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Xbox Series X: Everything You Need to Know

The Xbox One is one of the best consoles that ever came out, period. Now, its prime time for Microsoft to release the newest version of the Xbox for the masses to enjoy. Enter the Xbox Series X.

In this article, we’re gonna discuss what we currently know about the Xbox Series X, as well as the possible price, the date of its release, and its specs.

 

Xbox Series X

Xbox Series X Console
Photo from Gamespot

 

As the team behind the Xbox started to plan for their next-generation console, they’ve pointed out the things that they would like to improve. The first is the Xbox One X’s graphical capabilities. The second thing they want to improve is the speed and power of their console’s CPU. However, Microsoft’s engineers discovered that the required parts generate more heat and decided to split their components into two circuit boards.

Microsoft showcased their new Xbox hardware during the E3 2019 and dubbed it as Project Scarlett. The company estimated that Scarlett would be around four times as powerful as the Xbox One X, and will also have support for 8K resolution, 120 FPS rendering, and real-time ray-tracing. Also, they said that they wish for a soft transition from Xbox One to Scarlett, with Scarlett allowing for backward compatibility with all the games in the previous-gen console and nearly all hardware supported on the older Xbox One. The new console was officially revealed as the Xbox Series X on The Game Awards 2019. It is expected to be available on the market towards the end of 2020.

After the reveal, a spokesperson for Microsoft said that Xbox Series X is the entry for the 4th generation of Xbox hardware. This generation will be branded simply as “Xbox,” and will have no subtitle. Before the E3 2019 reveal, people speculated if the new console will be for the next generation or a less powerful version of the Xbox One. The console is codenamed “Lockhart” and is said to accompany the unveiled Scarlett.

This console will go head-to-head with Sony’s PlayStation 5.

 

Xbox Series X Specs and Features

In a blog post made in February 2020, Xbox chief Phil Spencer showed us the full specs for Xbox Series X. The console has a custom processor that will use AMD’s Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architecture that has a total of 12 teraflops. This means that the Series X has twice the graphical power that the Xbox One X has on its release. We also know that the Xbox Series X will have 16 GB RAM, and will also support external storage drives.

In March 2020, a second blog post showed even more details about the Xbox Series X specs. Its biggest selling point is arguably the console’s ability to run any game in the market at 4K resolution and 60 FPS, something that typically needs a powerful PC. Some games can even go up to 120 FPS, though the resolution may lower if they do so.

  • CPU: 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.8 GHz (3.6 GHz with SMT) 7nm
  • GPU: 12 TFLOPs, 52 CUs at 1.825GHz, Custom RDNA 2
  • Memory: 16 GB GDDR6
  • Storage: 1 TB custom NVMe SSD
  • Optical drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray
  • Ports: HDMI 2.1 output, 3x USB 3.2, networking port, expanded storage slot, power input
  • 120 FPS support
  • Potential 8K resolution support
  • Ray-tracing technology
  • Variable Rate Shading for more stable frame rates
  • Compatible with Xbox One accessories
  • Smart Delivery

 

Release Date

Microsoft stated back at the E3 2019 that the Xbox Series X will be released before this year’s holiday season, but hasn’t shown an official release date yet.

All of the Xbox models were typically launched in November, which might mean that Series X could go for the same release timeframe barring any huge delays, which can happen if the console’s production is stalled because of Coronavirus.

Microsoft’s been adamant by its release typical console date window, but many analysts suggest that a delay in the Series X production is a likely proposition. The plans for most of the hardware production for Series X is set to happen in China—which, as we all know is the starting point of the outbreak. As world governments and institutions all over the world attempt to stop the spread of the disease that already has a kill count of thousands, the resulting quarantines that were implemented have disrupted the myriad of workflows and schedules of many types of companies, including those in the tech and manufacturing sectors.

But if the pandemic doesn’t end up affecting the launch schedule, a late-November launch is likely gonna be upon us for the Series X.

 

The Difference of Xbox Series X From Its Predecessors

 

The Xbox Series X is scheduled for release during the holiday season of 2020. The Xbox One X is still available and will still be supported. However, the current-gen offering also can play games in 4K and is cheaper.

So, which of these consoles should a buyer choose? Also, should you upgrade to the Series X if you already have the Xbox One?

 

Design

The design of the Xbox Series X is a pretty big departure from the design norms that Microsoft has for the Xbox Console. It is designed to be stood upright like a computer tower but can also be laid horizontally. Do keep in mind that it’ll be bigger than the Xbox One X and you want to make space for it.

