Xbox Series X, previously known as Project Scarlett, has been officially unveiled by Microsoft as its next-generation successor. In addition to the rather clunky name, which will take some getting used to, Microsoft has also showed the console for the first time, which likewise boasts an unexpected design.
The following is everything that we currently know about Xbox Series X. Microsoft will naturally share more details in the coming months as the company paves way to launch. When that happens, additional updates will be made below.
Where Sony has always kept a simple numbering system with PlayStation, Microsoft has jumped around with Xbox. Revealing Project Scarlett as Xbox Series X suggests that Microsoft may have finally found its iterative approach. From hereon, the next cycle of models could be Xbox Series 2X, 3X, and so on. In addition, the rumored low-end next-generation models may be announced as Xbox Series S, similar to how the company did with Xbox One S and Xbox One X.
In the meantime, the gaming community is having fun trying to figure out a fitting abbreviation. Should Xbox Series X be shortened to XSX, XBX, XSEX, or 1X?
Microsoft may have been pressed for space to fit all of that cutting-edge hardware without compromising performance. Hence, Xbox Series X features a monolithic design. The console will be able to stand upright as a tower or be laid down on its side. In terms of dimensions, the console has a far larger volume in comparison to Xbox One X. However, without any confirmations from Microsoft, exact dimensions can only be extrapolated from the given images.
Xbox Series X has been touted to be at least four times more powerful than Xbox One X, which is already a beastily machine. Based on both official and unofficial sources, Microsoft has fitted a custom AMD Zen 2-based processor, clocked at 3.6GHz with 8 cores. In the graphical department, Xbox Series X features a custom AMD Navi-based graphics card with 12 teraflops computing power.
16GB memory will be there in total, out of which 13GB will be available for developers. An NVMe solid-state drive has been confirmed for storage with read speeds possibly around 2GB/s. Xbox Series X will also boast a 4K Blu-ray drive with outputs of 4K and 8K resolutions at 120Hz.
With next-generation, Microsoft has placed all focus on an exclusive (and expansive) library of games. Halo Infinite by 343 Industries was already confirmed to be present at launch. Microsoft has now announced Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 by Ninja Theory as well, assumed to be another launch game for Xbox Series X.
More announcements are likely to surface in the coming months but rumors have already pegged certain games to be coming to Xbox Series X. They include Cyberpunk 2077 by CD Projekt Red, Elden Ring by Bandai Namco, Starfield by Bethesda Softworks, Dying Light 2 by Techland, Battlefield 6 by Electronic Arts; basically, almost every upcoming heavy-hitter.
Not to mention the studios that Microsoft has recently acquired: Double Fine, inXile Entertainment, Obsidian Entertainment, Compulsion Games, Playground Games, and Undead Labs. They are all obviously working on something new.
The promise of next-generation technology has also come with an opportunity for the internet to enjoy a new meme. Being bulky has set Xbox Series X almost like a mini PC or a mini fridge for that matter. Following the official unveiling, over a dozen memes have already found their way online. You can head here and here to check out some of the best ones. It goes without saying that the same treatment can be expected when Sony officially unveils PlayStation 5.
The VR support
Xbox Series X will be all about meeting premium gaming demands and not about catering the virtual reality niche. Microsoft has noted that the Xbox brand is not generally associated with virtual reality. Anyone interested in purchasing a headset knows well where to go. Microsoft might eventually pursue virtual reality down the road but for the time being, Xbox Series X should primarily be seen as a machine that runs next-generation games in the best way possible.
The release and price
Microsoft has confirmed that Xbox Series X will launch worldwide in the holiday season of 2020, which would be November 2020. Expect pre-orders to go live mid-year, probably after Microsoft is done with its E3 2020 press conference.
The company has not revealed any pricing but a $500 tag looks probable. Anything more and the console will fall steeply into an expensive niche. Microsoft will not want history to repeat, even if Xbox Series X offers a ton of value. That $600 tag, for example, will just push players towards the competition, which is already rumored to be somewhere between the $400-500 area.