Microsoft introduced the Xbox Series X, the competitor to the PS5 in the next-gen console market. We now know what the console looks like, a little less than a year before its release.
Between the official information distilled by the Redmond company and the leaks with which the leakers are watering us, here is a summary of everything we know about the console designated so far under its code name Xbox Scarlett.
Xbox Series X
Microsoft intends to regain market share with its next-generation Xbox. On December 12, 2019, at The Game Awards, the firm lifted the veil on the Xbox Series X. It is, therefore, the name ultimately chosen for its next generation of the home console.
If you’re looking for high-resolution images of its design, Microsoft has just released a free Windows 10 theme with 16 wallpapers that show the Xbox Series X in high resolution. We also know thanks to a trademark registration which will probably be its logo.
The date for the release of Xbox Series X?
The Xbox Series X is due out in late 2020, as will the PS5. It was Microsoft itself that formalized it, without specifying an exact date. We can expect availability a few weeks before Christmas to take advantage of this period of intense consumption. Rumors suggest that the console will be released from Friday, November 6, 2020 to beat the PS5, but nothing is less certain. Coronavirus forces, Microsoft could postpone the release of the Xbox Series X.
Possible price of Xbox Series X
A year before the release, we obviously do not know the price of the Xbox Series X. Jason Ronald, Microsoft executive in charge of the backward compatibility program, only hinted that Microsoft would charge “reasonable” prices. Which doesn’t have to be too much?
As a reminder, the Xbox One S was at its launch sold at a price of 299 euros for the 500 GB version and 349 euros for the one with 1 TB of storage space. The powerful Xbox One X released in late 2017 was sold at 499 euros.
According to a leak based on the number of components expected in the console, the most powerful Xbox Series X could be sold around $600. Or a price very close to the price of the Xbox One X at its release. Its little associate, meanwhile, could be offered at a price very close to that of the Xbox One S. A leak claims that it will be offered across the Atlantic around 300 dollars.
Microsoft knows that it will have to make efforts to convince consumers to fall for the new Xbox and not the PS5. It has already paid the price in the past for overly ambitious pricing policy and it is difficult to see the company repeat the same error. It is likely that the basic version of its next console will not be offered at a higher price than the One X when it is released.
Also note that Sony and Microsoft do not make, or very little, margins on the sale of their consoles. The goal is to sell as many devices as possible in order to impose their ecosystem on consumers. They are then paid with accessories, games, and services, including paid subscriptions such as PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold. This is why consoles can offer excellent performance at an attractive price.
To hope to attract the players as much as possible, the two manufacturers both have their respective tactics, especially in the war of the excluded. Microsoft for its part chooses cross-gen. This means that the new games from Microsoft Studios will be released on both Xbox Series X and Xbox One. With this strategy, the company does not want to force the hand of the players and preaches a smooth transition to Series X.
In addition, according to an ex from the firm, Mike Ybarra, stopping on a prize is less a problem for Microsoft than for Sony. We can’t wait to see how it goes!
Xbox Series X Datasheet: AMD CPU and GPU, 8K, Ray tracing and SSD storage
The technical sheet of the Xbox Series X is now widely known, Microsoft has revealed several interesting information:
- The CPU will be based on AMD’s Zen 2 architecture but will be updated especially for the Xbox. We’re talking about 8 physical cores and 16 threads, as well as a 3.8 GHz frequency.
- Here again, the GPU is made in AMD, with a modified RDNA2 capable of delivering 12 TFLOPS thanks to its 52 CUs clocked at 1.825 GHz.
- We will be entitled to 16 GB of GDDR6 RAM, including 10 GB with a bandwidth of 560 Gbps and 6 GB with a bandwidth of 336 Gbps
- 1 TB NVMe custom SSD with an ultra-fast controller that flirts with 5 Gbps
- USB 3.2
- 1TB memory extension via special card
- A Blu-Ray player has been confirmed on the Xbox Series X. It will therefore still be possible to buy physical versions of the game, while the release of the Xbox One S All Digital without equipment of this type and requiring to acquire titles dematerialized or via the Xbox Game Pass could raise fears of its disappearance
Ray-tracing support is also there. This technology for managing the reflection and refraction of light which makes it possible to obtain breathtaking graphics of realism. These features will allow the Xbox Series X to perform exceptionally well.
The connection between the Xbox Series X?
Several leaks on the Neogaf and ResetEra forums have revealed a priori authentic visuals of an official prototype of the Xbox Series X. These photos allow learning more about the different connectors onboard the console. We thus find on the backside:
- an optical audio jack
- an HDMI out port
- two USB-A ports (3.2)
- an Ethernet port
- a power port
On the front, there is the Blu-Ray player, the eject button as well as another USB-A port, which makes three in total, therefore. We also note the Xbox logo, which could serve as a Power button. As a reminder, Microsoft has chosen to ignore the USB Type-C. There is also a port for adding super-fast memory using CFExpress or technology-derived cards
Xbox Series X: 4 times more powerful than Xbox One X
Microsoft says the Xbox Series X will target 4K performance at 60 fps for the vast majority of compatible games. The console also offers enough power to theoretically reach 120 frames per second but also to offer images in 8K. The console’s AMD CPU is 4 times more powerful than that of the Xbox One X and it’s Navi GPU is twice as powerful as that of the previous console, ensuring up to 12 TFLOPS of power. Here are the technologies and new features that will benefit the console:
- Variable Fresh Rate (VRR): it will constantly optimize the refresh rate of moving images in order to improve their sharpness
- Variable Rate Shading (VRS): It allows developers to use the power of the GPU more intelligently by reducing the shading rate in image areas where it will not affect visual quality
- Ray tracing: for better rendering of light effects
- Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Dynamic Latency Input (DLI): two features that minimize latency to improve display speed.
Microsoft also suggests that the Xbox Series X will give pride of place to game streaming in the cloud, unlike the consoles of Sony and Nintendo. And that the console will be optimized to favor the number of images per second on the rendering of the image in 8K.
Finally, Microsoft announces the arrival of Quick Resume, a function allowing to restart a game that has been paused. Even after restarting the console.
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