One of the underlying reasons for the console’s larger size and aesthetic is the heat dissipation. The grille atop of it allows for the console’s internal heat to dissipate, which is vital as the processing chips that are inside of the console will get hot. If there are not enough cooling measures on hand, you’ll immediately notice the internal fan working harder to cool down the console resulting in a noisy machine and—yes, this is possible—a machine that’s prone to crashes.

Like it’s predecessor, it can be noisy once the console is going through an extensive gaming session. However, the console’s internal hardware is easier to keep at a lower temperature, so it has a more conventional bulk.

 

Graphics

Graphics hardware is, of course, different for both consoles, with the Xbox Series X having a very significant uptick in the graphics category.

The Xbox One X comes with a custom CPU that features 12 teraflops of power with 52 compute units that are running at 1.825 GHz. Pretty powerful and arguably the strongest one for a console.

In comparison, the Xbox One X also boasts a custom GPU but has only 6 teraflops of power and 40 compute units. It also runs at an exceptional 1.172 GHz. Fast, but not as fast as the Series X.

In layman’s terms, the Series X will run any console game you can think of natively in glorious 4K 60 FPS. Meanwhile, the One X has a selected catalog of games that you can play in 4K. And even then, you’ll need to choose between either 60 FPS or 4K. You can’t have both.

Also, the Series X games will have the ability to utilize real-time ray-tracing technology. It will make in-game lighting more realistic. The One X doesn’t have this feature.

 

CPU and Memory

Similar to the GPU, The Xbox Series X will boast a more powerful processor compared to its older brother.

The Xbox Series X will feature a custom eight-core Zen 2 AMD processor. With the console running at speeds of up to 3.8 GHz per core. Compare that to the One X with an eight-core AMD processor but only runs at a max of 2.3 GHz per core.

On top of this, the Series X also comes with 16 GB of GDDR6 RAM. Meanwhile, the One X only comes with 12 GB of GDDR5 RAM.

 

Storage

Another gulf between the two consoles comes in their storage capacity.

The Xbox Series X is said to use a solid-state drive (SSD) instead of a hard disk drive (HDD). An SSD is faster for the read/write transfers compared to an HDD. It’ll house a 1 TB SSD that comes with a couple of major benefits. The SSD will not only load games faster—note that this also includes in-game loading times—but you will also be able to pause in the middle of any game, boot up another game and start playing, pause that game again, and go back to the game you paused before and start playing that game again, near instantly.

Meanwhile, the One X uses 1 TB HDD, which in itself allows the user to save more games and files. However, it is still a tad slower to the Xbox Series X.

Both consoles can expand their storage through USB 3.0 (3.1 on the Series X’s part) external drives. In addition to this, the Series X will also have a proprietary drive port for a 1 TB SSD in case the user want to add one.

 

Games and Peripherals

All of the Xbox One’s games and peripherals will be compatible with Series X but it won’t go the other way.

Xbox is set on releasing games for all the Xbox consoles currently available for at least a few years going forward. Also, some of the games that they’ll release will instantly be upgraded and compatible when they’re installed on a Series X. This might mean that the games will have better graphics and loading times.

When it comes to accessories, There’s still no confirmation if there would be dedicated headphones, etc., for the Series X.

However, Xbox’s Game Pass subscription service will also support the Xbox Series X, and you can get Xbox One games there.

 

Xbox Series X vs. PlayStation 5

Xbox vs PS5
Photo from Pocket-lint

 

Over the last few months, we now have most of the hard details and specs about the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Both new consoles will have up to 8K resolution, at least 60 FPS, powerful processors, and fast-as-hell SSDs. However, there are also differences based on what we’ve seen from previous generations. The question now is, which of the two consoles will be superior in the hardware perspective, and which of the two of them will have a better game library?

 

Xbox Series X vs. PS5: Cost

There have been rumors and ramblings on how much both next-gen consoles will go for in the market. The PS4 was released at $400, while the Xbox One went a $100 more expensive. However, do note that both of these consoles were released seven years ago in a different time and market. Sony had to regain a lot of lost ground from the release of the PS3. Meanwhile, Microsoft thought that it had a console that would change the gaming and media landscape on its hands.

Rumors suggest that both the PS5 and Xbox Series X might go for $500, but it’s all speculation. However, the only sure way to know is when Sony and Microsoft announce it themselves. If you’re gonna go and save up for either console, aim to have around a $500 and above ballpark.

