Gamers are eagerly awaiting the next generation of consoles and, so far, Microsoft has offered a lot more information on their machine – the Xbox Series X. This is our round-up of all the news, reveals and rumours regarding the upcoming console.
The release of the Xbox Series X is getting closer and closer, with the new console due “holiday 2020”. Now, we’ve finally got a full specs list to add to the images and pre-existing info on the console. Our hub-page rounds up everything we know about the console so far.
For the uninitiated, the Xbox Series X is the successor to the Xbox One and is the official launch name of what we had previously been calling “Xbox 2” and “Xbox Project Scarlett”.
Project managed at Microsoft by Head of Xbox Phil Spencer, the Xbox brand has expanded considerably over the years and now consists of something far more than a games machine under your television.
With it set to launch later this year, Trusted Reviews has compiled everything you need to know about Xbox Series X including all the latest news, release date, specs, games, price, and more.
Xbox Series X News – Phil Spencer said price is “critical” for the new console
Phil Spencer has spoken out about Xbox Series X in a recent interview with IGN, expanding upon what consumers can expect when it’s unleashed upon us later this year. Spencer describes price as a “critical, critical” factor for the console when it comes to competing with PS5, showing that Microsoft isn’t willing to make the same mistake it did back in 2013.
He also talked about going big with subscription models such as Xbox All Access and Xbox Game Pass in the months and years to come, rolling players into a service ecosystem they’ll hopefully stick to for years to come. The Xbox Boss took time to touch upon the Covid-19 pandemic and how it’s impacting the wider industry.
“We would be remiss if we did not talk about the economic realities that could be here,” Spencer said. “Not to be all doom and gloom, but you saw the [US] jobless claim numbers that came out. There is a lot of uncertainty. I think gaming is a luxury, and we should all understand that.”
He added: “When we look back at 2008 and what happened with gaming; gaming tends to be durable. It seems that people see it as a value and continue. But obviously, people have to take care of their families first.”
Xbox Series X – key facts
- Xbox Series X is Microsoft’s next console following the Xbox One, One S and One X
- Launch planned for Winter 2020 alongside Sony’s PlayStation 5
- Announced games include Halo Infinite and Hellblade: Senua’s Saga (see here for games)
- Will be backwards compatible will all existing Xbox games and peripherals
- Project xCloud and Xbox Game Pass will be supported on release
- Microsoft had confirmed attendance at E3 2020, but the show has since been cancelled
- The full specs list for the Xbox Series X has been released
Xbox Series X release date – when is it coming out?
Microsoft has confirmed that Xbox Series X will be launching in “Holiday 2020”. A specific date remains unconfirmed, and likely won’t be announced until E3 in June.
However, we can look at its sibling to gain a rough idea of when it will arrive. Xbox One launched back in November 2013, so it’s likely Xbox Series X will follow in its footsteps, so it’s in the home of gamers in time for Christmas.
What are the Xbox Series X launch games?
The full host of launch games for Microsoft’s new console remain unclear, although a complete selection will likely surface in the coming weeks and months as Microsoft unveils more details on Xbox Series X. For now, we know that Halo Infinite and Hellblade: Senua’s Saga will grace the platform at launch.
Other potential titles include Fable 4, Forza Motorsport 8 and Assassin’s Creed: Ragnarok. All of these remain unconfirmed, but rampant rumours and speculation give us a good feeling that all of them are on the horizon. We’ll be sure to update this piece if and when they’re confirmed. For now, check out a list of confirmed and rumoured launch games below:
- Halo Infinite
- Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
- Fable 4
- Forza Motorsport 8
- Assassin’s Creed Ragnarok
- FIFA 21
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 5
Microsoft has confirmed that Xbox Series X won’t have any traditional exclusives for a couple of years at the earliest, hoping to maintain parity across its family of consoles, so nobody is left behind as we transition into a new generation of consoles. This might underwhelm those looking to shell out on a shiny new machine with games you can’t play anywhere else, but knowing those who can’t afford such a thing won’t lose out is excellent to see.
What are the Xbox Series X specs and features?
The Xbox Series X is shaping up to be a significant upgrade over its predecessor, even trumping the Xbox One X when it comes to sheer capabilities and processing power. Sony has also revealed the specs for PlayStation 5. It lags behind Microsoft in some areas, yet steams ahead in others to show that neither company is afraid of pulling punches this generation.
