The Xbox Series X is Microsoft’s next console. The successor to the Xbox One, it will hit the market at the end of 2020. Here’s everything we know about this long-awaited machine.
The Xbox Series X, a new console from Microsoft, was presented on December 12, 2019 at the Game Awards. With its design reminiscent of a PC tower, it contrasts with previous consoles, whether from Microsoft or the competition. But it’s not just its design that is well known, as Microsoft has released several details about the Series X in recent months.
📅 When is the Xbox Series X release date?
The Xbox Series X is slated for release at the end of 2020 just like the PS5. It was Microsoft itself that formalized it, without specifying an exact date. In theory, we can expect availability a few weeks before Christmas to take advantage of this period of heavy consumption, even with the coronavirus epidemic.
If we are to believe Sega, the game Yakuza: Like a Dragon will be released on the same day as the Series X. However, this one already has a planned release date: the Microsoft Store displays a marketing planned for November 13, 2020. It could therefore also be the release date of the Xbox Series X. We also learn from an interview with Phil Spencer that the Xbox Series X will be launched on the same date all over the world.
Also Read: Xbox Series X – Microsoft Believes Its Console Is Better Than PS5
Finally, clues have also been pointing for several months on a less powerful variant that could be called Xbox Series S (we only know it through its code name Lockhart). Xbox Series S will likely be unveiled sometime in August.
💸 At what price will the Xbox Series X be sold?
We do not yet know the price of the Xbox Series X. Jason Ronald, Microsoft executive in charge of the backward compatibility program, only suggested that Microsoft would charge “reasonable” prices. Which doesn’t mean much.
As a reminder, the Xbox One S was sold at its launch for 299 euros for the 500 GB version and 349 euros for the one with 1 TB of storage space. The overpowering Xbox One X released at the end of 2017 was marketed at 499 euros. The “classic” Xbox One was released at the same price in 2013.
But nothing concrete about the final price for the moment. The famous analyst Michael Patcher is counting on an introductory price set at $ 400, in order to offer a price cheaper than that of Sony. This would be an ingenious (and expensive) strategy on the part of Microsoft, which still remembers E3 2013 where Sony announced a PlayStation 4 much cheaper than the Xbox One. Nevertheless, one should be wary of the word of Patcher, who often slaps on the side.
However, we can press the fact that Microsoft does not really intend to focus its entire generation on its console, but around its subscription services. A strong argument for a console sold at a reasonable price.
To hope to seduce the players as much as possible, the two manufacturers both have their respective tactics, especially in the war of the excluded. Microsoft for its part chooses the cross-gen. That is, new games from Microsoft studios will be released on both Xbox Series X and Xbox One (Smart Delivery). With this strategy, the company does not want to force players’ hand and preaches a smooth transition to Series X.
Also, according to ex-firm Mike Ybarra, stopping on a price is less of a problem for Microsoft than it is for Sony. Either way, as Phil Spencer, Xbox Division Manager, suggests, it will be possible to purchase the console through the Xbox All Access subscription offer. Note that if the price of the Xbox Series X remains a question mark, the latest rumors about the Xbox Series S, the light version of the console, also suggest a price around 200 euros.
⚙️Xbox Series X datasheet: AMD CPU and GPU, 8K, Ray tracing and SSD storage
The Xbox Series X data sheet is generally known, Microsoft having revealed several interesting information:
- The CPU will be based on AMD’s Zen 2 architecture, but updated specifically for the Xbox. We are talking about 8 physical cores and 16 threads, as well as a clock rate of 3.8 GHz.
- The GPU is again made in AMD, with a modified RDNA2 capable of delivering 12 TFLOPS thanks to its 52 CUs clocked at 1.825 GHz.
- We will be entitled to 16 GB of GDDR6 RAM including 10 GB with a bandwidth of 560 Gbps and 6 GB with a bandwidth of 336 Gbps
- Custom 1TB NVMe SSD with a super-fast controller that flirts with 5 Gbps
- USB 3.2
- 1TB memory expansion via special card
- A Blu-Ray player has been confirmed on the Xbox Series X. It will therefore still be possible to purchase physical versions of the game, while the release of the Xbox One S All Digital without equipment of this type and requiring the acquisition of titles dematerialized or via Xbox Game Pass could raise fears of its disappearance
Support for ray-tracing is also at the rendezvous. This technology for rendering reflections and refraction of light allows for stunningly realistic graphics. These features will allow the Xbox Series X to perform exceptionally well.
