The next-gen wars hath begun. In a surprising turn of events, Microsoft used The Game Awards to officially unveil its next-generation games console - the Xbox Series X. My gut reaction is this is a completely daft and confusing name for the masses, ringing all sorts of Wii U alarm bells all over again. Still, as the old saying goes, it's what's inside that counts.
Set to launch in holiday 2020, the Xbox Series X will, obviously enough, be the most powerful Xbox console yet. Or, as Microsoft puts it, the “fastest, most powerful console ever,” which will set a benchmark for “performance, speed ad compatibility”. The bottom line here is that it's going to be super fast (four times the power of the Xbox One X) and full backward compatibility with all three previous generations of Xbox.
What’s really caught our eye though is the look of the thing. Consoles have long been edging closer and closer to being glorified pre-built PCs and now the Xbox Series X has gone whole hog with a classic all-black tower design. It looks very smart, it has to be said, and Microsoft has said the Series X will support both vertical and horizontal orientation. Looking at the sheer size of the thing though, we’re guessing this isn’t fitting in many TV stands.
Under the hood, the Xbox SX utilises a custom AMD Zen 2 processor, RDNA graphics architecture, and a “next-gen” SSD. Microsoft touts “world-class visuals” at 4K/60FPS, with the potential to go up to 120 FPS. It includes Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support, Auto Low Latency Mode, Dynamic Latency Input, and the potential for 8K video output.
Alongside the console itself, there will also be a new Xbox Series X wireless controller. It’s pretty much identical to the current Xbox One controller to my eyes, the only notable differences being a rejigged ‘Elite’ style d-pad and the addition of a Share button in the centre. You can thank Sony for that one.
The Xbox Series X is due to launch in Holiday 2020 and features two confirmed titles so far - Halo Infinite and Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2.