A recent announcement from Microsoft told us exactly what’s going to be powering the company’s new console. The Xbox Series X will come complete with…
- CPU: 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.66 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
- GPU: 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU
- Die Size 360.45 mm2
- Process 7nm Enhanced
- Memory: 16 GB GDDR6 w/ 320mb bus
- Memory Bandwidth: 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s
- Internal Storage: 1 TB Custom NVME SSD
- I/O throughput 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed, with custom hardware decompression block)
- Expandable Storage: 1 TB Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)
- External Storage: USB 3.2 External HDD Support
- Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
- Performance Target: 4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS
Given that the Xbox One X is already capable of running some major blockbusters at a full 4K resolution, it was no surprise when Phil Spencer revealed that the Xbox Series X would support 8K gaming and frame-rates of up to 120fps.
Related: Xbox Backwards Compatibility
Despite the amazing spec reveals, we imagine 60fps will likely remain the real benchmark for performance which will result in a silky smooth gameplay experience. The majority of consumers won’t even have a display for taking advantage of 8K at release, or even several years afterwards. 4K, on the other hand, is becoming increasingly common in gamers’ homes and will only become more so once Xbox Series X arrives.
Xbox Series X will also support hardware-accelerated DirectX raytracing, a feature which will be one of the main focal points of the coming generation. This feature sees in-game light look and behave significantly more realistically, and adds a beautiful polish to the visuals. The inclusion of support for variable refresh rate meanwhile means the new hardware can eradicate screen stutters and the like for a far smoother look overall.
One of the most exciting additions of the Xbox Series X is the implementation of SSD technology. Replacing the standard hard drive, this new use of memory storage will allow for games to load faster than ever before, while also speeding up general processes around the user interface. Xbox One is notorious for being cumbersome to navigate, so here’s hoping Microsoft has learned a thing or two in this department.
Design – How does the new console look?
Microsoft is throwing established conventions out of the window with Xbox Series X, introducing a console which has more in common with a gaming PC than a traditional console. It’s a towering behemoth of a machine, with only a handful of buttons located on its front in the form of eject, power and sync buttons. It’s different, and we honestly dig it.
While it hasn’t been shown off officially, a recent leak provides us with a glimpse at the console’s backside. If it proves accurate, Xbox One X will have the following ports:
- 2 USB ports
- 1 Ethernet port
- 1 power port
- 1 HDMI port
The lack of another HDMI port for feeding in devices such as television boxes is worth nothing, showing that Microsoft is completely leaving behind the multimedia vision first introduced with the Xbox One. It’s a fairly basic affair, although you will likely still have an option to increase your storage with external drives and other such devices.
Is it better than the PlayStation 5? PS5 vs Xbox Series X
Xbox Series X controller – Has anything changed?
Microsoft has confirmed that the console, and all future hardware, will be “forwards compatible” which means all existing games, controllers and other peripherals will be fully compatible with the new console. However, that doesn’t mean a new controller won’t be introduced, although it remains largely unchanged from the previous iteration.
Phil Spencer recently told gamers: “We’re optimizing latency in the player-to-console pipeline starting with our Xbox Wireless Controller, which leverages our high bandwidth, proprietary wireless communication protocol when connected to the console. With Dynamic Latency Input (DLI), a new feature which synchronizes input immediately with what is displayed, controls are even more precise and responsive.”
The company has said the new controller will be very familiar but comes with a few worthwhile quality of life changes. For starters, it will have a dedicated share button much like the PS4 controller.
That means the act of sharing screenshots and video clips will no longer be a nuisance of switching between multiple menus before returning to your game.
Other new features remain unclear, but we’ve love to see improved, more immersive vibration functions and the addition of haptic feedback triggers. Sony has confirmed the PS5 controller will implement such a feature, allowing players to be drawn into their games like never before. We’d love for Microsoft to bite back with a similar idea.
Related: Cyberpunk 2077 preview
Price and pre-order – How much will it cost?
Having launched at £429/$499, the Xbox One was a very expensive piece of equipment back in 2013, so much so that many opted for PS4 purely because of its fair more appealing price point. If Microsoft wants to get ahead on release, it would be wise to lower this price in its aim to be more competitive with Sony’s console.
Taking into account the planned power the Xbox Series X will boast, it will likely be sold at a loss, it all depends on how big a bullet Microsoft wants to take when it comes to offering consumers a worthwhile price. Who knows, Sony might express a PS3-era level of hubris and charge us £500. Recent rumours suggest that Sony is struggling to keep the PS5’s price down, so could this be a golden opportunity for Microsoft to showcase a cheaper offering for the first time in years? Keep your fingers crossed for now.