Gaming

The next Xbox is called Series X and it looks like a PC tower

Microsoft offered a first proper look at the next Xbox and revealed the console’s name: Xbox Series X. Previously known as Project Scarlett, the next-generation Xbox resembles a PC tower and it arrives holiday 2020.

Xbox chief Phil Spencer wrote in a blog post the Series X design allows Microsoft to pack in four times the processing power of Xbox One X “in the most quiet and efficient way.” It’s said to be no louder than an Xbox One X, helped by a single fan that pushes air through the top. You won’t need to stand the console vertically, as it supports horizontal orientation.

Series X is about as wide as an Xbox One controller and roughly three times as tall. It’ll still support discs, and that Xbox logo is the power button.

On the technical side, Microsoft says the Xbox Series X can handle 4K visuals at 60 frames per second, and potentially up to 120FPS. The console will also offer hardware-accelerated ray tracing and variable refresh rate, along with 8K capability. Under the hood, it’ll have a custom processor, an Xbox Series X GPU and next-gen solid-state storage, the latter of which will “virtually eliminate load times.”

As for backwards compatibility, it seems that’ll extend all the way back to the original Xbox with support for “thousands of your favorite games across four generations of gaming.” Xbox One accessories and Xbox Game Pass should work at the outset. Microsoft also says it’s committed to ensuring Xbox Game Studios titles “support cross-generation entitlements and that your Achievements and game saves are shared across devices.”

Along with the upcoming console, Microsoft revealed its new Xbox Wireless Controller. It suggested that it redesigned the peripheral to be comfortable for more people. The controller has a DualShock 4-style Share button in the center for capturing screenshots and game clips, and an upgraded D-pad that’s based on the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller. As you might expect, it’ll work with Windows 10, but it’s compatible with Xbox One as well. The revamped controller will be bundled with every Series X console.

A console needs games, of course, and the reveal included a world-premiere look at Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, which is a sequel to Ninja Theory’s Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Halo Infinite is also in development for the Series X.

Microsoft didn’t offer concrete details on exactly when the Xbox Series X will be available beyond that holiday window nor how much it’ll cost. There’s some time before launch to spell all that out. But it answered a couple of core questions about the upcoming console: what it looks like and what the thing’s actually called.

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