The release of the Xbox Series X is getting closer and closer, with the new console due “holiday 2020”. Now, we’ve finally got some spec details 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 – key facts
- Xbox Series X is Microsoft’s next console following the Xbox One
- 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 has confirmed that it will be at E3 2020
When is the Xbox Series X release date?
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
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.
The Xbox Series X will come complete with…
- 12 Teraflops of GPU power
- hardware-accelerated DirectX raytracing
- Variable Rate Shading
- Quick Resume feature
- Smart delivery
- Backwards compatibility on games and accessories
- 8K and frame-rate support up to 120fps
It will boast an AMD Navi GPU at its core alongside a Zen 2 CPU for many of its inner workings. Some of these are recently revealed additions to the graphics hardware landscape, showcasing how Microsoft is on the bleeding edge of technology this time around.
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 will 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.
Xbox Series X 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.
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
Xbox Series X 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 own 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 oppurtunity for Microsoft to showcase a cheaper offering for the first time in years? Keep your fingers crossed for now.