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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  • Machinus - Friday, December 13, 2019 - link

    At this point what is the difference between this and a PC? It's already running Microsoft software out of the box for god's sake.
  • PeachNCream - Friday, December 13, 2019 - link

    Nothing much aside from tighter control of the software and fewer general purpose computing capabilities due entirely to the operating systems. However, from a consumer perspective, it is an easier experience in order to get to the end state of playing video games. There are no system requirements, no question of whether or not your system will run a particular game, no graphics settings to tweak, no BIOS updates or vendor-specific software, and so forth. For a relatively painless, push button and play experience, PCs are not ideal platforms. Then again, sometimes there is fun to be had in building and tinkering and you do not get that from this kinda thing.
  • alphasquadron - Friday, December 13, 2019 - link

    Someone who gets it. People really don't understand how annoying it can be to fix a game that does not work right on the PC for someone isn't really familiar with computer settings, graphics drivers, other issues. Tinkering is fun but sometimes, I just like pressing the button on my controller and starting the game.
  • willis936 - Friday, December 13, 2019 - link

    The last time this was an issue for me was... ten years ago?
  • GreenReaper - Friday, December 13, 2019 - link

    And then you got an XBox? Or a PS3? :-)
  • Qasar - Friday, December 13, 2019 - link

    the last time i had to do any configuring or tweak the game so it would work, was back in DOS. Now, 99% of the games i have played since the move to windows, all worked out of the box
  • PeachNCream - Sunday, December 15, 2019 - link

    I find it interesting that you have not altered any game configuration settings since MS-DOS was the world's underlying operating system. You might be missing out on a lot of improved graphical quality by not doing so just so that you can say that your gaming experience is as configuration-free as someone that plays console games.
  • Qasar - Sunday, December 15, 2019 - link

    PeachNCream game settings, aka Graphics options, vs game config files, are completely different. and you strike me as some one who knows that, based on your previous posts :-)

    ET nope.. try almost daily. and the fortnight issue.. could of been anything.. maybe even not related to the comp.
  • ET - Sunday, December 15, 2019 - link

    I guess it's the last time you played games?

    Just yesterday, my son had tons of problems connecting to the Fortnite event on PC, while a colleague's son on Xbox participated in it without problem.
  • RSAUser - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    So spending money on a good off the rack PC (if you can't find a friend to build for you) must be very difficult.

    Also installing steam from the website and logging in is hard, that pesky install button and then pressing play doesn't help matters.

    Then the greatest hurdle of all, toggling graphics quality to max because older games seem to think modern graphics cards are garbage or the auto detect doesn't work.

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