For those who are interested, our colleagues from Digital Foundry had the chance to perform the first teardown of the Xbox Series X. We discover a particularly compact and dense design, organized around a cooling system as silent as efficient.
Microsoft also detailed how its memory architecture works, or how the console can achieve up to 4.8 GB / s when loading textures, thanks to a lot of innovation.
In addition, we learned that Microsoft and Bang & Olufsen have signed a partnership to deliver a high quality audio “solution” without it being known at this stage whether it is a collaboration within the company. console, or simply an accessory. Finally, we only recently knew in mid-June what the interface of the Xbox Series X will look like.
Xbox Series S
A point on the Xbox Series S, the light version on which we are just beginning to have information. We already know a few points of its technical sheet:
- 7.5 GB RAM
- Slightly less powerful CPU than on the Xbox Series X
- GPU 4 Teraflops
Note: The Verge editor-in-chief Tom Warren provides some additional info. According to him, the Lockhart’s CPU will remain faster than that of the PS5. The lightweight console will support Ray Tracing. As small as it is sturdy, it shouldn’t slow the advent of the next generation of games.
🔌 What is the connection of the Xbox Series X?
Several leaks on the Neogaf and ResetEra forums have unveiled seemingly authentic visuals of an official Xbox Series X prototype. These photos allow you to learn more about the various connections on the console. We thus find on the back side:
- an optical audio jack
- an HDMI out port
- two USB-A ports (3.2)
- an Ethernet port
- a power port
On the front, we find the Blu-Ray drive, the eject button and another USB-A port, which makes three in total. We also notice the Xbox logo, which could serve as a Power button. As a reminder, Microsoft has chosen to ignore USB Type-C. There is also talk of a port for adding ultra-fast memory using CFExpress or technology-derived cards
⚡️Xbox Series X: 4 times more powerful than the Xbox One X
Microsoft says the Xbox Series X will target 4K performance at 60 fps for the vast majority of compatible games. The console will also offer enough power to theoretically reach 120 images per second, but also to offer 8K images. The console’s AMD CPU is 4x more powerful than that of the Xbox One X and its Navi GPU is twice that of the previous console, providing up to 12 TFLOPS of power. Here are the technologies and new features that will benefit the console:
- Variable Fresh Rate (VRR) : it will constantly optimize the refresh rate of moving images in order to improve their sharpness
- Variable Rate Shading (VRS) : It allows developers to use the power of the GPU in a smarter way by reducing the shading rate in areas of images where it will not affect visual quality
- Ray tracing : for better rendering of light effects
- Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Dynamic Latency Input (DLI) : Two features that keep latency as low as possible to improve display speed.
Microsoft is also suggesting that the Xbox Series X will feature cloud streaming gaming, unlike consoles from Sony and Nintendo. And that the console will be optimized to favor the number of frames per second over the rendering of the image in 8K.
Finally, Microsoft announces the arrival of Quick Resume, a function allowing to restart a part which has been paused. And this even after a restart of the console.
Also read: PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X comparison – which is the most powerful console?
🎮 Xbox Wireless Controller: a new controller
Xbox Series X will come with a new controller. Seen from a distance, it could easily be confused with the current controller, but there are slight differences. Its size and shape have been refined to suit an even wider range of players. Note the presence of a new button dedicated to sharing content (captures, video) that you want to send to your friends. Finally, the directional pad has also been changed and is inspired by that of the Xbox Elite Series 2 wireless controller. Finally, this controller is compatible with the Xbox One, but also with Windows 10 for PC gamers.
Note that if you wish to continue using your One controller, this will be possible, since all the accessories of this console will be compatible with the Series X.
🎴 How many Xboxes for the next generation?
Small point on this subject because there is still some confusion. At first, several leaks told us that Microsoft was planning to launch two next-generation consoles at the same time, codenamed Lockhart for the entry level and Anaconda for the high end. As if for the current generation, the One S and One X were released at the same time. The overall project took the name of Scarlett.
After several leads that suggested that Microsoft would limit itself to launching a single console, a patent filed by the manufacturer suggests that an Xbox Series X without a drive would be in preparation to compete with the PS5 Digital Edition. We mentioned above what could be its technical sheet and its price.
This Xbox version of “Lockhart” has been talked about again recently. Our colleagues from the Windows Central site say that the console is already in the home test phase with several engineers from the Xbox team. Originally, the Xbox Series S should have been presented during E3 2020, an event that has since been canceled. It is expected to be officially announced sometime in August.
