New Xbox, Xbox Series X: Price, Release Date, Specs and Rumours

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New Xbox, Xbox Series X: Price, Release Date, Specs and Rumours

The next generation of gaming consoles launches at the end of this year with the Xbox Series X and PS5. In a sea of leaks and rumours, here’s what we know so far about the next gen Xbox.

This story has been updated since its original publication.

Xbox Series X: Release Date & Price

An Australian price hasn’t been announced yet, but Microsoft has announced that the Xbox Series X will launch in “Holiday 2020”. Traditionally, this has always been around mid to late-November: the Xbox 360 and Xbox One both launched on November 22.

New Xbox & Xbox Series X: Specs, SSD

Update 25/2: A brand new look at the Xbox Series X unveiled some key specs and GPU details.

Microsoft Unveils Xbox Series X Specs And Shares Some Cool Details

Did you know the Xbox Series X runs on a custom next-generation processor with four times the power of the Xbox One? How about the fact that it can save and quick resume from multiple games at once? Well now we know those things, along with the rest of the specs and details Microsoft shared about the Xbox Series X this morning.

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That the next gen Xbox would support 8K was revealed in Microsoft’s official Xbox reveal, and later confirmed by Phil Spencer on his Twitter account. His current avatar shows this photo, apparently depicting the Xbox’s System on Chip (SoC):

As you may notice, there’s a big ‘8K’ print in the bottom left corner, and ‘Project Scarlett’ on the right. This detail was also included in Microsoft’s E3 conference, where 8K capabilities were confirmed, as well as up to 120fps support for games. Further information about the chip is currently unknown.

This detail was revealed in Xbox’s E3 showcase, where brief but tantalising details were revealed about the next gen Xbox before we’d even seen the new box. In it, Microsoft revealed that, using SSD as virtual RAM, the new Xbox would see a 40x performance increase over the Xbox One.

Later reports form TweakTown indicated that Microsoft would be using a customised SSD alongside new GPU and CPU hardware to supercharge loading speeds and console power. These changes let next gen Xboxes use storage as “a VRAM buffer” that allows direct access to data blocks and speeds up overall data processing.

This will allow the next gen Xbox to support “hardware accelerated ray tracing”, according to Microsoft. As we all know, ray tracing is all the rage now, and the increased processing power afforded by the new SSD technology will enable the new Xbox to take full advantage of its capabilities and push its photo-real potential.

The generation is just called Xbox

In an interview with Business Insider in December, a Microsoft representative clarified that rather than be called the ‘Xbox Series X’, the console would simply be ‘Xbox’.

They also added that:

“Similar to what fans have seen with previous generations, the name ‘Xbox Series X’ allows room for additional consoles in the future.”

So while the next gen Xbox was announced with the name ‘Xbox Series X’ this appears to be a form of subtitle, and not the name of the console – although the actual name is unclear.

It's Not Xbox Series X, It's Apparently Just Xbox

Know how everyone was making jokes about what the next Xbox would be called, and it turned out to be the Xbox Series X? There's just one problem - it's not called that, with Microsoft clarifying in a new interview that all future iterations of their console will simply be called "Xbox".

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There are two new Xboxes coming

When Microsoft announced Project Scarlett in June of 2019, it was also strongly rumoured that it was working on a disc-less companion to its next gen Xbox, codenamed Lockhart. This name had been rumoured since 2018, although exact details of the console were sparse.

Sources: Microsoft Is Still Planning A Cheaper, Disc-Less Next-Gen Xbox

In June, Microsoft announced Project Scarlett, a new iteration of the Xbox that the company said would “set a new bar for console power, speed and performance.” What Microsoft didn’t say is that it is also working on a lower-cost, disc-less version of Scarlett, code-named Lockhart, according to four people briefed on the company’s plans.

