Microsoft Reveals ‘Xbox Series X’ Name, Details
Looking ahead to next year’s holiday season, Microsoft formally unveiled Thursday the name and further details of its forthcoming next-generation Xbox console — called the Xbox Series X.
The new gaming platform, which previously went by the code name Project Scarlet, will launch around the holidays next year, and like the previous Xbox One S and X systems, it will continue to include an optical disc drive supporting 4K Ultra HD media.
The announcement did not mention if Microsoft is planning a scaled down streaming only version that omits the disc drive, as has been rumored.
The announced version of the Xbox Series X promises new levels of performance, power and speed, coming from a new “industrial design” with four times the processing power of the prior Xbox One X, while running in a “quiet and efficient way”.
The company said the Xbox Series X will be the fastest and most powerful console it has yet produced and will support extensive backward compatibility with past Xbox console generation games.
The console will feature a new design style that departs from previous generation Xbox consoles. The styling will allow either vertical or horizontal placement.
One of the highlights of the new system is a new Xbox Wireless Controller that will also work with the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. It refines the size and shape of the previous Xbox One X controller for more a comfortable experience. It offers haptic feedback and is equipped with a “Share” button and a d-pad.
Microsoft said that the new console will deliver 4K resolution content at up to 60 fps, and the possibility of up to 120 fpsrepeated that Xbox Series X will deliver “world-class visuals in 4K at 60FPS, with possibility of strecting that to up to 120FPS. It will also support “Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and 8K capability”.
Microsoft said Xbox Series X will support game play from four console generations, with backward compatibility for Xbox One gaming accessories.
“Leading the way with our first-party titles including Halo Infinite in 2020, we’re committed to ensuring that games from Xbox Game Studios support cross-generation entitlements and that your Achievements and game saves are shared across devices,” Microsoft stated.
The guts of the system includes a custom-designed Zen 2 and RDNA architecture from AMD. Microsoft will include its proprietary Variable Rate Shading (VRS) technology to help developers leverage the power of Xbox Series X GPU. The system will be equipped with SSD storage for greater loading speed and reliability, and will offer hardware-accelerated ray tracing.
Other advanced features include Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), for use with supporting 4K and 8K TVs and monitors and Dynamic Latency Input (DLI).
Among the first games planned for release to support the Xbox Series X will be Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II from Ninja Theory. To further support the platform, Microsoft said: “15 Xbox Game Studios are developing the largest and most creatively diverse lineup of Xbox exclusive games in our history.”
The Xbox Series X be going up against Sony’s next-generation PlayStation console — PlayStation 5, which is also planned for release around the holidays of 2020. That platform also promises support for 4K resolution at up 120 fps, 8K resolution, and will include and optical drive supporting UHD Blu-ray, internal SSD storage and ray-tracing.
By Greg Tarr
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