Microsoft has released some hard specifications and more information about how the Xbox Series X will actually work when it arrives later in 2020. The Series X doesn’t only look the part, it’s a beast from the inside.
The coronavirus outbreak cancelled the E3 video game trade show, but that hasn’t stopped the company from outlining its upcoming hardware. Even Sony is scheduled to announce the PlayStation 5 in a few hours and it’s going to be an all-out war.
Not only is the Series X cramming more power under the hood, but Microsoft is also working ‘specifically’ on areas like speed and backward compatibility to ensure existing games work seemingly better.
Here’s everything in-detail about the new Series X:
- Series X’s tower design stands vertically, although Microsoft says you can keep it horizontally. It pulls in air through the bottom where it circulates through the machine and comes out of the top vents, via a 130mm fan. It’s still the biggest console that Microsoft has ever made. A traditional design couldn’t have made this possible. It weighs 4.45kg now, up from the previous 3.69kg.
- It sports a custom AMD Zen 2 CPU paired with a Radeon RDNA 2 GPU. Based on a 7nm manufacturing process, the CPU has 8 cores clocked at 3.8GHz each, while the GPU boasts 12 teraflops thanks to 52 compute units clocked at 1.825GHz each. Teraflops means the raw computing power and it’s double of what you’ll get in the current flagship One X.
- Coupled along is 16GB of GDDR6 RAM, out of which 2.5GB is reserved by the OS, and 1TB NVME solid-state drive storage. The storage can be externally increased by up to 1TB and Microsoft should announce original memory cards soon that can be easily connected and support the same format for optimum performance.
- Microsoft loaded a few games to demonstrate loading times and the results have been phenomenal. State of Decay loaded in just 11 seconds while the previous console took 40 seconds more.
- A new feature called “Xbox Velocity Architecture” will let 100GB of game assets be ‘instantly’ accessible by the developer who could then enhance their large open-world games with high fidelity environments using the power and SSD of the Series X. This can virtually eliminate load times.
- Reports claim that the Series X could run four Xbox One S game environments simultaneously. Series X will come with a ‘Quick Resume’ feature that’ll let you resume multiple games at the same time with the press of a button. This feature is powered by the previously listed Xbox Velocity Architecture. The console can even receive outright updates and still retain your place in a game. Games like Forza Motorsport 7, Ori and the Blind Forest, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, and State of Decay 2 were run together and switched seamlessly.
- Microsoft is pushing for performance at 4K 60fps, up to 120fps, and 8K gaming. With all of the computing power, it will also have the ability to upscale some native 1080p games to 4K HDR. Using machine-learning, HDR can be added to legacy titles that didn’t support it as standard at launch.
- YouTuber Austin Evans had the chance to play a tech demo of Minecraft on the Series X, and it’s remarkable to see the game with ray-tracing. When you switch on ray-tracing, colours are more dynamic, shadows vary in darkness depending on the depth of view, and reflections are precise. A video game experience turns into life-like visuals due to colour accuracy.
- For ultra-sharp controls, Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) have been incorporated to reduce latency.
- The new controller should fit more hand sizes, bumpers have been rounded, triggers reduced, and grips are sculpted for better accessibility. The new controller will work not only with the Xbox One but also PC, Android, and iOS.
- The Series X won’t have either the HDMI input or optical digital output. Microsoft confirmed it will include an Ultra High-Speed HDMI cable in the box to connect to your display.
Although pricing remains unknown, Microsoft says the Series X will be coming this holiday season (end of 2020). The console wars certainly appear to be heating because the PlayStation 5 is also expected to hit the market around the same time.