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Sources speaking to Kotaku U.S. in December confirmed the development of this secondary next gen Xbox alongside the Xbox Series X, with the disc-less console being compared to the PlayStation 4 Pro in terms of “raw graphical power.”

Lockhart is said to have a solid-state drive and a faster CPU than any current video game console — although this is to be expected for a next gen device. It’s likely that the disc-less Lockhart console is designed for use with Xbox Games Pass and the xCloud streaming service.

Xbox Series X Design and Hardware

The next gen Xbox isn’t like most consoles. Rather than going for the traditional horizontal look, it resembles a PC tower — but those afraid they won’t have space for it can breath a sigh of relief, because the next gen Xbox has been designed to support both vertical and horizontal orientation, with no impact on performance.

It’s a good thing, too, because most standard TV cabinets won’t be able to house its thick chassis standing up.

Xbox Series X’s ideal target performance is 4K / 60fps

This standard was revealed to Kotaku by the developers that revealed the existence of the second, disc-less next gen Xbox. The leaked information stated that the ideal target performance for the new main console (the version already revealed) would be 4K resolution and 60 frames per second, with the second, disc-less console aiming to run at 1440p resolution and 60 frames per second.

While that doesn’t mean every game will be able to hit those performance benchmarks, this is the target that Microsoft aims to hit.

The Xbox controller is getting a refresh

When the Xbox Series X was announced, we got a sneak peak at the the Xbox’s next gen controller — and while it’s fundamentally similar to the Xbox One controller, there are some key differences. At a glance, there’s a brand new share button which allows better screenshot capture, and a more complex D-pad inspired by the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller.

Microsoft also detailed in the announcement that its shape has been refined to accomodate a wider range of people, although how exactly this has been implemented is unclear.

The Next-Gen Xbox Is Called Xbox Series X

It’s out in the 2020 holiday season.

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The new Xbox controller will also be compatible with the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs — and will come bundled with the next gen Xbox, as is standard.

Xbox Series X Confirmed Games

At the 2019 Game Awards, Hellblade 2, sequel to the excellent Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was revealed with a mysterious new trailer. The footage released was our first glimpse at the capabilities of the next gen Xbox, with all footage being captured in-game.

Other games confirmed to be coming to the next gen Xbox include:

  • Halo Infinite
  • Watch Dogs Legion
  • Gods & Monsters
  • Rainbow Six Quarantine
  • Two mystery Ubisoft titles
  • Untitled Battlefield sequel

Update 8/5: A May 2020 episode of Inside Xbox gave a larger look at some of the titles coming to Xbox Series X.

Everything Microsoft Just Announced For Xbox Series X

The latest episode of Inside Xbox revealed a stunning look at several new and exciting games coming to the Xbox Series X. It's the largest content drop we've seen for the console and includes brand new properties from developers like SEGA, Deep Silver, Bandai Namco and Bloober Team. Here's the full rundown of every game announced.

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But no exclusives at launch

In a recent interview with MCV, Head of Xbox Game Studios, Matt Booty, indicated that the next gen Xbox would not have an exclusive titles that couldn’t be played on other devices, seemingly including the Xbox One in that statement:

As our content comes out over the next year, two years, all of our games, sort of like PC, will play up and down that family of devices,” Booty explains. “We want to make sure that if someone invests in Xbox between now and [Series X] that they feel that they made a good investment and that we’re committed to them with content.

This means that most or all games released for the next gen Xbox are likely also coming to the Xbox One and PC, at least over the next one or two years.

The next gen Xbox will have backwards compatibility

Alongside these new releases, the next gen Xbox will still support Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One games via backwards compatibility, as confirmed in the initial launch announcement. Xbox made a point to confirm that all four generations of Xbox would be playable on the next gen console.

Xbox Game Pass works on the next gen Xbox

In that same launch announcement, Microsoft confirmed that the stellar Xbox Game Pass service would be available on its next gen console.

