The end of 2020 will see the launch of a ninth generation of video game consoles. Faced with Sony’s PlayStation 5, Microsoft is counting on a power monster called Xbox Series X. Find all the answers to your questions about it in this file!
It was officially unveiled in December 2019 at the annual Game Awards ceremony. It is the fourth iteration of Microsoft’s home video game console and is positioned at the forefront of the ninth generation of video game technology. Originally called the Scarlett Project, it is now called the Xbox Series X. As Microsoft reveals more and more about it every day, we want to take this opportunity to summarize as much official information as possible, but also rumors that needs to be “filtered”. Please note that this subject is subject to change as new developments follow its publication.
- When is the Xbox Series X coming out and at what price?
Microsoft has confirmed it: the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will be released on November 10th. The first one will be available for 499 dollars/euros (compared to 299 for the S Series, see below). Both models will be available for pre-order from September 22nd. Both machines can be paid for in installments using a subscription called Xbox All Access. This option will be available in France in 2021 through Fnac. By subscribing to Xbox All Access, a Series X or Series S machine can be paid for 24.99 euros per month for two years (subscription to the service included).
At its presentation last December, Microsoft had originally simply stated that Series X would be released during the 2020 holiday season. In August, the Redmond-based firm said it will be released in November 2020, without yet indicating a release date or pre-order date.
Quel est le design de la nouvelle console Xbox ?
The Xbox Series X looks like a desktop computer, but is actually only slightly larger than an Xbox controller. As with previous generations, it can be positioned vertically or horizontally. To cool the whole thing, a huge fan draws air from below and blows it upwards to the top of the machine. According to the project manager for Microsoft, Phil Spencer, who presented it yesterday, its power would be four times greater than that of the Xbox One X, “more efficient and less noisy”.
On March 18, during a day of videoconferences broadcast live on its Game Stack Live development blog, Microsoft unveiled the Xbox Series X in the flesh (see above). On April 16, Microsoft unveiled a new Xbox Series X logo, which is completely different from the current Xbox logo.
What are the technical characteristics of the latest Xbox? And its performances?
First of all, the manufacturer has specified that its microprocessor with the Zen 2 architecture specially designed by AMD is based on eight cores of 3.8 GHz each. Its RDNA 2 GPU, also supplied by AMD, with 12 Teraflops of power already confirmed previously, runs on 52 computing units, each at 1.825 GHz. All this is linked to a 16 Gb RAM – 10 for the graphics memory, 3.5 for the standard memory and 2.5 for the operating system – and a 1 Tb NVMe SSD disk.
This enormous power will then allow DirectX Ray-tracing to be accelerated to take advantage of more realistic virtual environments. In addition to the raw power, Microsoft’s new console will offer various refinements to enjoy a better gaming experience. For example, there will be support for HDMI 2.1, which should make it possible to transform a native 4K Blu-Ray resolution to 60 fps but would be capable of display rates up to 120 fps and even 8K. There will also be an “Auto Low Latency” mode to reduce latency, as well as the “Variable Refresh Rate”, already present on the Xbox One X.
As a result of these impressive features, the X Series takes 40 seconds less than the Xbox One X to launch the same game (in this case, State of Decay 2) from its home menu. However, the loading screen is not destined to disappear. The X Series takes a good ten seconds to load the game. According to Microsoft, this considerable reduction in time is made possible thanks to its new “architecture speed” technology, which would more easily coordinate hardware capabilities and software constraints.
What are the first games announced?
Microsoft has unveiled the first video game officially developed for the Xbox Series X: Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, which is a direct sequel to Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and features the psychedelic adventures of a young viking. In addition, Halo Infinite – its official release game – had to be postponed to 2021 due to delays.
However, Microsoft has stated that no exclusive titles will be released when the console is launched. Nevertheless, to enjoy Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 or Halo Infinite in the best possible conditions, you will need to have the Series X console. The new “Smart Delivery” system (see below) will make it possible to start the same game on one console and continue it on a new one effortlessly.
Starting Thursday, May 7, Microsoft will unveil previews of gameplay specially optimized for the Xbox (X Series) with a new series of online events, Xbox 20/20. The July opus should also be packed with new announcements to make up for the absence of the E3 2020, which was cancelled this year. According to VGC sources, this event could take place on Thursday, July 23rd. The first excerpts of a dozen new games to be released directly on Series X or through Smart Delivery (including Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla) have been unveiled below :
Confirmed games list:
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
- The Ascent
- The Medium
- Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
- Bright Memory Infinite
- Call of the Sea
- DiRT 5
- Madden NFL 21
- Scarlet Nexus
- Second Extinction
The redesign of the menu for the future Xbox Store, which will soon appear on Xbox One and later on Xbox Series X, has “leaked”. The Windows Central site took the opportunity to unveil its design and operation. Like on Steam or Netflix, the menu features automatic mini trailers for each item – such as a game or movie – and allows you to add a title to a wish list. It also provides access to the online store for non-dematerialized products, such as controllers or gaming accessories.
