the new successful console from Microsoft 7 years after its release on the Xbox One. Microsoft is trying hard to win back the hearts of many gamers. With the transition to the new generation of Sony home consoles, is there finally a reason to fear competition?
“The fastest, most powerful console Microsoft has ever built,” is the Xbox Series X. Its features are impressive on paper. We can say that Microsoft’s new console is winning the battle for the tech sheet against the PS5, but is that enough to make a difference?
Nothing is less certain because, as always, wars will be won on the field of play and especially the exclusive. The two protagonists have revealed a good part of the team play. In this article, we will talk about all the information available for the X-Series. Here.
Xbox Series X: release date, when will the console be released?
Microsoft has released the release window for the Xbox Series X. No specific release date, but now we know that it will be released in November 2020.
Rumor has it that the coronavirus crisis will affect the original Xbox Series X and PS5 timelines, but that coincidence seems unlikely. “We have nothing to our knowledge that could lead us to say that we will not meet the deadlines,” said Phil Spencer, head of the Xbox business at Microsoft. However, some Xbox Series X games may be released later than expected.
“I would say the biggest unknown is probably game production, to be honest,” Spencer added. The developers of Xbox Studios have indeed worked from home for several weeks, which caused slowdowns in the development process of the console exclusives. However, no postponement has yet been announced. Halo Infinite, the flagship title in the Xbox Series X line-up, has been postponed until 2021.
Xbox Series X Price: How Much Will It Cost?
According to Microsoft, the Xbox Series X will be available at a competitive price. Companies will not make the same mistakes as in the past. The Xbox One’s starting price, which is $ 118 higher than the PS4, helped widen the popularity gap between the two consoles from the start.
“We will not be dropped on the power and the price”, promised Phil Spencer in particular. That doesn’t mean the new Xbox will be cheap, though. The latest rumors are based on a price of 592$, the same as that of the Xbox One S / X at launch. This is a price all in all content to take advantage of all the expected improvements. Microsoft has also planned an Xbox Series S, a light version of Series X with a starting price of 355$.
Xbox Series X is a monster of power. After all, the console will make a real jump in performance. As usual, Microsoft relies on AMD for the machine’s APU (CPU + GPU). The console will benefit from a processor based on the Zen 2 architecture and engraved in 7nm, the same as the Ryzen 3000 and 4000 CPUs (to come) which now steal the show from Intel processors. The X Series CPU is an 8 core clocked at 3.8 GHz.
For the GPU part, the console will also benefit from what is currently best at AMD. It will be based on the RDNA 2 architecture. It is about a GPU with 52 computing units clocked at 1.825 GHz. Thanks to it, the Xbox Series X will be able to deliver a raw power of 12 TFLOPS. GDDR6 RAM memory will finally have a capacity of 16 GB. Here is a summary of the technical sheet of the Xbox Series X.
- Processor: 8 cores at 3.8 GHz, Zen 2 architecture
- GPU: 52 CPU at 1.825 GHz, RDNA 2 GPU, 12 TFLOPS raw power
- Etching fineness: 7 nm
- Memory: 16 GB GDDR6 with 320b bus
- Memory bandwidth: 10 GB to 560 GB / s, 6 GB to 336 GB / s
- Internal Storage: Custom 1TB NVME SSD
- SSD Read Speed: 2.4 Gb / s (raw), up to 4.8 Gb / s
- Expandable storage: 1TB expansion slot (SSD)
- External Storage (HDD): Support for an external USB 3.2 hard drive
- Optical drive: 4K UHD Blu-Ray drive
- Performance target: 4K at 60 FPS, up to 120 FPS
The Xbox Series X has a simple yet efficient design. Microsoft took a risk and it is clear that the formula is pleasing. The console’s appearance is very similar to that of PC towers, an approach that is both familiar and a break from the traditional design of home consoles.
The Xbox Series X is designed to sit naturally upright, but those who wish can also lay it horizontally depending on where it will fit in the furniture. And for those who are wondering about its size, Microsoft has also revealed its dimensions: 30.1 x 15.1 x 15.1 cm. It is overall more compact than the first generation Xbox One which measured 34.4 × 26.3 × 8 cm. So far, only one color has been presented: black.
