Microsoft this evening has finally given their long-awaited next generation gaming console a name, announcing the Xbox Series X. The device, formerly known as Project Scarlett, is said to be four times more powerful than the current Xbox One X, and along with its new Xbox Wireless Controller will be available in the Holiday 2020 timeframe.

Microsoft has been drip-feeding information about their forthcoming console for the better part of a year now, so today’s announcement of the name and revealing the final design is the latest element in that campaign. The black, monolith-shaped box is certainly unlike any previous Xbox console design, and while touching it probably won’t make you smarter, Microsoft has definitely evolved the design of their hardware. The same goes for the new Xbox Wireless Controller that ships with the console, which incorporates an unusual D-Pad derived from the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller. The controller will be compatible with Windows 10 as well.

While Microsoft is still not offering a detailed breakdown of hardware specifications at this time, the company has reiterated their E3 announcement – that the box is powered by an AMD APU combining their Zen 2 processor cores and next generation RDNA architecture – while revealing the first performance estimate for the console: four times the processing power of the Xbox One X. It’s not clear here whether Microsoft is talking about CPU performance, GPU performance, or both – but given that even AMD’s fastest discrete GPUs today don’t exceed 10 TFLOPS, it is likely a reference to the CPU side of matters and AMD’s much faster Zen 2 CPU cores (and going by comments made to GameSpot, this seems to be exactly the case).

As well, the company is reiterating the technical features for the console: hardware raytracing, variable rate shading, Xbox One backwards compatibility, and a “next-generation” SSD. All of which will be used to offer games at 4K@60fps or better, with Microsoft indicating that 120fps will also be an option for developers (no doubt driven by the high refresh rates allowed by HDMI 2.1). In their press release Microsoft is also announcing a new feature called “Dynamic Latency Input” (DLI), which although no specific details about the technology are being made available, is intended to minimize console latency in order to make it “the most responsive console ever”. I would expect to hear more about this in 2020 as the console gets closer to launch.

Finally, along with announcing the console itself, Microsoft has also released a separate video announcing a new Hellblade game, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II. The trailer for the game is designed to show off the power of the console and is based off of in-engine footage; though it’s not clear at this time if it was captured in real-time or rendered offline.

Expect to hear a lot more about the Xbox Series X over the next year, as Microsoft ramps up to launch it for Holiday 2020.

Source: Microsoft

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  • Spunjji - Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - link

    Love too juggle drinks around my TV cabinet.

    Seriously though, while that could be a legit concern for something designed to go on your desk, I'm not so sure it applies to things near the TV which is a massive no-go area for liquids as a general rule.

    There's also no reason to assume it wouldn't work sideways with some sort of penalty in fan noise to compensate for the loss of convective airflow, in which case it would be no more vulnerable to liquid ingress than anything else with a vent on the side.

    The name is... quite silly, though. They should have gone with Xbox 1080 for the 360 successor, then this could have been the 2160.
  • sharath.naik - Friday, December 13, 2019 - link

    Isn't the whole idea of a console is it fits under the TV? If not won't everyone be using their computers to game
  • diehardmacfan - Friday, December 13, 2019 - link

    What makes you believe this wont fit under a tv when laying down?
  • edzieba - Friday, December 13, 2019 - link

    Microsoft's past history of issues with console orientation and disc drives?
  • catavalon21 - Friday, December 13, 2019 - link

    It appears to have the disc drive oriented vertically as shown, if that's the slot for a disc. Horizontal should work.
  • shabby - Friday, December 13, 2019 - link

    If the cooling holes are only at the top and not the sides then I'll bet ms will recommend standing it up.
  • boozed - Sunday, December 15, 2019 - link

    There's no way it's passively cooled, orientation won't matter as long as the vents aren't blocked.
  • Alistair - Friday, December 13, 2019 - link

    ding ding ding someone with half a brain, thank you
  • cwolf78 - Friday, December 13, 2019 - link

    Many people, myself included, use the vertical stand for the PS4. I have it set next to my entertainment center as its already full of other stuff. Hopefully, the PS5 will be able to replace my PS4 Pro, PS3, and UHD Blu-ray player.
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - link

    People have been standing consoles up next to their TV since the PS2 showed up with its magic rotating logo.

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