The Xbox Series X: Microsoft’s new Xbox will appear at the end of 2020. In this article you will find all the rumors and facts about the specifications, release date and price of the Xbox Series X all summarized.
The new Xbox from Microsoft was officially announced during E3 2019 by Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox. Half a year later, during The Game Awards 2019, Microsoft unveiled the name and design of the new console: Xbox Series X.
Regarding the name, some confusion arose, since ‘Series X’ seems to indicate multiple consoles. A Microsoft spokesperson indicates that the new console is simply called “Xbox” and “Series X” is the model name. In addition, Phil Spencer himself indicates in an interview with Gamespot that there is room for a second console next to the Series X.
Prior to The Game Awards, the console was known as Project Scarlett, a name that the Thurott website already shared at the beginning of 2019. Interestingly, the website also claims that Microsoft is coming with two consoles: the more powerful Anaconda – the Series X – and the less powerful Lockhart.
Lockhart would become the cheaper model, such as the One S compared to the One X, and Anaconda would become the more expensive and powerful model. Anaconda would also focus on shorter loading times, possibly thanks to an internal SSD.
Design of Xbox Series X
Normally the specifications and functions of a console are more captivating than its appearance, but the design of the Series X is very striking. The case resembles a small, vertical PC, although the console can also be used horizontally.
According to various analyzes and mock-ups, the Series X is approximately 31 centimeters high and 16 centimeters long and wide. For comparison: the Xbox One X is 30 centimeters wide, 24 centimeters long and 6 centimeters high.
Furthermore, a number of buttons can be seen on the console and there is a grid at the top (presumably for cooling) with green lighting underneath. A disk drive can also be seen for playing physical games.
According to rumors, the connections of the console are also known. The Series X would have two USB-A connections, an Ethernet connection, one HDMI port, an optical audio connection and a connection for the power supply. There also seems to be a connection that may be used for debugging, but this is not entirely clear.
Controller Xbox Series X
De controller van de Series X werd kort getoond tijdens de aankondiging en is zeer vergelijkbaar met die van de Xbox One. De grootste verschillen zijn een iets kleinere omvang, een dynamischere D-pad en een Share-knop. De exacte functionaliteiten van de Share-knop zijn nog niet onthuld, maar vermoedelijk kunnen spelers daarmee direct een livestream starten of beelden opnemen en delen.
Tot slot is de Series X-controller te gebruiken op pc’s en de Xbox One en werkt de Xbox One-controller op zijn beurt op de Series X.
Series X release date
The Xbox Series X launches during the holidays of 2020, Microsoft announced during E3 2019. A more specific date has not yet been mentioned. Microsoft is expected to share an exact date during E3 2020.
The PlayStation 5 also launches around that time. Sony may unveil the console in early 2020.
Specifications of Xbox Series X
With the unveiling of the Xbox Series X, its specifications have been roughly announced.
- GPU: AMD-Navi (about 12 teraflop)
- CPU: (custom) AMD Ryzen Zen 2 and RDNA 2
- Working memory: GDDR6 SDRAM
- Storage: NVMe-SSD
During an interview with Gamespot, Phil Spencer explains how big the leap in power is. In the GPU area, the Series X is twice as fast as the One X and eight times faster than the Xbox One, which amounts to around 12 teraflop (unit of measure for GPU power). That should include a resolution of up to 8K, although 4K (2160p) is probably the standard.
The CPU also becomes more powerful thanks to the switch to 7nm chips, which have a higher density and are more energy efficient. According to Spencer, the CPU is four times faster than that of the One. The move should in any case ensure faster frame rates, with a maximum of 120fps. In an article on the Xbox website, Spencer also says that the console must be a balance between power and speed.
Phil Spencert also reveals more about the SSD of the Series X. The storage medium must ensure that game worlds load ‘in no time’ and that fast travel in games becomes much faster. Quick Resume also ensures that players can open multiple games at the same time and resume without loading times.
The Series X also supports a number of new graphic features. For example, Variable Rate Shading (VRS) ensures that developers can prioritize individual effects for objects or characters, instead of providing all pixels with them. The result is that the power of the console is used in a more targeted way and there is more room left for other things.
