The Game Awards 2019 were held in the wee hours of this morning and aside from the awards a few announcements were made, as has become customary.
Among the game teasers and trailers, Microsoft decided to shed the Xbox Scarlet moniker and instead showed off its forthcoming console – Xbox Series X.
As you can see from the image above, the Series X is a tall box rather than a flat, compact rectangle like Xbox consoles of old. In fact it looks like a PC and the internals do nothing to change our minds.
The brain of the console is a custom CPU based on AMD’s Zen 2 and graphics on Radeon RDNA architecture. Storage will take the form of an NVMe SSD so load times should be vastly superior to older consoles.
Those internals mean the Series X will support visuals up to a resolution of 8K and frame rates at 120fps. Other goodies include ray tracing and variable refresh rate support.
Overall, we are looking at four times the processing power in the Series X compared to the Xbox One X.
To showcase the console’s capabilities Microsoft debuted a trailer for Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II which was captured in-engine.
Firstly, Senua would make a great metal vocalist. More importantly however for gamers who don’t want to leave behind the collection of games they have amassed for the Xbox One, Microsoft has good news.
“Xbox Series X will be our fastest, most powerful console ever and set a new bar for performance, speed and compatibility, allowing you to bring your gaming legacy, thousands of games from three generations and more forward with you,” says head of Xbox, Phil Spencer.
The venerable Xbox controller will also receive an update. The controller will now sport a Share button to easily capture screenshots and footage to share with your mates.
Spencer has also said the controller was designed to “accommodate an even wider range of people” which we take to mean cues were taken from Xbox’s Adaptive Controller.
For those unexcited by hardware (why though?) the prospect of a multitude of games should prove exciting. Not only are developers around the world already working on games, the game studios Microsoft acquired recently are also hard at work.
The wait time however is going to be painful. Microsoft has given us the broad scope of “Holiday 2020” for release of the Series X which puts that anywhere from November through to December of next year.
For now pre-orders aren’t open but we suspect that more news about the Series X will be lobbed at us in 2020 ahead of release followed by pre-orders.
Eyes are now moving toward Sony which has yet to release concrete news about the next PlayStation console. With the Series X now out of cover, we expect Sony to make a move sooner rather than later.