What will the new controllers look like?
If there’s one thing that Series X seems to be more secretive about than the PS5, it’s the capabilities of its new controllers and the potential of multiplayer. The new Xbox Controller that will accompany the Xbox Series X remains pretty much the same as the previous generation. However, it includes a “Share” button to make it easier for users to share screenshots and video clips online.
Backward compatibility, Smart Delivery and other features
The Xbox Series X is capable of switching from one game to another with rare speed. As previewed through a recent update to the Xbox One interface, it is indeed within the reach of the X Series to switch from one game to another, without going through a load screen, just as it is possible to resume a Netflix video with one click. So there’s no longer any need to wait for a game to be automatically saved and return to it via its home menu to make sure you can resume a game exactly where you left off. All these new features for the Xbox Series X were presented in a long video presentation on October 27, 2020.
Microsoft recently confirmed that its new console could accommodate a memory card – similar to what seems to be planned for the PlayStation 5 – which can be up to terabit storage and is inserted into the machine via a USB 3.2 port. It will most likely be sold separately.
In addition, the Xbox Series X will be able to provide full backwards compatibility with the new “Smart Delivery” and “Xbox Play Anywhere” systems. The X Series will not only be able to launch any of the 575 Xbox One games currently on the market, but also the entire Xbox 360 and original Xbox videogame catalog! Players will be able to transfer their Gamerscore, friends list, trophies and saves directly from their current console to their new console. The new Xbox Play Anywhere service will also allow the owner of a dematerialized version of an Xbox video game to play it on the console as well as on his PC – and soon, therefore, on Xbox Series X. This will be possible thanks to the Smart Delivery system, which will adapt the porting of the same game to the specific configurations and capabilities of a console. The idea is to allow a gamer to buy a game, start it on Xbox One and continue it on Xbox Series X, once he or she has the new console.
When it comes to backwards compatibility, Xbox Series X will be able to provide HDR (or high dynamic range imaging) and double the frame rate (the famous fps) to older Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One games – even those developed before the democratization of HDR. Microsoft has also confirmed that older games will also benefit from “Quick Resume Tech” (see above) and faster download speeds without loss of performance.
The new Xbox will come in two models: the imposing X Series and a lighter version, in terms of size and power, the S Series. While the former is supposed to embody the culmination of the Scarlett project, the second console of the same generation is destined to be that of the Lockhart project. This “little sister” will, for example, dispense with 4K resolution in favor of 1440p. Moreover, it will not include an optical disk drive and will be content with dematerialized versions of the games. The idea would be to offer a portion of the revolutionary X-Series technology at a lower price, capable of competing effortlessly with the PS5.
Through the video below, Microsoft assures that the Xbox Series S will be equipped with the same processor as its big sister, the X Series. As a result, it will have four times the computing power of the Xbox One. The estimated power of its GPU is nevertheless 4 teraflops, three times less than that of the X Series. That being said, this “100% digital” model without a disk drive will provide a 120 fps video gaming experience according to Microsoft. The Xbox Series S will also be released on November 10 for only 299 euros / dollars.
Following the September 8 “leaks” and its cryptic reaction on Twitter, Microsoft’s Xbox division validated the rumors this morning after the original publication of this article. While it has not yet announced its release date, Xbox is confirming for the first time the existence of the Xbox Series S – “the smallest Xbox console in history” – as well as its design and price of $299.
What is (are) the difference(s) with PS5? PS5 or Xbox Series X? Which is the most powerful game console?
Probably even more than with the previous generation, the two main distinctions between the next consoles from Sony and Microsoft will be power and price. The future PS5 will be inferior to its competitor, the Xbox Series X, in terms of teraflops, but should be offered at the same price. Nevertheless, the Xbox Series S (Xbox’s new 100% digital console) at 299 euros would be less expensive than the “Digital Edition” of the PS5. However, it should have the same technical capabilities as the standard PS5, with a disk drive. The S Series will sacrifice two thirds of the power of the X Series and the native 4K resolution to justify its price.