December 16, 2019 | 11:00
Microsoft has finally announced the name of its next generation gaming console, and it's a bit of a messy title.
Known as Xbox Series X, which is very similar in name to the current generation Xbox One X, the console will launch during the Holiday season in 2020. That's Autumn/Winter time 2020 for the non-Americans amongst us.
Formerly known as Project Scarlett, Microsoft has claimed that the Xbox Series X will be 4 times more powerful than the current Xbox One X. As previously announced during E3 earlier in the year, the console is powered by an AMD APU combining its Zen 2 processor cores with next generation RDNA architecture. For now, the specific details are vague other than the idea that it'll be 4 times as powerful as its predecessor. Microsoft hasn't given any details yet on whether this relates to CPU performance, GPU performance, or both. We're assuming they mean in terms of CPU performance, but we'll have to wait and see for more information.
Elsewhere, Microsoft has announced that the console will offer hardware ray tracing, variable rate shading, backwards compatibility with Xbox One, and a 'next-generation' SSD, whatever that means. Previous Xbox consoles haven't offered SSDs for storage, even the Xbox One X which is considered the premium console in Microsoft's line up right now.
Combined, Microsoft promises that the console will be able to provide games running at 4K at 60fps or better, with 120fps being made available to developers. There's also a new feature called Dynamic Latency Input (DLI) but Microsoft hasn't revealed any specific details about this. Current suggestions are that it'll be used to minimise console latency to boost the general responsiveness of the console. That's another one that we'll have to wait and see how it works.
There's also the not so small matter of what will the Xbox Series X look like. It's a massive box of sorts. Imagine 2 Nintendo Gamecubes piled on top of each other and that's roughly what the Xbox Series X looks like, albeit with much more impressive vents at the top. You'll be able to leave it standing upright or place it on its side, which we suspect will be the preferred choice for anyone with a living room setup.
The Xbox Wireless Controller has also seen a refresh with a tweaked D-Pad that's more reminiscent of the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller than a standard Xbox Controller.
No doubt more details about what the system is capable of, and just what hardware is involved, will be released as we slowly get nearer to its launch at the end of 2020.
October 15 2020 | 14:00