Xbox Series X Everything We Know So Far
With the Xbox Series X launch coming up, here is everything we know (so far) about Microsoft's jump into next-generation gaming.
The next generation of consoles is upon us. Later this year, we will be introduced to the future of gaming with brand new consoles. Microsoft has been much more upfront with the Xbox Series X, the newest iteration of Xbox’s console lineup. Taking a less traditional approach to console launches, it will certainly be interesting to see how everything pans out for the upcoming next-gen console. With so many different variables in play, here is everything we know about the Xbox Series X.
Xbox Series X Console Specs
Microsoft has yet to share official specifications for the Xbox Series X, only claiming that it will be the “fastest” and “most powerful.” However, they have mentioned some tidbits of what to expect from the new console. When the Xbox Series X was first revealed at E3 2019 (known as Project Scarlett at the time), they announced that they were partnering with AMD to bring the latest Zen 2 and Navi tech to the console. This was said to bring substantial performance improvements, including 8K resolution capability, ray-tracing, and up to 120 fps gameplay.
There have also been leaked images of the console that have appeared online recently (January 22, 2020). While it doesn’t give a good representation of size, it does give a closer look at the different ports on the console, most of which are no surprise. All in all, there will be two USB ports, an ethernet port, an HDMI port, an optical audio port, and a power port. While this wasn’t done by official means, Brad Sams from Thurrott has validated the leak, giving it credence.
Over at Windows Central, they have put together a solid representation of what the supposed specs will be for the Xbox Series X launch system. Here is what they list:
Processor: Custom AMD Zen 2-based CPU (8x @ 3.6 GHz)
Graphics: Custom SMD Navi-based GPU (12 TF RDNA)
Memory: 16 GB GDDR6 RAM (13GB guaranteed for game developers)
Storage: NVMe SSD (Read speeds of anywhere up to 2GB/s)
Video Output: 8K, 4K @ 120Hz
Ports: One front-facing USB Type-A; Unknown
Color: Matte Black
Size: 30cm x 16cm x 16cm (estimate)
Again, these are not official specs, rather information collected from statements made by Microsoft and Windows Central’s sources. If you want to learn more about what these specs actually mean, I implore you to check out that article.
How big is the console?
This topic has been one of the more controversial issues for those looking to get an Xbox Series X launch console due to its bulky nature. As of right now, there has yet to be an official measurement for the console. However, as seen above, Windows Central estimates that it will be 30cm x 16cm x 16cm. That means it will be roughly a foot in height, and 6in in width and length when stood up.
Although many of the pictures show the Xbox Series X console standing up, Xbox Head Phil Spencer has confirmed you can lay the console down flat. If you do lay your console flat, the height of the console is estimated at 6in, the length at 12in, and the width at 6in. Depending on your home setup, it will make it slightly easier to fit the box somewhere on your TV stand.
How does this compare to the consoles you may already own? Well, it’s actually not too different than you think. The Xbox One X is 11.8 x 9.4 x 2.4 inches. So, if you lay the two flat, they would be roughly the same size in length. However, the Series X would be twice as tall, but not as wide. The same estimations apply to the PS4 Pro, which is 12.9 x 11.6 x 2.17 inches.
The best visual representation comparison I have seen so far is the IGN video above. While it isn’t the actual console, it is a good representation of what to expect.
Backward compatibility and exclusives
Before I dive into the games coming to Xbox Series X, I want to get into how this next console changes how Microsoft will approach consoles and console launches moving forward. Much of this information has been shared through different interviews but hasn’t really been formally announced. When the console was initially revealed, it was confirmed that backward compatibility will be a feature for the Xbox Series X. In that very first reveal video, Spencer said, “I don’t lose my last generation as I move into the next generation; the people I play with and the games that I want to play. That experience should be continuous and always growing.”
This ideology seems to go both ways, according to an MCV interview with Xbox’s Matt Booty. At least during the first few years of the Xbox Series X’s life cycle, Xbox games will play up and down the Xbox family of consoles. That means games that launch with the Xbox Series X will also be compatible with the Xbox One series of consoles.
“As our content comes out over the next year, two years, all of our games, sort of like PC, will play up and down that family of devices,” says Booty. “We want to make sure that if someone invests in Xbox between now and [Series X] that they feel that they made a good investment and that we’re committed to them with content.”
The idea of console exclusives for the Xbox brand is kind of non-existent. Which says a lot on how Microsoft is handling video game consoles in the foreseeable future. Rather than a “beginning” and “end” to a console, Microsoft is taking a more iterative approach where all of Xbox’s exclusives will work for both current and old Xbox models. I like to think of it as to how smartphones work. That may not be accurate necessarily, but that is how I understand it.
Whether the Xbox One family of consoles will become obsolete is a question that can only be answered with time. You could assume that developers will be developing games with certain consoles in mind and that eventually, these games will be too much for the Xbox One to handle. Only time will tell.
Games coming to the Xbox Series X
With that prior section in mind, it can be assumed any game coming to Xbox One X will be compatible with the Xbox Series X. Couple this with Game Pass, and there should be quite a few games to play when the Xbox Series X launches.
With that said, let’s talk exclusively about games with next-gen in mind. What games will focus on using the power of the Xbox Series X? Here is a full list of confirmed next-gen games coming to Xbox Series X:
Hellblade 2: Senua’s Saga
Lord of the Rings: Gollum
Gods & Monsters
Watch Dogs: Legion
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Quarantine
When will the Xbox Series X launch?
As of this writing, there has yet to be an official release date for the Xbox Series X launch. However, a window has been given. You can expect the Xbox Series X to launch sometime during Holiday 2020. Xbox One launch in November 2013, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft’s new console launches around the same time.
As more news about the Xbox Series X launch is announced, we will update this article. Make sure to check back for more on Microsoft’s upcoming console.