Microsoft have named and revealing the design of their next generation console. Project Scarlett will now be known as Xbox Series X, featuring a striking tower-like design, though one that’s possible to lie horizontally. Microsoft also revealed the next Xbox Wireless Controller, making subtle modifications to the current design.
Xbox Series X will be out in time for Christmas 2020.
The squared off tower design is intended to provide enhanced cooling for the console, compared to the flatter forms of the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the last few generations. Whether you stand it upright or on its side, Microsoft explain that “Its industrial design enables us to deliver four times the processing power of Xbox One X in the most quiet and efficient way.” This will comes from a single large fan pushing air out of the top at the top, that’s able to run at a lower speed and quieter than those found in current console designs, while still improving airflow through the system. Microsoft say it will be no louder than the already incredibly quiet Xbox One X.
The form is needed because the console is dramatically more powerful than before. Built with AMD’s Zen 2 CPU architecture and RDNA GPU architecture, it will also feature hardware accelerated ray tracing. Microsoft are also introducing a patented Variable Rate Shading technology to help extract more performance, and combining this with their next-gen SSD to “virtually eliminate load times.” Further to this, Auto Low Latency Mode and Dynamic Latency Input will ensure that games are more responsive than ever. Despite all of this, Microsoft did not reveal the final specs of what’s inside the tower.
We can extrapolate roughly how big the console is, though, thanks to the gamepad propped up against it. It’s roughly 6″ wide, 6″ deep and 12″ tall. Thankfully you can put it horizontally, but you might still struggle to fit it into a TV cabinet.
Playing those games, you’ll have your hands on the new Xbox Wireless Controller. This largely has the same form and function of the current design, but with two key changes: a dedicated Share button and a rounded D-Pad that further evolves the design from the Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller. The new Xbox Wireless Controller will not just be compatible with the Xbox Series X, but with Windows 10 and back to the current Xbox One consoles as well. Meanwhile, it’s previously been confirmed that the current peripherals will be supported on the new console.
Showing off the new hardware was the newly announced sequel to Ninja Theory’s Hellblade. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II. Footage found in the trailer below was captured in-engine as a demonstration of the Xbox Series X’s power.
The only other first party game revealed for Xbox Series X is Halo Infinite, due out alongside the console in Holiday 2020, however Microsoft reiterated their intention to make the console play as much of the back catalogue as possible. Games from Xbox Game Studios will have cross-generational “entitlements” (ownership), and Achievements and game saves will transfer between devices. There will be four generations of gaming, support for Xbox One accessories, and Xbox Game Pass will be available for the system on day one.