The Xbox Series X interface
The overall appearance of the interface is quite similar to that of the Xbox One in layouts, but Microsoft has improved the ergonomics and speed of the UI. It becomes more fluid, with elements designed to be more intuitive. These changes allow menus to be loaded 50% faster. Switching between games should be a lot faster on the Xbox Series X.
In addition to this speed gain, the interface becomes more ergonomic with more readable fonts, more rounded interface elements and new animations. This necessarily changes from the old experience.
Meet the Xbox Wireless Controller: The New Xbox Controller
New console, new controller. The Xbox Wireless Controller generally retains the same shape as its predecessor. “Its size and shape have been refined to suit an even wider range of people,” Microsoft said. In the news table, there is a new “Share” button that makes it easier to take screenshots and share them.
The new Xbox Series X controller also features a directional pad inspired by the Xbox Elite Series 2. It is also backward compatible and can, therefore, be used with previous generations of Xbox consoles. And if you also play on PC, it will run smoothly on Windows 10.
The flagship features of the Xbox Series X
Leaving aside the technical sheet, the Xbox Series X is also a host of new features to discover. We give you an update on the functional improvements presented by Microsoft.
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)
With this feature, the console will constantly optimize the refresh rate of moving images. This will improve their sharpness.
Variable Rate Shading (VRS)
The VRS will be used by developers to better manage the power of the GPU. “Rather than using each cycle of the GPU evenly for every pixel on the screen, they can now prioritize individual effects on particular characters or objects.” In simpler terms, for example, it will be possible to reduce the intensity of shading in areas of an image where it will not affect visual quality.
This is one of the big news for the Xbox Series X and the PS5. Ray tracing is no longer exclusive to recent graphics cards from Nvidia. This technology allows you to have “realistic lighting effects, reflections and acoustics, all in real time as you explore the game world.” In other words, the renderings will be more realistic than ever thanks to an ultra-realistic simulation of the lighting effects.
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Dynamic Latency Input (DLI)
These two features that reduce latency to speed up viewing. With Auto Low Latency for example, the console “virtually eliminates load times and will bring gamers into their gaming world faster than ever,” Microsoft explained.
Xbox Series X: backward compatibility with Xbox One, 360 and the first Xbox to name
Unlike PS5 gamers who will experience the joys of backward compatibility for the first time, this possibility is one of the things that Xbox has always been strong. Logically, it is back with the Xbox Series X. A large catalog of games from older generations of the Microsoft console will be available on the new one. And for many of them, optimizations will lead to better performance.
Smart Delivery: free migration of games purchased on Xbox One
Microsoft not only offers backward compatibility, but also a kind of backward compatibility through a system called Smart Delivery. Basically, you can migrate some games purchased on previous generations for free to the Xbox Series X.
So you only pay for these games once and for all. Best of all, it will be possible to transfer backups to continue where you left off on the old console. Excellent, isn’t it?
Xbox Series X: which games and which exclusives?
On May 7, Microsoft organized a conference dedicated to Xbox Series X games before a new event organized on July 23 for exclusives, including obviously Halo Infinite and Forza Motorport. So here are all of the games confirmed so far.
Xbox Series X Exclusives
- Halo Infinite: release postponed, now scheduled for 2021
- State of Decay 3: release date not announced
- Forza Motorsport: release date not announced
- Everwild: release date not announced
- Fable: release date not announced
- Tell me why: released August 27 on Xbox One, then on Series X at the end of the year
- Grounded: July 28 on Xbox One, then Series X
- The Outer World (expansion): July 28 on Xbox One, then on Series X
- Avowed: release date not announced
- As Dusk Falls: release date not announced
- Psychonauts 2: release date not announced
- Stalker 2: release date not announced
- Warhammer 40,000 Darktide: release in 2021
- Tetris Effect Connected: end of 2020
- The Gunk: release date not announced
- The Medium: release date not announced
- Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis (2021)
- Crossfire X: release date not announced
Other Xbox Series X games
- Bright Memory Infinite
- DIRT 5
- Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines
- Call of the Sea
- The Ascent
- Scarlet nexus
- Second Extinction
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
A little clarification to resolve the exclusion of the Xbox X series. It is better to talk about the exclusivity of Microsoft because all the relevant games will also be available on Xbox One and PC (Windows 10).