The new Xbox will support a subscription model

Subscriptions are the future of gaming. Already, mainstream services like Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation Plus and Nintendo Online are becoming essential tools for the average gamer – and even consoles are joining the subscription fray, with Telstra offering bundled console subscriptions via Xbox All Access in Australia.

Telstra's Xbox All Access vs Just Buying An Xbox One

So consoles as a service are a thing in Australia. And if you don't want to pay any upfront cost then maybe a once a month payment is actually a good deal. But it's not the cheapest way to grab a console in the long term, especially when we don't know what the cost of Project Scarlett is like. So instead of paying several hundred dollars or more over the long term, here's all the other options available.

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Xbox All Access offers a range of options, including bundles that include an Xbox One X, Game Pass Ultimate and digital game download for $38 a month when signed up to a Telstra phone contract. There’s also a cheaper, $27 per month tier which includes an Xbox One S. Both plans run for 24 months.

On the official Xbox All Access page, Microsoft confirmed that anyone signed up to Xbox All Access that had made at least 12 payments on their original Xbox All Access contract could upgrade to a contract that included the next gen Xbox, although pricing was not announced.

For those unable to make a one-off payment, a month-by-month subscription for the next Xbox could be a solid alternative. We’ll have to stay tuned to see how the console’s subscription model pans out.


As we approach the release of the next gen Xbox, we’re likely to see more solid information pop up about the console, including exact technical specifications and pricing – and we’ll keep this post updated as we learn more.

Comments

  • I’m glad you can lay it on it’s side without any problems, it would a shame if the bottle of wine inside started leaking.

    Seriously though, while it can lay down it honestly doesn’t look it should be, it’s basic design just looks better standing.

    • I wouldn’t be able to fit it in my entertainment unit even if it were lying down. It looks at least as wide as the controller. It does look better standing.

  • If the Xbox doesnt have any top tier exclusives next gen I dont think I will get one, I bought an Xbox One X and the only thing I ever played on it was RDR 2 because every exclusive they have has either been micro transactioned to hell or I can just play it on my PC anyway.

    The PS4 I would always find a reason to hook up again because Sony organised quite a few premium feeling games that didn’t feel incomplete or like they were made solely to sell micro transactions.

    • Forza, Flight Sim 2020, and however they decide to leverage Minecraft ownership will likely get me over the line. It’s looking like a powerful beast of a console.

  • If you don’t feel like buying a next gen Xbox PiratePete then don’t but as I said Microsoft is in last place and is going to get a real spanking from Sony it’s time for Phil Spencer to retire. Microsoft is seriously struggling with their hardware sales so what’s the freaking point if you’re not to keep up Microsoft?!

    • Um … wot? Vanilla Xbox One certainly stumbled out of the gate, but Xbox One S and X certainly didn’t have a sales issue. Phil Spencer turned Xbox around so much (within a generation!) so that Microsoft are (finally) going into the next generation on the offence.

      – Xbox Series X more powerful console than the PS5
      – Game Pass superior offering than PS Now
      – xCloud (reportedly) more stable than Stadia

      Phil Spencer is a goddamn commercial hero. I’m not sure what playbook you’re reading from … but Satya Nadella has turned Microsoft into a services company, and Xbox has towed the company line – it’s now a service, not just a product (console). Just because the Series X (the product) doesn’t have exclusives at launch, doesn’t mean Xbox (the service) won’t.

      • You’re replying to a post likely created by some text generation algorithm rather than a human. They usually don’t make as much sense as this one did.

      • I agree, Phil Spencer has really improved the XBox brand. The only problem they really have is that if you have a PC the Xbox is pretty pointless as you can play things like Forza and Gears on PC now.

        This is a good thing for gamers but it makes the console a little pointless for certain people.

