Easily the largest surprise at The Game Awards was Phil Spencer coming on stage to announce the next-generation Xbox. At least one console in the “Project Scarlett” family is the Xbox Series X, previously described as “Anaconda”.
The Series X launches in Holiday of 2020 and is stated to be the most powerful and fastest “Xbox” ever made though if the details that have leaked are true, it will be the power leader next-generation and therefore officially be the most powerful “console” ever made.
The Xbox hardware team revealed some new details on the console alongside some of the things we’ve known for some time. For clarity, here are specifics:
- It will manifest world-class visuals in 4K at 60FPS, with possibility of up to 120FPS, including support for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), and 8K capability.
- It’s powered by a custom-designed processor leveraging the latest Zen 2 and “next generation” RDNA architecture from AMD with hardware accelerated ray tracing.
- It also uses a patented Variable Rate Shading (VRS) technology which will allow developers to get even more out of the Xbox Series X GPU and a next-generation SSD.
- The Xbox team has confirmed that the console can lay horizontally as well.
- Reduction of latency in all areas is also a big focus for the team:
We are minimizing latency by leveraging technology such as Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and giving developers new functionality like Dynamic Latency Input (DLI) to make Xbox Series X the most responsive console ever. Xbox Series X is also designed for a future in the cloud, with unique capabilities built into the hardware and software to make it as easy as possible to bring great games to both console and elsewhere.
It also looks as though there’s some sort of LED lighting function on the top/side of the casing which could certainly be unique depending on how it’s utilized.
There’s also been a lot of speculation on how big the console actually is in real life. It’s actually quite a bit smaller than most are seemingly assuming. Thanks to our friends at Windows Central.
In case you missed it, here is the incredible reveal trailer as well.
Meanwhile while the controller looks very similar to the Xbox One controller today, it has evolved in a few ways.
Spencer said of the controller: “We’re not the first ones to do a share button, so we’re not going to say that we invented that, but we’ve heard feedback that sharing is such a part of a gaming experience now for many of our players. I wanted a dedicated button to share, so you’ll see that.”
Here are the specifics:
- It now features a share button which has become standard across the industry and was seen on the PS4 and Switch.
- The d-pad has evolved into a hybrid 4/8 way pad based on fan feedback.
- The overall size is slightly smaller than today’s controller.
- The controller still features rumble and haptic feedback as it did in the Xbox One generation.
- It will still have bluetooth and thus be compatible with a wide range of devices including PCs, but the Xbox team is also continuing to refine the proprietary connection to the console itself and is reducing the already industry leading input latency even further.
Unveiling the next-generation Xbox at The Game Awards was certainly a surprise but as you would expect, we are all hugely excited to see more of the new console. The design is certainly unique and it will be interesting to see how the industry responds to it. Of course we’re already imagining the types of special edition consoles that could be created from it.
No matter what, it looks to be a true powerhouse that will take console gaming to the next-level and we can’t wait to see more.