The Xbox Series X was revealed at The Game Awards at the end of last year, marking it the first official glimpse of the next era of console gaming. That means it's time yet again to hunt down rumours, hints and official information about the console's performance specs.
The main focus of the console will be faster loading times, unrivalled graphics and user convenience, amongst a host of other important changes.
WATCH NOW: THE WORLD PREMIERE ANNOUNCEMENT TRAILER FOR THE XBOX SERIES X
In addition to the incredible specs that Microsoft's new console is boasting, players who purchase a copy of Cyberpunk 2077 for the Xbox One, will receive a free copy of the game for the Xbox Series X when available.
Looks like Microsoft isn't playing around.
News From Phil Spencer
According to Spencer, the next gen console offers twice the graphical power of an Xbox One X and over eight times the power of the original Xbox One console.
In computing terms, it delivers 12 teraflops of power – that's impressive, suggesting the Xbox Series X will be able to deal in much more detailed worlds than anything on the market right now.
You can read more about it here.
The release date of the Xbox Series X was reported to coming on Thanksgiving day - 26th November 2020.
It appears this was simply a mistake, confirmed by Larry Hryb aka Major Nelson on Twitter.
The release is still set for 'Holiday 2020'
Microsoft confirmed that the next-gen console will be four times more powerful than the Xbox One X, and provides four times better performance than the current generation in terms of load times.
As for the actual Xbox Series X specs, we have been promised 120 FPS, 8K, and ray tracing supported by dedicated hardware.
In fact, one Microsoft employee promised “frame rates we’ve never seen before,” though that’s surely not accounting for modern PC hardware.
As for 8K and 120 FPS, they make great headlines, but the reality is that you’d have to be running an extremely basic game on the most powerful of PC hardware to approach anything like those numbers, let alone simultaneously.
Looking more akin to a PC tower, the new consoles design further blurs the lines between the PC and the Xbox.
It can be used both vertically and horizontally and according to Gamespot, it is about as wide as a Xbox One controller and three times as tall.
Microsoft also revealed the new “Its size and shape have been refined to accommodate an even wider range of people, and it also features a new Share button to make capturing screenshots and game clips simple,” explains Phil Spencer. According to GameSpot, it’s slightly smaller but will retain the rumble triggers.
Halo Infinite has been confirmed as an Xbox Series X launch title, and by Christmas 2020 it will have been five years since a new mainline Halo game released. Spencer also said Microsoft's 15 first-party studios were working on "the largest and most creatively diverse lineup of exclusive games in our history."
Halo is widely regarded as the Xbox’s first must-play game, so Microsoft’s move to launch a next-gen with a Halo game is both symbolic and business-savvy.
However, if Halo is not your thing you won’t be caught out – Xbox Series X will be capable of three generations of backwards compatibility.
As well as Xbox Series X-era games, you’ll be able to play games from the Xbox One, the Xbox 360, and the very first generation of the Xbox.
Though we don’t have any official details on what the Xbox Series X price will be, it’s going to be quite the contentious subject now that the PS5 price has been officially addressed by Sony’s Hiroki Totoki.
The original announcement of the Xbox One price was one of the first mistakes Microsoft made with the positioning of the console:
It took more than six months after the launch of the Xbox One in late 2013 for Microsoft to release an Xbox One configuration that removed the Kinect from the box and reduce the price to that of the PS4.
With the PS5 and Xbox Series X launching at the same time, Microsoft is going to have to be careful not to repeat past mistakes.
If both consoles are packing similar specs, it’s going to be an interesting discussion.
Two Xbox consoles launching side by side?
All the rumours point to there being two new Xbox consoles on the way, codenamed Anaconda and Lockhart, with the former being high end and the latter being a cheaper, streaming-focused console.
But with Sony placing affordability at the front of the conversation, it’s going to be an interesting battle between the gaming giants.
Only time will tell if Microsoft’s plan will materialise, but one thing’s for certain – they are throwing down the gauntlet and forcing Sony to make the next move.