        • MS has pivoted and is now looking to compete in the PC space. It will be the MS version of Valve’s now defunct Steam Box. In terms of specs, it will be a modestly powerful PC, and I’d be surprised if MS didn’t try to leverage it as such. What MS will have to be careful of though, is that Xbox fanboys don’t see it as a betrayal of the console vs PC attitude. After all, they will be the main market. Any potential PC buyers will have to be convinced on value alone. As a budget PC option, it will be fascinating to see how MS fares with this.

        • Honestly if they have a lot of overlap with PC (and make it easier for PC ports, given the Xbox supports KB+M for some titles), I’m all in. This will still probably launch for a price less than a high end GPU (which is what you’ll need to match some of these targets – those ‘budget box console beaters’ won’t cut it), so there’s probably no reason for me to keep a high end PC that I mostly keep around for older titles. The value proposition, for the first time in my life, has actually changed.

          Or maybe it’s because I’m getting older and have less time to play, IDK.

          • On of the things i really want in this Xbox is the ability to play windows based games with mouse and keyboard. I don’t have a gaming PC anymore, and havent for pretty much the last 5 years. I’m not going to invest in a gaming PC because I don’t have the space, but if I could play PC games on the series X with a mouse and keyboard, it would be a system selling ability for me. At the moment they haven’t shown me enough to warrant an immediate upgrade form my One X.

      • – Xbox Series X more powerful console than the PS5

        Massive assumption considering no formal specs have been announced for either Series X or PS5…

        Only thing we are expecting based on some tease reveals is that the PS5 SSD tech appears to be far superior to current nvme tech, likely being used by Series X.

  • The Nintendo Switch certainly assumes a prominent position in most people’s entertainment area (should they have one) and I guess that is partly the inspiration for this design. Something that can’t be tucked away in an entertainment unit’s shelf but must be a focal piece.

    Looks like a fancy desk fan however.

  • I’m more interested in the exclusive software side of things, since that’s where they’ve really fallen behind Sony this generation. The old flagships like Halo and Gears don’t really generate the excitement that they used to. The only real shining light this generation has been Forza Horizon. Acquiring the likes of Ninja Theory and Obsidian suggests that they’re at least aware of the problem and are trying to address it.

    • It’s a good start, I just hope they really invest the time and resources in to the studios to make quality games.
      I want to believe they are aiming for the kinda of exclusives that Sony has been doing and not the kinds of games that Epic, Blizzard and other have been doing.

      • If you look at the track record of Obsidian and Ninja Theory, they don’t really seem to make those types of games that Epic and Blizzard have been doing recently.

        My concern is that their policy of putting all their first party games on Game Pass from launch removes some of the incentive to really put in the extra time and money to polish them. If your game is getting a significant chunk of its revenue from Game Pass subscriptions then why would you delay an extra 3-6 months (with all of the extra expense that goes with it) when there’s not really much extra money in it for you since that subscription revenue is locked in anyway?

        • It’s not their track record that I’m worried about.
          I hope MS gives them enough support and freedom to do what they’re good at.

  • Lol “8K” and “up to 120fps”, keep dreaming. Maybe for Tetris or PacMan ports.

    Half the games on current consoles barely run at 30fps at 1080p.

    • A 12 tflop console @ 1080p should do 120fps just fine. I don’t think anyone seriously thinks (inc. Microsoft) that we will have 8k+120fps without some form of upscaling.

  • I’m still using the Xbox One.
    Still have my pre smart TV, the last of the LG plasmas.
    My surround sound/DVD player is older than the TV.
    I’m not watching any 4k videos, don’t even have the rear speakers hooked up to the surround sound. Pretty sure the sub only works intermittently. Scares the cats when it comes on.

    So pretty keen for the new Xbox. It’s time for a freshen up.

    • In an amazing piece of journalism, they covered the price with:

      An Australian price hasn’t been announced yet

      without removing the clickbait from the headline.

  • Definitely getting the series X day one. Looks amazing and Microsoft really has a new player first focus. It also looks like the best place to play 3rd games as well. With the addiction of the 9 exclusive studios the future looks bright.

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