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Xbox Series X: 5 Things You Need To Know About Microsoft’s Next Gen Console

Siim Pettai

Siim Pettai, Writer
@uxconnections

The next generation of gaming is just around the corner. Over the past months, Microsoft has revealed more information about its upcoming Xbox Series X console.

Additionally, various leaks, reports and interviews have helped us paint the picture of what the Series X will look like.

Here’s a list of five things you need to know about Microsoft’s upcoming flagship console:

1. Xbox Series X Will Be Up To Four Times As Powerful As Xbox One

Microsoft has promised that in terms of specs, the new console will be a substantial upgrade from the Xbox One. Now that the console’s specs have been fully confirmed, it is clear that the tech giant hasn’t disappointed. The new Series X will be up to four times as powerful as its predecessor, making it an incredibly powerful system.

The Series X features 16GB of RAM, a custom-designed processor 12 teraflop RDNA 2 GPU, and Zen 2 CPU. It will also have SSD space of up to 1TB. Although this seems like enough, Microsoft has also installed an expansion slot for additional storage. This plugs into the motherboard to make loading times as small as possible.

Among new features is also a blu-ray disk player, which is capable of playing 4K blu-ray movies, as well as support both HDR10 and Dolby Vision technology.

The console is advertised to support framerates up to 120fps, as well as 8K resolution. However, the baseline standard will more likely be 60fps at 4K resolution, something that the current-gen consoles struggle to achieve.

2. Size and Dimensions

Official dimensions put the Xbox Series X at 301mm x 151mm x 151mm. In terms of volume, the console is far bigger than the Xbox One X, which measures at 300mm x 240 mm x 60mm. 

According to Microsoft, the large volume of the console is to accommodate the power and technology inside it. The size of it will also support better airflow, allowing the console to produce minimal noise while operating.

The console can be placed both horizontally and vertically. When positioned vertically, the Series X is about the size of a compact desktop PC.

3. Xbox Series X Will Have Lower Game Sizes

With games becoming more detailed, they also get large in size. In today’s age, it isn’t uncommon to see games that are 100GB+ big. This brings up the question, will downloading a few games already take up all your Xbox space?

According to Microsoft, the answer is no. This is thanks to a new hardware-based compression technology. In an interview with IGN, Xbox director of program management Jason Ronald was asked how much SSD space will system files take up. Although exact numbers weren’t mentioned, Ronald said that the technology will allow next gen game files to be as “small as possible.”

The technology will also be beneficial for game developers, who can be more intelligent about what parts of the game need to be installed. For instance, if you are a English-speaking player, you won’t have to download other languages or audio files.

4. Xbox Series X Will Be Backwards-Compatible

The new Xbox will be backwards-compatible, meaning it will support thousands of games from across four generations. You will be able to play all of your favourite Xbox One titles, as well as Xbox 360 and original Xbox games that are part of the backward compatibility program

According to Microsoft, thanks to visual enhancements, older games will look and play better than ever before. Furthermore, backwards-compatible games will also see significant reductions in loading times. 

And it is not just the games that will carry over to the upcoming console. You will also be able to use your old Xbox One accessories, including controllers, on the Xbox Series X.

5. Release Date and Price

According to Microsoft, the official launch date for the Xbox Series X is November 10th, 2020. However, pre-orders for the console will already begin on 22nd September, both in the UK and US. 

The official price of the console is £449 ($499). It matches the launch price of Microsoft’s previous console Xbox One. Considering what you get, it seems reasonable. However, it remains to be seen whether Sony will try to undercut Microsoft again. Last time it happened, Sony significantly outperformed its rival, forcing Microsoft to lower its initial price.

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