Such as DirectX ray tracing, which provides extra realistic light by taking into account how light rays interact with objects in the world. Dynamic Latency Input also gives priority to input shown directly on the screen, reducing latency and the console supports HDMI 2.1.
For the time being, only the specifications of the Xbox Series X are (in part) known. There is still no trace of information about a possibly cheaper model, Lockhart.
Streaming on Xbox Series X
In addition to the launch of one or more consoles, Microsoft is focusing heavily on cloud gaming in 2020 with Project xCloud. Currently a select group of users in Korea, England and the United States have access to the beta version of the service. In 2020 this will be expanded to Canada, India, Japan and Western Europe.
Similar to Google Stages, Project xCloud players can play games on any supported device with a screen. That makes it unnecessary to purchase a console, since Microsoft’s Azure servers do the hard work. xCloud also supports Bluetooth to use Xbox One and even PlayStation 4 controllers. The extent to which xCloud is stable enough, for example, to replace the Series X remains to be seen.
A price for the Project xCloud is not yet known. However, Microsoft has indicated that every Xbox One game launched, and a selection of Xbox 360 and Xbox titles, will become playable on xCloud without the developer having to do extra work. The beta program launched with Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4 and Halo 4. This will soon be expanded with 50 new titles. Microsoft has also indicated that xCloud is coming to Xbox Game Pass.
Finally, consoles also play a role at Project xCloud. This is because it becomes possible to make a console available as a ‘server’ in order to be able to use the service on the same network. However, how that works is not yet clear.
Backwards compatibility on Xbox Series X
The Xbox Series supports all Xbox One games, including the currently available Xbox 360 and Xbox games. Each title benefits from the leap in processor power, with more stable frame rates, short loading times, higher resolutions and other visual enhancements. Earlier Phil Spencer indicated that some work is needed to get Xbox One titles working, but now Microsoft confirms that all current games are playable.
Smart Delivery is an important part of backwards compatibility. This feature ensures that players have to purchase a game once and get the correct version depending on the platform. All Xbox Game Studios titles, such as Halo Infinite, can therefore be played for free on the Series X for owners of the Xbox One version. Owners of Cyberpunk 2077 can also upgrade for free.
Until, Gamerscores, saves and friend lists are all transferred to the Series X.
Games for Xbox Series X
At the unveiling of the Series X, Microsoft announced Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, the sequel to the special indie game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Also images of Halo Infinite have been released, which launches with the console and Ubisoft Watch Dogs Legion is released on the console. Cyberpunk 2077 is also coming to the Xbox Series X.
There is also a handful of games that we know are coming to the next generation of consoles, but have not seen much of them. For example, Bethesda is working on Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6 for the upcoming generation. There are also a number of games in development that are suspected to be released on both Xbox One and Scarlett, including Halo Infinite, Beyond Good & Evil 2, Gears 5, BattleLoads and a new Fable game.
Microsoft has also invested heavily in new talent by taking over a number of studios. Playground Games (Forza Horizon series), Undead Labs (State of Decay games), Compulsion Games (We Happy Few), Ninja Theory (Hellblade, DmC, Heavenly Sword), Obsidian Entertainment (Fallout: New Vegas, The Outer Worlds) and inXile Entertainment (the Wasteland games) were acquired last year. Microsoft also founded The Initiative, with former employees of Rockstar, Insomniac Games, Sony Santa Monica and Crystal Dynamics.
The launch line-up for the Series X is likely to be announced during E3 2020.
Price of Xbox Scarlett
A price for Xbox Scarlett is difficult to estimate. Based on the specifications, the Series X could cost just 600 euros, although Microsoft probably wants to market the console competitively against the PS5. Given the rumors about a cheaper model, Microsoft can better justify that price and an ‘Xbox Series S’ of around 300 euros could be below the price of the PlayStation 5, but still support next-gen games.
These are all current rumors and facts about Xbox Scarlett. All in all, rumors indicate that we will see two new Xbox consoles in 2020, and that Project xCloud can play an important role for Xbox as a platform.