Xbox Series X release date, design, controller, performance

Xbox Project Scarlett has been revealed. Microsoft unveiled the Xbox Series X at The Game Awards 2019. It looks more like a gaming PC tower than a console, as it’s about the width of an Xbox controller but much taller than the other Xbox models have been. The Xbox Series X will also feature GDDR 6 memory for RAM and an NVMe solid-state drive. The console will be able to instantly resume the game the user was playing previously. – Excerpt.

Dec. 13, 2019 Update: Microsoft has been developing its next-gen flagship console code-named Project Scarlett for years. The company announced the official name of the console and a bunch of other details at The Game Awards 2019. It has been named Xbox Series X. It promises an immersive, responsive, and lifelike gaming experience. Let’s take a look at its key details such as design, performance, controller, and release date.

Xbox chief Phil Spencer has told fans that Microsoft would discuss more about the Xbox Series X at the E3 2020 event in June.

Why the Xbox Series X name?

The upcoming console will officially be called Xbox Series X, though the Scarlett name might stick around in the minds of gamers for a while. The name is similar to Microsoft’s current Xbox One X.

The software giant said in a blog post that the new name reflects the ways people can play an Xbox. The Xbox Series X will be backward compatible with thousands of titles for older Xbox consoles, and work flawlessly with existing Xbox One accessories.

GameSpot speculates that the name could be an indication of other Xbox series in the future. Xbox chief Phil Spencer told the publication that the name ‘Series X’ gives the company freedom to do more things with that name.

Design: The console and controller

The Xbox Series X has an incredibly simple but bold design. The squared console looks more like a tall smart speaker. It has an Xbox logo that doubles up as the power button, a slot for discs, and not much else. There is a cooling fan at the top to prevent it from overheating. The fan is no louder than Xbox One X.

Its width is similar to that of an Xbox One controller. Phil Spencer said the console has been designed to make it “disappear” into your entertainment center.

Microsoft also showed off a new Xbox Wireless Controller with some refinements. The company has reduced its size slightly to ensure that it fits comfortably in the hands of all users. The controller also has a new Share button, which makes it easier to capture screenshots and game clips.

The new controller also gets an advanced d-pad, which is derived from the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller. Microsoft said the new controller will be included with the Xbox Series X. It will also work with Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One consoles. The existing Xbox One controller will also work with the Series X.

Xbox Series X: Performance

The Xbox Series X is going to be the most powerful console when it hits the store shelves. Currently, Microsoft’s own Xbox One X holds that title. The Redmond-based software giant is focusing not only on blazing-fast performance but also on streamlining the user experience.

The Series X will have “four times the processing power of Xbox One X.” Its GPU will be at least eight times that of the base Xbox One and twice the GPU power of Xbox One X. The upcoming console will offer 4K visuals at 60fps. There will be an option to increase the frame rate to 120fps. The console will also support 8K resolution and variable refresh rate (VRR).

The Series X will run a custom AMD processor leveraging the Zen 2 architecture. It will also have hardware accelerated real-time ray tracing. Microsoft’s Variable Rate Shading will further enhance the GPU performance. The Series X will use next-gen NVMe SSD storage and GDDR6 RAM that will “virtually eliminate load times.”

The console will have an Auto Low Latency Mode and Dynamic Latency Input to minimize latency and make it more responsive. To show off the console’s capabilities, Microsoft released the video trailer of Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, which is a sequel to Ninja Theory’s Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.

Microsoft said the trailer footage was captured in-engine to showcase how the Xbox Series X’s immense power enables developers to create new experiences with greater feeling, emotion, and empathy in their games.

It’s not yet known when the Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II will be released. But we can expect it to be one of the launch titles on Series X. Halo Infinite has been confirmed as a launch title for Series X. The footage in its trailer looks impressive.

Among third-party developers, Ubisoft has confirmed that the upcoming Watch Dogs: Legion, Gods and Monsters, and Rainbow Six Quarantine will be coming to the Series X. Electronic Arts will also bring its Battlefield 6 to Microsoft’s console. Other developers are expected to announce their games for the console in the coming months.

Backward compatibility

Microsoft wrote in its blog post that the Series X will be backward compatible with all previous generations of Xbox console games. You can bring “thousands of your favorite games” to Series X. The upcoming console will also work with the Xbox One accessories.

The software giant will make the Xbox Game Pass available to Series X customers when the console hits the store shelves next year. The Xbox Game Pass is a monthly subscription service that gives you access to more than a hundred games for a fee of $10 per month.

Games from Xbox Game Studios will offer cross-generation entitlements. Your game saves and achievements will be shared across all your devices.

What about cloud gaming support?

Microsoft has the Project xCloud game streaming platform, which it showed off at the E3 event in June. The streaming service will allow players to turn their Xbox consoles into an xCloud server to stream games to connected devices. Project xCloud has been in development for a long time. Microsoft has the required infrastructure to support game streaming.

The Xbox Series X will have built-in software and hardware capabilities to support cloud gaming. However, Phil Spencer emphasized that Project xCloud will be a complementary part of the Xbox ecosystem. It won’t replace your local hardware and console, at least not with the Series X. The idea is to give Xbox users access to their games across devices.

Pricing & availability

Microsoft hasn’t provided any pricing details yet. Don’t expect the Series X to be cheap. But the company has indicated that it has learned from the pricing mistakes it made with Xbox One, and won’t repeat them. So, we can expect the Xbox Series X not to be ridiculously expensive. Xbox chief Phil Spencer said, “we will not be out of position on power or price.”

