Microsoft has released a ton of information about the Xbox Series X between its initial reveal at E3 2019 and the special Xbox Inside episode on May 7.
For those not in the know, the Xbox Series X is the fourth iteration of the Xbox console, which first released way back in 2001. It belongs to the ninth generation of consoles and is the follow-up to Microsoft’s Xbox One and Xbox One X.
So far, the average person already likely knows three things: the console’s official name (Xbox One X), when it will release (Holiday 2020), and what it looks like (essentially a smaller PC).
The rest? Well, the average person likely doesn’t know. It’s not for the lack of information, mind you. It’s simply because there are a lot of facts and rumors going around these days that it’s hard to separate the truth from the not.
With that said, we decided to help out those who haven’t been able to keep up with the gaming industry as much.
Below, you’ll find everything there is to know about the Microsoft Xbox Series X, including its hardware specifications, expected performance, confirmed launch titles, as well as other important features, and so much more.
When Will the Xbox Series X Release?
Microsoft hasn’t confirmed an exact release date for the Xbox Series X yet. Instead, they gave it a “Holiday 2020” release window. This gives it a possible release date of any time between October and December later this year.
There were earlier reports of Microsoft updating a number of product pages to show that they would release the Xbox Series X on Thanksgiving 2020, giving it a November 26 release date. But, it seems that they have since retracted such updates and plan on proceeding with their original release window.
If it’s any consolation, Microsoft is intent on following through with their Holiday 2020 release date.
This is good news. A lot of releases have already been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But, then again, where there’s good news, there’s some expected bad news. Because of the success of the May 7 games showcase, we might see Microsoft go through with something similar for the launch of the Xbox Series X.
How Much Will the Xbox Series X Cost?
After the fiasco that was the Xbox One’s price point at launch, Microsoft intends on making sure that it doesn’t happen again. However, as far as confirming an exact price, Microsoft has so far remained mum.
What does this mean? Well, for starters, all we can do right now is speculate.
There are rumors, however, that Microsoft plans on undercutting Sony by as much as $100. The said rumor suggests that Microsoft is willing to lose money on their first million units or so if it means securing a larger share of the market. But, then again, this is all a rumor, so take it with a grain of salt.
The only thing we know so far is that the Xbox Series X will feature much more powerful hardware compared to the Xbox One and the upgraded Xbox One X.
Will this mean that the Xbox Series X will cost more? Probably. But, the probability also exists that they might just lower the price tag on the Xbox One X so that the Xbox Series X can replace it, which puts it at a launch price of $499.
How Powerful is the Xbox Series X?
The Xbox Series X is packing some serious hardware.
The processor is a heavily customized eight-core AMD Zen 2 CPU with 16 threads. It has a peak speed of 3.8Ghz and a base speed of 3.6Ghz. Meanwhile, the graphics card is a custom-designed GPU using the same efficient architecture as that of AMD’s RDNA 2 with a compute performance of 12 teraflops and 52 compute units with 3,328 shaders allocated to it.
The interesting part is that Microsoft chose not to offer boost clocks for the GPU. Instead, the GPU of the Xbox Series X will reportedly run at 1,825 MHz constantly.
Microsoft then added 16GB of GDDR6 memory for the Xbox Series X, which is a significant improvement from the 12GB GGDR5 memory of the Xbox One X.
In terms of real-world performance, many put the gaming capabilities of the Xbox Series X similar to that of a gaming PC equipped with an Nvidia RTX 2080 GPU.
Other important features include ray-tracing technology, 4K UHD Blue-ray drive, a 1TB custom NVMe SSD for storage, 120fps support, as well as compatibility with accessories made for the Xbox One.
All in all, the Xbox Series X should feature significantly improved performance over the Xbox One X, and, judging from what we’ve already seen from the showcase, the graphics of games are only going to improve going forward.
What are the Xbox Series X Launch Titles? What Is Smart Delivery?
Thanks to the May 7 gameplay showcase, we not only know how well the Xbox Series X hardware will perform in the real world, but we also have a good idea of which games will be available for the console at launch.
This includes exclusive titles such as The Medium and Scorn, as well as the following titles:
- Halo: Infinite
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
- Call of the Sea
- Madden NFL ‘21
- Scarlet Nexus
- Bright Memory: Infinite
- Second Extinction
- Vampire: The Masquerade Blood Lines 2
- Dirt 5
- The Ascent
As for what “Smart Delivery” is, it’s Microsoft’s way of catering to their consumer’s needs. Considering the relatively small timeframe gap between the Xbox One and the Xbox Series X, as well as with some games being released for both consoles, there was always going to be the inevitable concern of whether gamers would have to buy a game twice to play it on both consoles.
Smart Delivery addresses that issue by guaranteeing that gamers only need to buy a game once.
Even better is that the technology makes sure that you get the right “version” of the game depending on whether you’re playing it on the Xbox One, Xbox One X, or the Xbox Series X. Although the technology available only to a handful of titles for now, Microsoft did confirm that they are leaving it to the developer’s discretion of they’ll make use of the said technology in their titles.
What is Project xCloud?
A new feature of the Xbox Series X that’s already available right now is “Project xCloud”.
Using a working title for the moment, the cloud gaming platform is Microsoft’s answer to Google Stadia and Geforce now. Basically, what the platform does is that it allows gamers to stream games directly from the cloud to other platforms, in particular, their smartphones, PCs, and of course, consoles.
Microsoft’s offering is already superior right now thanks to its library of Xbox titles. However, rumors suggest that Microsoft is planning something bigger for Project xCloud.
There are rumors that claim that Microsoft plans on using the streaming service to reduce waiting times. Basically, what they plan to do is to allow gamers to stream games they’ve already purchased while they’re waiting for it to finish downloading or installing.
If we had to choose a phrase to describe Microsoft’s newest console, it would be “insanely powerful”.
On paper, the Xbox Series X looks like it will be twice as powerful as the Xbox One X, which was already the most powerful console on the market. However, as we all know, power is not the most important thing.
Gamers covet exclusive titles and an affordable price point, among many other things.
If Microsoft gets that down pat, there’s no question that the Xbox Series X will be just as successful as its predecessors if not even more so.