Be sure to be ready by holiday 2020 since both consoles are scheduled to be available by then.

 

Xbox Series X vs. PS5: Exclusive Titles

Controller
Photo from Android Central

 

Several exclusives are planned to grace the Xbox Series X when it launches. Titles will include Halo Infinite and Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II. It’s worth pointing out, however, that nearly every single Xbox Series X exclusive will be available on PC as well. This has been Microsoft’s general modus operandi for the last few years now back when we’re on the Xbox One.

Meanwhile, the PS5 has a few exciting exclusives that they’ve recently unveiled. These include Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demons’ Souls Remake, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, and last but not the least, Horizon: Forbidden West. These titles seem to be true PS5 exclusives, which might sway some buyers to go for the PS5 for these games.

 

Xbox Series X vs. PS5: Graphics

The Xbox Series X has slightly more powerful specs when compared side by side with PS5. However, the only way we can test this is by having both consoles at hand.

First, let us take a look at what the PS5 and the Xbox Series X will have under the hood. Both their CPUs will carry a lot of power, but the one for Series X might be faster on paper. The difference in the GPU’s processing power, however, 10.3 teraflops for the PS5 and 12 teraflops for the Series X, seems a little more obvious. Teraflop is the measure of the number of operations a piece of hardware accommodates per second. A lone teraflop goes for 10^12 operations per second. And, as seen above, there’s a difference of 1.7 teraflops between both consoles. This could represent a significant difference when it comes to graphics.

Do remember though, that just because the Series X’s GPU gives 12 teraflops of computing power, it doesn’t mean that all the games in the console will take full use of them. There’s also the issue of how well the said game is optimized. This is particularly apparent in third-party games, which will need to give a pretty relative parity between the console versions of their games.

The SSDs of both consoles may also affect their game performance. Both consoles will come with built-in SSD memory, which will greatly affect the speed of loading a game. So far though, only Sony has given people concrete details about how fast the PS5’s SSD could load games, and how the PS5’s SSD compares to the SSDs that are already on the market. However, don’t expect this to be uniform across all games.

 

Xbox Series X vs. PS5: Design

Console Design
Photo from Forbes

 

The Series X has a pretty conservative design. Microsoft’s Xbox Series X looks like a traditional yet more compact PC tower. It’s topped off with a black outer casing and an Xbox logo. You can find the console’s disc drive at the front. The Xbox Series X is symmetrical in appearance and it also allows you to place it horizontally. Perfect if you don’t have enough clearance to display it vertically.

On the other hand, PlayStation 5’s design is much more noticeable. Revealed during a showcase on June 11, 2019, the PS5 is distinguishable by the white fins in its body.

Also, the PS5 will come in two varieties, one with a disk drive and one that has not. One will allow you to play games by inserting the game disc while the other is perfect for people who digitally buy games. This would likely result in a difference in pricing, but no official announcement has been done yet.

Both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X look great from a physical standpoint. The Xbox features a minimalistic design that is geometrically sound, while the PS5 looks louder and more modern.

If you want to know more about one of the PlayStation 5’s Dualsense controller’s features, check out our article on Haptic Feedback.

 

Xbox Series X vs. PS5: Backwards Compatibility

Both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X will be compatible with games from previous generations. At present, the Series X looks like it has more robust options, but the PS5 probably has a lot of older games for people to play as well.

Microsoft has stated that the Xbox Series X will be compatible with existing Xbox One games and ones from older Xbox consoles. Also, Microsoft’s Smart Delivery system allows you to get an Xbox Series X copy of a game you bought for the Xbox One for free. Also, some games from the first Xbox and the 360 will be compatible from the start.

Another pro of the Xbox Series X’s backwards compatibility is that the console will run these games smoother than their native ones do. Microsoft has ensured that a few favorite titles will be upscaled. The new Xbox will run these compatible games at 120 FPS and display them at 4K resolution.

In contrast, Sony PS5’s backwards compatibility looks confusing. The PS5 will come with software that allows it to read games from the PS4. Games optimized for the PS4 Pro will maintain their upgrades. However, due to the software being a catch-all application, there might be hiccups with some games. In any case, it’s not as inclusive nor as directly able to play games on older consoles as what Microsoft has already promised.

If you’re looking to learn how to download Xbox games, we have a guide that can help you out.

Albert de Venecia

Albert de Venecia

I love playing video games on either console or mobile platforms. I also collect action figures of superheroes and robots.

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