THE next-gen console war is here – and the Xbox Series X is Microsoft’s rival to the PlayStation 5.
With both consoles now public knowledge, here’s what you need to know about the next Xbox.
Xbox Series X – What is it?
Microsoft announced the Xbox Series X in November 2019, but the long-awaited console is still shrouded in mystery.
It’s a high-powered machine that promises next gen-graphics and incredible power.
“We know you expect the next generation of consoles to set new standards in graphical power and processing speed, converging together in games that look incredible and feel alive,” Xbox’s Phil Spencer said last year.
“This will be defined by worlds that are visually astounding and immediately immersive, with innovative leaps in CPU, GPU and storage technology to give you frictionless access to new stories and new creators constantly.”
Xbox Series X specs and features
The Xbox Series X is all about power and performance.
Microsoft recently confirmed that the console would deliver a mammoth 12 teraflops of performance.
That’s a whopping eight times more than the original Xbox One.
Teraflops refers to the number of operations a processor can handle at a given time.
The new Xbox will be able to have 12trillion “operations” every single second.
For context, that’s twice as powerful as the Xbox One X.
Phil called this a “true generational leap” and promises higher framerates, and “larger, more sophisticated game worlds”.
Microsoft is also pledging to reduce waiting times for gaming generally.
Games should load more quickly due to a faster storage drive.
And there’s a Quick Resume feature that sounds like a hardcore gamer’s dream.
“The new Quick Resume feature lets you continue multiple games from a suspended state almost instantly,” Phil explained.
“Returning you to where you were and what you were doing, without waiting through long loading screens.”
Microsoft is also making the old Xbox games backwards-compatible, describing it as “four generations of gaming”.
You’ll be able to play original Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One games on the new console.
And these games should be improved by steadier framerates, faster loading times and improved resolution.
Xbox Series X release date and price
Microsoft has remained pretty secretive about the console’s release date.
All we know is that it’ll hit shelves during the Holidays 2020 season.
That means either October or November later this year.
We’re still in the dark about the console’s price, too.
Analysts reckon the PS5 and Series X could cost upwards of £500/$500.
Speaking to The Sun, expert analyst Michael Pachter said the Xbox Series X will likely cost $499, while the two versions of the PS5 will come in at $499 and $599.
“They’re playing a game of chicken to see who blinks first,” said Pachter, of Wedbush Securities, speaking to The Sun.
“Microsoft is fully prepared to price at $499 regardless of cost, but I think Sony is hopeful that they will announce first.
“Microsoft is going to wait for Sony to blink first.”
Xbox Series X games – what to expect
Microsoft is already working on lining up brand new games that will be ready to play for launch.
Here’s a selection of Xbox Series X games you’ll be able to enjoy, though not all at launch:
- Assassins Creed Valhalla
- Bright Memory Infinite
- Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
- Call of the Sea
- The Ascent
- The Medium
- Scarlet Nexus
- Second extinction: Reclaim Earth
- Yakuza: Like A Dragon
- Madden 21
But the tech giant also says that thousands of classic games from previous consoles will also be supported from day one.
Better still, many of these games will run even better than they originally did – due to the advanced hardware inside the Xbox Series X.
“With more than 100,000 hours of play testing already completed, thousands of games are already playable on Xbox Series X today.
“Many of us in Team Xbox play on the Xbox Series X daily as our primary console and switching between generations is seamless.
“By the time we launch this holiday, the team will have spent well over 200,000 hours ensuring your game library is ready for you to jump in immediately.”
Microsoft says that all of the games run at “the peak performance they were originally designed for”, with higher and more steady frame rates.
And they’ll render at their maximum resolution and visually quality.
The Xbox maker also says that players will see “significant reductions” to in-game load times.
Microsoft’s Xbox Series X will also be able to retroactively add HDR support to older games – even original Xbox titles developed almost 20 years ago, “before the existence of HDR”.
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