The Next Generation Xbox: Series X

Updated: 4 Feb 2020 3:02 PM PST
Posted: 27 Jan 2020 2:26 PM PST

Microsoft's Next Generation Xbox

Last week, Microsoft officially unveiled what was previously known to gamers only as Project Scarlett. The Xbox Series X is the next-generation console by Microsoft and will release in the 2020 holiday season. Its specs are impressive and the online hype has already started.

Possibly the most unique thing about this upcoming console is undoubtedly Microsoft's bold choice to create a standing console. Let's dive in and look at what we know about the Xbox Series X so far, and some of the rumors that have been flying around about it.

Internal Specs

No next-gen console would be complete without offering a total overhaul of the previous generation's system. Phil Spencer recently mentioned that the Series X will offer a GPU eight times as powerful as the original Xbox One and twice as powerful as the Xbox One X. Additionally, the CPU power is projected at three times the original.

It will have upgraded memory in the form of GDDR6. A 40 times boost to the input-output should have gamers expecting a true next-generation console capable of running what Microsoft anticipates will be up to 8K graphics. It is already earning early praise because of its likeness to a classic PC, even down to how it looks. A quick breakdown of the known technical specs is below:

  • AMD Zen 2 CPU
  • Custom Solid State Drive
  • Real-time Ray Tracing
  • 120Hz FPS Rendering
  • 8K Resolution Compatibility

Towering Over Competitors

An incredibly notable thing about the Xbox Series X is how different it looks from previous consoles in general. Xbox Series X was revealed as a vertical black tower, with the single fan housed on top in a grate with a soft, Xbox green glow.

While it's spawned a ton of hilarious memes all across the internet, Microsoft has its reasons for presenting a tower-type console. It measures approximately 6 inches (15cm) width and depth and stands 18 inches (46cm) tall, making it considerably smaller than an average PC tower.

It's no surprise that with such powerful hardware inside, Microsoft wants to make something that looks fresh. Xbox Series X reminds many fans and speculators more of a PC. This is undoubtedly part of the reason behind Microsoft's choice of vertical rather than horizontal. Of course, Phil Spender also mentioned that the console is perfectly capable of running on its side. He even stores his own personal Xbox Series X this way at home!

Controller Updates

The Xbox Series X controller will keep all of the things that the Xbox One did right. However, Microsoft made a few tweaks that are receiving initial praise. The back of controllers will be less chunky and will focus on presenting a more rounded and ergonomic feel. It will be slightly smaller than its predecessor.

The biggest addition is a share button on the front of the controller directly between the Menu and Options. Microsoft took the time to remodel the d-pad as well. Additionally, its USB-C ports will provide super-fast charging, so there's less time spent waiting and more time spent gaming. All of these confirmed updates for an already beloved controller will surely please Xbox fans and newcomers alike.

Backwards Compatibility Returns

Undoubtedly the biggest splash about Xbox Series X is the announcement that it will, indeed, be backward compatible with all Xbox One games at launch. This means that gamers don't have to worry about upgrading all of their favorites, ever!

backward compatible with all Xbox One games at launch

All of the games that the community has spent years collecting will still hold its value in the Xbox world. This announcement has skyrocketed the popularity and excitement of the Xbox Series X. Having access to countless previous-generation titles is certainly something to cheer about, and eases the strain on any consumer's pocket.

Launch Titles

Several Xbox exclusive franchises are already announced as coming to the Xbox Series X at launch in the holiday 2020 season.

Halo Infinite

This title will bring the classic Microsoft franchise onto its next generation. It is the third installment in Master Chief's "Reclaimer Saga". There are as many rumors about Halo Infinite as there are about the Xbox Series X. Microsoft has officially announced the return of split-screen for this video game after wide criticism of its removal in Halo 5: Guardians.

It's also assured gamers that Master Chief will play a more central role in the story this time. While Master Chief will likely be the main character, anything beyond that about the story is currently unknown.

Hellblade II: Senua's Saga

The first Hellblade introduced us to Senua, a Norse warrior who heard voices that she referred to as "Furies". These Furies guided Senua and players alike, as the game itself provided not a single HUD or game tutorial. However, Hellblade was chock-full of Norse lore, with plenty of monsters and humans alike for Senua to combat.

Its dark themes earned critical acclaim for addressing mental illness in the form of psychosis. Hellblade II's announcement on the Xbox Series X has fans eagerly anticipating more of this unique franchise. The budget for Hellblade II is bigger and better this time around, meaning that its visuals will be stunning on the upcoming console and beyond.

Rumors & Unconfirmed Details

Most notably, nothing has officially been announced for Xbox Series X's launch price. Many experts are currently speculating several different prices based on the Xbox One's success at launch. Due to the high-end specs of the upcoming console, some estimate that the Xbox Series X may come in with a pricier tag comparable to the Xbox One, at $499. Others estimate that it may be as low as $400. This point is still up for serious debate, but most say consumers should expect somewhere between the $400-500 price point.

Additionally, Microsoft seems to be working on a second system to release alongside the Xbox Series X. This is rumored to be a less-powerful and potentially cheaper model of the Xbox Series X for anyone who doesn't feel like dropping a hefty sum on the latest generation of console. Only time will tell in the coming months as Microsoft continues releasing details about its upcoming next-generation console, the Xbox Series X!

Learn More about the Xbox Series X at Microsoft


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