Next Gen Gaming: Xbox Series X

The Xbox Series X could be the most powerful home console ever made

The $499 Xbox Series X is the most powerful console that Microsoft has ever created, with impressive specs, a promising lineup of games, robust backwards compatibility and unprecedented compatibility with both the Xbox One and gaming PCs.

Microsoft’s claims for the Xbox Series X are pretty bold. The system will aim to run most games at 4K resolutions and 60 frames per second framerates. Certain games could go up to 8K resolutions and 120 fps framerates — although probably not at the same time. From its powerful SSD, which will reduce load times, to its ray tracing capabilities, which will deliver more realistic lighting effects.

What you need to know:

  • What it is: Microsoft’s most powerful game console ever
  • Release date: November 10 (pre-orders start Sept. 22)
  • Price: $499
  • Key features: 4K visuals at 60 FPS, 8K and 120 fps support, ray tracing, near-instant load times
  • Key games: Halo Infinite, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, full Xbox One backward compatibility
  • Specs: Custom AMD Zen 2 CPU, 1TB NVMe SSD, 16GB GDDR6 memory, 12 teraflop RDNA 2 GPU

Release date:

Xbox Series X is slated to launch on November 10, 2020, the same day as the lower-spec Xbox Series S.

Xbox Series X price:

The Xbox Series X will cost $499 when it hits stores.

Xbox Series X controller:

The Xbox Series X will have a slightly upgraded version of the current-gen Xbox Wireless Controller. The new peripheral will feature a dedicated Share button for screenshots and video clips, as well as an improved D-pad, similar to what you’d find on the Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller. Textured dots on the bumpers make theme easier to find, while matte finish on certain buttons makes them more resistant to wear and tear. 

Like the current Xbox Wireless Controller, the new version will work on Windows PCs as well as mobile phones. Almost all existing Xbox One accessories will continue to function on the Xbox Series X, so there’s no reason to ditch specialty gear that you already own.

Xbox Series X UI:

Xbox Series X backwards compatibility:

Microsoft has confirmed that all existing Xbox One games and accessories will work on Xbox Series X. That includes all of the best Xbox One games, as well as the hundreds of Xbox and Xbox 360 titles that are backwards compatible with Xbox One. Microsoft says that backwards compatible titles will enjoy better framerates and resolution on Xbox Series X, all with no extra developer work needed. 

 

What about Xbox Series S?

The Xbox Series X will be joined by the Xbox Series S, a $299 console that promises next-gen gaming at a lower price point. The Series S can play games at up to 1440p and 120 frames per second, and includes many key Series X features such as ray tracing and fast SSD loading. However, the console has a much smaller hard drive at 512GB compared to the Series X’s 1TB drive.

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