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Xbox Series X: everything we know about the next-gen console

Are the console wars reaching their inevitable end, or are they only just beginning? It’s hard to tell. The tech specs have been revealed for both Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5 and they are both extremely powerful consoles.

Here’s everything you need to know about the incredible Xbox Series X.Xbox Series X

The gaming giants gear up for another head-on clash and Microsoft seems to have taken the lead with a spectacular reveal of the Xbox Series X.

What’s in the box?

Former known as Xbox Project Scarlett, the next-gen console is being labelled as the future of gaming. The Xbox Series X is designed to completely eliminate load times through its powerful new hardware including AMD, new Navi graphics architecture, and a Zen 2 CPU.

As it stands, the Xbox Series X will be four times more powerful than the most powerful console on the planet, the Xbox One X, and the biggest generational leap in console history. It’s safe to say the new Xbox is packing some absolute baller numbers under the hood, and Microsoft is understandably proud.

On the specs front, the new console promises 120 FPS, 8K graphics, and ray tracing supported by specifically designed hardware. This will enable gaming developers to leverage 12 teraflops of GPU processing, aided by variable-rate shadings (VRS) technology. The accurate support for DirectX raytracing will mean that games can incorporate “true-to-life lighting, accurate reflections and realistic acoustics in real-time”. 

It’s safe to say this powerful new machine will not only comfortable compete with any console on the market but it will also go toe-to-toe with some of the best gaming PCs in existence.

Check out the trailer for the upcoming Xbox Series X exclusive, Halo Infinite below:

On top of this, there is a new QuickResume feature which allows players to suspend multiple games at once and jump back into the action at any moment.

The new Dynamic Latency Input (DLI) will go new lengths to optimise latency, which at 120FPS would look absolutely mindblowing. If there’s ever been a time when gaming graphics will catch up with real life, it’ll be 2020.

“Xbox Series X is our fastest, most powerful console ever, designed for a console generation that has you at its centre. This means a high-fidelity gaming experience enclosed in a quiet and bold design, with the ability to discover thousands of games across four generations, all with more playing and less waiting,” says VP of gaming at Microsoft, Phil Spencer.

Project xCloud

Microsoft has made it very clear over the years that they believe cloud-based gaming to be the future. They have poured billions of dollars into their cloud platforms and aim to compete with Google and Amazon. As of yet, cloud-gaming is not a necessarily huge market, but it is certainly appearing more and more across the industry.

Project xCloud is the same streaming platform that debuted in March 2019. It essentially allows players to transform their Xbox console into an xCloud server, on top of using actual servers, streaming media and games to connected devices. With the power that the Xbox Series X offers up, it remains to be seen how versatile this cloud platform can be and whether it will be able to compete against the Google Stadia initiative.

That being said, Microsoft is certainly committed to cloud software and believe that games should be able to play anywhere they want, with who they want, as Phil Spencer suggests:

“Whether it’s empowering amazing creators at our 15 Xbox Game Studios, fueling game discovery with Xbox Game Pass, or expanding what and where you can play with Project xCloud, Team Xbox stands for frictionless pathways between players and the best experiences our remarkable art form has to offer. Xbox Series X represents that same commitment for players who want immediate immersion in games that also look and feel better than ever.”

Backward Compatability

There have been two games explicitly confirmed for the Xbox Series X so far. The highly anticipated Halo Infinite as well as Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, the follow-up to the critically acclaimed psychotic-Viking epic. Both games flaunt absolutely stunning graphics and we cannot wait to get our hands on them.

To sweeten the pot significantly, the Xbox Series X will feature complete backwards compatibility with all games. That means all Xbox360 and Xbox One will run flawlessly on the new console. It’s yet to be confirmed whether Xbox Classic games will work too.

Price and release date

As of yet, there has been no release date announced beside Holiday 2020, though November is the most likely window, considering past console releases.

Perhaps more interesting is the potential price tag. No figure has been announced yet but considering the significant power of the console, it could be very expensive. Whether it will be able to match the price of PS5 is the question on everybody’s lips. It may instead jump another price bracket and provide a gaming system between the casual console and high-level PC, with home entertainment capabilities as well. In truth, only time will tell.

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