Microsofts most powerful console, the Xbox Series X, hits the shelves later this year, so let’s take a look at everything we know about it.
It’s been almost seven years since the Xbox One was released into the wild and even though we were treated to a spectacular upgrade with the Xbox One X, Microsoft has decided the time is ripe to unleash another behemoth into the market.
The Xbox Series X will no doubt release at roughly the same time as the newly confirmed PS5 and pre-orders will likely be available soon. More launch titles will be announced as the year progresses, but we know of a few already, namely Halo Infinite and Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2. There’s also rumours of a disc-less version of the Series X coming post-launch for those who prefer a truly digital format.
Xbox Series X release date
There’s no solid release date yet for the Xbox Series X, but we do know that it’ll be released in time for next Christmas, most likely before the end of November 2020. The Xbox One was released on November 22 so we can reasonably expect to see it around then. Microsoft will be attending E3 this year and it’s expected that more solid details will be released this June regarding pricing, pre-orders and release date.
Xbox Series X specs
Make no mistake; the Series X is an absolute beast. The new upright design makes it look more like a PC tower than a traditional Xbox, though Microsft has said that you can lay it on its side if you wish. You can check out what Alex thinks of the new design here.
Recent imagery from AMD showed off what we assumed to be two HDMI ports as well as two USB-C ports, but this turned out to be a little artistic licence on AMD’s part. Leaked photos of the outer casing also appeared, showing two USB-A ports, an optical out, HDMI, Ethernet port, and a dual-pin power socket. There’s also a wide, non-standard port which suggests it’s a development kit, meaning it likely won’t be available on the consumer model.
Another leak suggests that it’s GPU – codenamed Arden – will come with 12 teraflops, uses 56 compute units and is assumed to run at 1.7GHz. The CPU may have eight Zen 2 Cores with SMT and in terms of memory, it’s rumoured to run with GDDR6 at 5600Gb per second. The new digital Xbox – code-named Lockhart – will run at a slightly slower speed, and is possibly less powerful than the Xbox One X.
If it truly does come with all this power, then you’ll be able to run several games on standby at once. It’ll also run at 4K with 60fps, with the option of supporting 8K and 120fps. What isn’t clear is whether the UI will be cleaned up a bit and made more user-friendly.
You’ll be able to use your existing Xbox accessories with the Series X, too, which is good news for those of you who’ve just purchased the Elite Series 2 controller. It’ll also support every generation of Xbox so you can take your legacy with you. Project xCloud is also expected to be rolled out in the coming months and post-launch as Microsoft hopes to get its flagship streaming service up and running. 50 new games are being added to the xCloud library and soon it’ll be available for PC players.
Xbox Series X price
We’re still guessing at this point but as it stands, the PS5 is estimated to set you back around £400, so we’ll assume the Xbox Series X is similarly priced. Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, commented that lessoned were learned after launching the less powerful Xbox One with a higher price tag than the PS4. This time around, both machines are substantially more powerful which will ultimately be reflected in the price.
Xbox Series X exclusives and more
Halo Infinite is the big launch title for the Xbox Series X as we see Master Chief return in a prequel of sorts. Microsoft announced back in November that all 15 Xbox Games Studios are currently developing “the largest and most creatively diverse lineup of Xbox exclusive games in our history”, but details are still thin on the ground.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is one of those titles from developer Ninja Theory. Everwild is also expected to make its debut on the Series X, alongside a new Forza title and Lord of the Rings: Gollum was also confirmed. It’s likely that some games, such as Watch Dogs Legion, might skip a current-gen release and become launch titles for the Xbox Series X and PS5, but who really knows at this point. Microsoft doesn’t plan on releasing games exclusive to Xbox Series X until at least a year after the console launches, so we could be in for a long wait.
More recently, it was announced that People Can Fly’s sci-fi shooter Outriders will be coming to the PS5 and Xbox Series X.