Xbox Series X: All the known details regarding Microsoft’s next console, arriving in 2020
Announced way back during 2019’s Game Awards ceremony, Microsoft’s planned successor to the Xbox One is a technical marvel in the history of home consoles. Serving as a 4K-equipped “tower of power” releasing Holiday 2020, the Xbox Series X was revealed on stage by the head of Xbox himself Phil Spencer, being pitched as the fastest, most powerful Xbox ever. Details on what to expect have continued to trickle out ever since, and that’s where this all-encompassing guide comes in.
It’s important to note that the ‘Series X’ title isn’t the definitive term for Microsoft’s next console – it is in fact a continuation of the Xbox brand as a whole. This makes sense considering that Series X previously went by the codename Anaconda. This suggests that a possible Series S (reportedly referred to as Lockhart) would be announced – confirmation of which we eventually got towards the end of 2020. Microsoft is placing itself in a position to compete with the likes of Amazon and Google, as well as Nintendo and PlayStation.
Still, we’ve put together a detailed advice post covering everything we know so far about the Xbox Series X. Here we’ll break down everything regarding its specs, features, confirmed games so far and the official day one launch price. Essentially, you needn’t look anywhere else for the ultimate guide on what promises to be one of the most impressive home consoles ever released. Here’s everything we know about the Xbox Series X.
Xbox Series X: Release Date
Let’s start with something we know for absolute certain. Xbox Series X will release alongside a slimmer, more affordable and discless version (called the Xbox Series S) on November 10th, 2020. Previous Xbox consoles have made a habit of always launching in November, so it makes sense that the Xbox Series X console will also release in a similar window.
Xbox Series X: Where to buy
As you might expect, the Xbox Series X will be readily available from a wide range of popular UK retailers upon release. We may not know an exact date yet, but already some stores are allowing players that want to pre-order Microsoft’s next console to register their interest – with Currys PC World being the most notable example.
However, alongside Currys, other places like GAME, Amazon, Smyths and more are all expected to secure a vast amount of stock. We’ll keep you updated as soon as pre-orders go live for the Xbox Series X, meaning that the die-hard players won’t have to worry about missing out. In summary, start saving now in time for November because the Xbox Series X will arrive in select retailers around then.
Xbox Series X: Specs
According to all information revealed so far, the Xbox Series X is shaping up to live up to its claim as being the fastest and most powerful Xbox console ever. Its AMD Zen 2 processer, for instance, already confirms that it’ll tout four times the power of the Xbox One X, which is the most powerful console on the market at present. A blog post on Xbox Wire released on February 24th also confirmed that it’ll boast 12 Teraflops of power, which is a marked improvement over the Xbox One X’s 6.
The Xbox Series X’s will also feature Ray Tracing capabilities to render explosions, lighting and particle effects more believably than ever before, rendering games at a maximum 8K resolution and 120 frames per second. Phil Spencer has also committed to removing the annoyance of long loading times, kitting the Xbox Series X out with a custom NVMe SSD to make them much faster.
|Specs||Xbox Series X|
|Release Date||Holiday 2020|
|Processor||Custom 8-core AMD Zen 2|
|RAM||GDDR6 up to 16GB|
|Storage||1TB Custom NVMe SSD|
|Max framerate||120 frames per second|
Xbox Series X: Design
One of the most striking reveals divulged at 2019’s Game Awards ceremony purely came from the Xbox Series X’s chassis design. You see, whereas most consoles these days are largely designed to be rested vertically, the Xbox One X resembles more of a PC tower, opting for a sleek vertical design that sees it stand upwards. This makes it substantially taller than any Xbox console before it.
It was only recently that we explicitly learned of the console’s size dimensions, in quite a rather fun way we might add. During the initial 2019 reveal, online gamers ran rampant with speculation, likening the Xbox Series X’s height as almost Fridge-like. In March, however, Microsoft officially revealed that the size dimensions would be 151mm x 151mm x 301mm – sure to fit into most people’s entertainment centres. Here’s the console and a fridge for scale:
Phil Spencer commented on the Xbox Series X’s design aesthetic in an interview with Gamespot: “There’s always this tension between design and the kind of acoustics and cooling and function of the console, and we were not going to compromise on function. I’m just incredibly impressed with the design that they came back with.” That same article placed the console’s size at around three times as tall as a traditional Xbox One Wireless controller, which has now been confirmed to be 151mm in height.