On the design side, the console could look like an Xbox Series X cut in half as in the rendering above. However at this stage we do not have confirmation. And other rumors point to a design that is actually close to that of the Xbox One X.
📄 What will be the video games and exclusives on this console?
On May 7, 2020, Microsoft officially unveiled the first list of 12 games that will be released on Xbox One. Many were already known on PC while some are new. Here is the list of confirmed games:
On July 6, 2020, Microsoft announced the date on which the company will present the exclusive games coming to Xbox Series X. That date is July 23. The presentation is broadcast on Twitch and YouTube Gaming. According to rumors, several large Microsoft licenses should be present. In addition to Halo Infinite, the series Forza and Fable will be present there, as well as the second opus of Psychonauts and of Hellblade.
Other publishers have also confirmed that the game will be released for the Microsoft console. This is the case of CD Projekt which assures that its Cyberpunk 2077 will be well on the Series X. On the EA side, the US publisher has indicated that FIFA 2021 will benefit from improvements on Xbox Series X and PS5. The football simulation will be present at the launch of the console.
We also know that Resident Evil 8 Village is coming to Xbox Series X. Capcom’s horrific title will harness the power of Xbox Series X to take no load times. The Japanese developers have let players know to expect the episode ” the darkest and most violent of the saga “.
Last news and not the least, a major remake of Red Dead Redemption could see the light of day on Xbox Series X and PS5 in 2021. Rockstar would therefore be working on a complete revival of the legendary first installment, developed on the basis of the Rage engine in France. work on Red Dead Redemption 2.
How much will Xbox Series X games cost?
After the first rumors which spoke of a price of games rising to around 75 euros, the first listings rather tease a price of 70 euros for special editions with certain exceptions like NBA 2K21 which actually reach 75 euros.
Several $ 59 listings on the US version of Amazon, however, point to softer prices overall. But that remains to be confirmed.
🕹 Xbox Series X backwards compatibility with Xbox One, 360, and original Xbox games
It’s also official information that the Xbox Series X will be backwards compatible with thousands of games from the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Original Xbox. Microsoft promises the largest launch catalog in history. It will be possible to bring out your old game boxes, but also to recover those purchased directly online. All progress, saves and profile data saved in the cloud can be recovered on this new machine.
There’s more, as Microsoft has announced that its older games will be upgraded to meet modern standards. Load times will be faster and will take advantage of the console’s SSD. Say goodbye to long loading bars that take over a minute to fill up! Technology HDR is also natively managed by the console, which makes it possible to bring this technology to old games which will see their contrast ratio greatly improved, which will help to make them more beautiful.
Older games will be resized to 4K so that they can be enjoyed to the fullest on today’s TVs. Last but not least, Microsoft says it can double the number of images per second on a selection of reworked titles. So games at 30 fps will jump to 60 fps. Those at 60 fps will increase to 120 fps if you have the compatible display.
In addition, Microsoft will offer a system called Smart Delivery for games that will be released on both the One and the X Series. The aim is to make the transition between the two generations completely painless. This system will allow you to buy a game on the current console and not pay for the Series X version.
The difference with the backward compatibility mentioned above is that these games will be natively optimized for Series X. So we can say that if you play a Smart Delivery stamped game on Xbox One, you are backward compatible with the. towards. EA will not go through this system, but promises a similar transition for its games, although the exact terms are not known.
Last but not least: the Xbox Series X will not really be exclusive. Spencer has confirmed that all Series X games will also be released on the One (which will have less fine graphics on this platform). In effect, this means that the new console will have no exclusivity to it. In addition to coming out on One, all games from Microsoft studios will be on Game Pass and on xCloud.
🕶 Will it be possible to play Xbox Series X games without Xbox?
As amazing as it sounds, the answer to this question is yes. Microsoft does not see Series X as the center of its new generation, but more as its showcase. It will indeed be possible to play games from the many Xbox Games Studios. without going through the console box.
It will thus be possible to take advantage of the exclusives via the One, as we said above, but also via the PC. As is already the case, the exclusive games will be available on computer via a Game Pass subscription (currently 4 euros), which allows download all the titles in the catalog at no additional cost or limit. The Game Pass is also available on console for 10 euros per month and an offer combining these two platforms, the Game Pass Ultimate, is 13 euros per month.
The latter will offer a definite advantage, since it will also include the xCloud service. Clearly, it will be possible to play all the Xbox Series X exclusives without any limit on an Android tablet or smartphone. Clear, you don’t need a new console to experience all the games.