Xbox Series X: Everything we know about the next-gen console
The next generation of gaming is almost upon us, with both Microsoft and Sony gearing up to launch new consoles in the coming months. Having started the last cycle of consoles with more than its fair share of fumbles, Microsoft has had a lot of catching up to, and by some miracle has now positioned itself as a potential frontrunner in the upcoming console war.
By listening to fans and operating under the leadership of Phil Spencer, the Xbox brand is stronger than ever, and now consists of something far more than a box under your television. Xbox Game Pass, Project xCloud and myriad other facets of its ecosystem ensure that fans will enter this next generation with more games and peripherals than ever. In this sense, nobody will be left behind.
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 – At a glance
- 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
- 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.
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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
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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. Microsoft is holding nothing back when it comes to creating a truly formidable piece of gaming hardware. It will be capable of a myriad of different things, all of which we’ll be diving into shortly.
Given that the Xbox One X is already capable of running some major blockbusters at a full 4K resolution, its younger sibling is putting forward some huge claims in terms of power and performance. 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. At the time of writing, there are no dedicated video cards featuring this architecture for players to experiment with, meaning the next-gen consoles could arguably be their debut. Only time will tell, but for now let’s dive into what they might be capable of.
In terms of performance and resolution, Microsoft has already thrown out a handful of outlandish claims surrounding the Xbox Series X, many of which will have to been seen if we’re to actually believe them. These include 120fps and 8K resolutions, two benchmarks we imagine will be the exception as opposed to the norm, although we’re always happy to be proven wrong.
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We imagine 60fps will be the usual 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 the home of gamers, and will only become more so once Xbox Series X arrives.
Xbox Series X will also support real-time ray tracing, 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.
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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
- 1 optical audio 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 Xbox Series X 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.
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. 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, since its controller already has the superior form factor in the eyes of many.
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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.