While not strictly part of the official console design, a trademark filing made in April has given us a glimpse at what the new logo for Xbox Series X might look like. It’s a bit more, shall we say, X-treme compared to the Xbox 360 or One’s accompanying insignias. Granted, it might not be a major element of the Xbox Series X that affects gameplay or its initial purchase price, but get used to seeing it a whole bunch in Xbox’s future marketing:
Xbox Series X: Additional features
The Xbox Series X has already been confirmed to work with Microsoft’s excellent game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass. This is what grants console owners instant access to a rotating library of over 100 games, all for one monthly membership fee. It’s also been revealed that the Xbox Series X will be backwards compatible with original Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One games, at least digitally if not physically.
Microsoft has been the bastion of this movement for the current generation, so it makes sense that they’d want to pay this forward. On this topic, Phil Spencer said: “ “Thanks to backward compatibility, you can expect your gaming legacy, thousands of your favourite games across four generations of gaming, all your Xbox One gaming accessories, and industry-leading services like Xbox Game Pass to be available when you power on your Xbox Series X in Holiday 2020.” Spencer went on to confirm in a later report that Xbox Series X will let players “Play thousands of games across four generations that look and feel better than ever”, teasing that digital Xbox One purchases will carry over to the souped-up Series X versions at no extra charge.
Xbox Series X: Confirmed Games
Of course, all these impressive specs and features would mean nothing were there not lots of great games to play on the Xbox Series X. Luckily, however, Phil Spencer confirmed at The Game Awards 2019 that plenty of first- and third-party developers already have devkits and are hard at work developing games for the Xbox Series X eco-system. Fast forward to May 2020 and a new Inside Xbox livestream highlighted what third-party developers have in store for Series X. Then, you had the official Xbox Games Showcase is July, which demonstrated what first-parties have in store.
Below is a list of all the Xbox Series X games confirmed so far:
- Halo Infinite (Platform Exclusive)
- Fable (Platform Exclusive)
- Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 (Platform Exclusive)
- Forza Motorsport (Platform Exclusive)
- State of Decay 3 (Platform Exclusive)
- Watch Dogs: Legion
- Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
- Gods and Monsters
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Quarantine
- Bright Memory Infinite
- Call of the Sea
- Dirt 5
- Hitman 3
- Scorn (Platform Exclusive)
- Madden 21
- Vampire: the Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
- The Ascent
- As Dusk Falls
- The Medium (Platform Exclusive)
- Scarlet Nexus
- Second Extinction
- The Gunk
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Xbox Series X: Price
One of the most important details that will no doubt influence your decision to buy an Xbox Series X is of course the price. And as expected, considering its incredibly high-end tech specs, it wasn’t a surprise to learn that it would be launching at a slightly higher price point than the Xbox One. Both the original Xbox One and Xbox One X initially launched at a £450 price point, but the Xbox Series X will in fact be slightly more at £459 here in the UK – still a great deal considering it can achieve 4K visuals and up to 120 frames per second.
Those not wanting to pay full price for an Xbox Series X do have another option in Xbox All Access, Microsoft’s bespoke finance payment plan. Offered here in the UK by both GAME and Smyths, and it lets you spread the cost of your purchase over a prolonged period. All Access members can upgrade to the Xbox Series X when it releases in Holiday 2020 once they’ve made 18 payments. Visit our full guide for further information.
Xbox Series X: Controller
We already knew going into the Xbox Series X’s official reveal that the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller (currently compatible with PC and Xbox One) would work on it. What we didn’t know, however, was what form the Xbox Series X controller would take. It turns out that the design hasn’t changed too much from the Xbox One Official Wireless controller, as evidenced in March 2020’s newly revealed info, albeit with a few notable exceptions.
For one, the Xbox Series X controller is slightly smaller than the Xbox One’s current controller, likely in an effort to feel more comfortable in the hands of most players. Then there’s the addition of a dedicated share button in the centre and a hybrid D-pad for better gameplay. Overall, Microsoft has revealed that the Xbox Series X controller has been specifically designed to fit 98% of hands. It’s also now known that the new gamepad won’t in fact be rechargeable as many had speculated, but will instead continue to accept and be powered by two Triple-A batteries.