The Xbox Series X will hit the store shelves in Holiday 2020. You’ll be able to buy it during the next holiday shopping season. There have been reports that Microsoft could also launch an affordable and less powerful variant of the console to attract budget-conscious buyers, just like it did with the Xbox One S.

Previously – Nov 26, 2019 Update:

2020 is going to be a big year for gamers. Sony and Microsoft are both going to launch their next-gen consoles in 2020. At its E3 2019 conference in June, Microsoft officially announced the Xbox Project Scarlett. We don’t know what the console will be officially called at launch, but we have learned tons of other details about Project Scarlett through Microsoft executives and the rumor mill. It promises to be a beast. Here’s everything you need to know about the Xbox Project Scarlett.

Xbox Project Scarlett features, rumors, price, release date

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Xbox Project Scarlett release date

The Xbox Scarlett will compete directly with Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 5 console. Both Microsoft and Sony have confirmed that they would launch their respective consoles in Holiday 2020. We can expect them to arrive between October and December of next year.

In the past, there were speculations that Microsoft was working on two Project Scarlett consoles code-named Anaconda and Lockhart. According to the rumor mill, Anaconda would be a high-end console while Lockhart would be a more affordable, streaming-focused console.

Only time will tell whether Microsoft would launch both of them or only one. The Redmond giant has promised that the Xbox Project Scarlett would be the most powerful console ever when it comes out in 2020. So, we are betting that the company is not going to ditch Anaconda.

How much will it cost?

Microsoft hasn’t provided any pricing details yet. Don’t expect the Project Scarlett to be cheap. But the company has indicated that it has learned from the pricing mistakes it made with Xbox One, and won’t repeat them. So, we can expect the Scarlett not to be ridiculously expensive. Xbox chief Phil Spencer said, “we will not be out of position on power or price.”

When Microsoft launched the Xbox One six years ago, it priced the console at $499. It shipped with a bundled Kinect sensor, 500GB storage, and one controller. By comparison, Sony had launched the PlayStation 4 at $399. Eventually, Microsoft removed the Kinect sensor from the box to reduce its price and boost demand.

However, the Xbox Project Scarlett could still end up costing more than the PS5. Microsoft has made no secret of the fact that Scarlett will be the most powerful console ever. And the immense power will come with an added cost. We have seen something similar with the Xbox One X, which costs $499 compared to the PlayStation 4 Pro’s $399.

Xbox Project Scarlett features and specs

Microsoft has described Project Scarlett as the future of gaming, and hailed it as the most powerful console ever.

The Project Scarlett would run a custom AMD Zen 2 processor with a new Navi graphics architecture. The console will dramatically reduce or eliminate load times to let you start playing without wasting time. Microsoft employees have claimed that Scarlett would be four times more powerful than Xbox One X, which is currently the most powerful console.

A Twitter tipster has shared the benchmark results of the AMD Flute processor, which has sparked speculations that it could be used in the Project Scarlett. Microsoft is working with AMD on a custom chip for its 2020 console. The benchmark results are impressive, which lend credibility to rumors that AMD Flute could end up powering the Scarlett.

The AMD Flute SoC has eight Zen 2 cores and 16 threads. It has a clock speed of 1.6GHz with turbo boost up to 3.2GHz. It appears to be similar to the AMD Jaguar chip which powers the Xbox One. Considering Project Scarlett is still a year away, Microsoft and AMD could further refine Flute to make it even more powerful. According to the benchmark results, the sample used for testing packed 16GB RAM.

The upcoming console will be able to run games at a 120Hz refresh rate. It would also support 8K resolution and hardware-based real-time ray tracing. The Project Scarlett is said to offer SSD storage to speed up the load times. The console will reportedly pack GDDR6 RAM. According to the rumor mill, Microsoft will keep the physical disk drive even though gamers increasingly prefer the convenience of digital downloads.

Microsoft has told fans that all the existing Xbox One accessories such as controllers and headsets will be compatible with Project Scarlett. You won’t have to throw them away.

Game streaming

Microsoft has the Project xCloud game streaming platform, which the company showed off at the E3 event in June. The streaming service will allow players to turn their Xbox consoles into an xCloud server to stream games to connected devices. Project xCloud has been in development for a long time. Microsoft has the required infrastructure to support game streaming.

No VR support?

Microsoft’s rival Sony is betting big on virtual reality. The Japanese company has confirmed that the PlayStation 5 would be compatible with PlayStation VR. But Microsoft has little interest in bringing virtual reality support to Project Scarlett.

Xbox chief Phil Spencer recently told Stevivor that VR won’t be a significant part of Project Scarlett. Spencer argues that customers haven’t shown much interest in VR. “It’s isolating and I think of games as communal, kind of together experience,” Spencer told Stevivor. He added that customers know that if they wanted VR, they could go to the PC and other places.

What games are coming to Project Scarlett?

The Project Scarlett will offer backward compatibility with all previous generations of Xbox console games. What’s more, Microsoft is said to support cross-generational gameplay. Phil Spencer told Stevivor that the company wanted to create a console that uses Xbox Play Anywhere, allowing players to move between devices.

So far, only a small number of new games have been confirmed for the Xbox Project Scarlett. But Microsoft is investing heavily in building a strong library of first-party titles for its upcoming consoles.

Halo Infinite has been confirmed as a launch title for Project Scarlett. The footage in the trailer looks impressive.

Among third-party developers, Ubisoft has confirmed that the upcoming Watch Dogs: Legion, Gods and Monsters, and Rainbow Six Quarantine will be coming to Project Scarlett. Electronic Arts will also bring its Battlefield 6 to Microsoft’s console. Other developers are expected to announce their games for the console in the coming months.

We will update this page as more details about the Xbox Project Scarlett emerge.