ship with every Xbox Series X.

Microsoft’s Xbox Series X console will also feature Automatic Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Dynamic Latency Input (DLI) that “will make Xbox Series X the most responsive console ever.” Spencer says the Series X is “designed for a future in the cloud” and will combine hardware and software to “make it as easy as possible to bring great games to both console and beyond.”

Microsoft hasn’t responded to reports about the company’s plans for two next-gen consoles, but the Xbox “Series” X naming suggests there won’t be just one console. We understand that Microsoft is planning two new consoles for the Series X, with a cheaper and less powerful second console planned alongside the more powerful main console.

Microsoft previously worked on Xbox Series X as Project Scarlett, and today’s naming follows Sony’s confirmation that it’s choosing PlayStation 5 for the name of its next console. Microsoft also claims Xbox Series X will be the “fastest” and the “most powerful”, in what could be a reference to a more powerful console than Sony’s PlayStation 5.

We’ll have to wait and see which console comes out on top though. Sony has yet to reveal the design of its PlayStation 5, but that hasn’t stopped Microsoft from surprising everyone with this name and hardware reveal.

Update, December 12 at 10:40 p.m.: Updated article with more details on Xbox Series X.


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