Microsoft took a lot of time to unveil their next-gen console — apologies, I meant consoles (what!) — in action! So, what is the new Xbox called?
It was formerly codenamed “Xbox Scarlett”, but on announcement day, it was revealed to be the Xbox Series X.
The Xbox Series X Has a Lite Version
The Xbox Series X is Microsoft’s flagship console, serving as its most powerful (and biggest) option.
Turns out, the town is big enough for not one, but two Xbox Series consoles! The Xbox Series X has a lite version of itself; the Xbox Series S. With it, you can get the same benefits you expect from next-gen games with a slight downgrade on visual and aural quality and experience.
Having said that, I don’t want you to think that the Series S isn’t “good enough”. Microsoft has vehemently promised that the Series S is infinitely better than the Xbox One X, so don’t worry about it ruining the fun or the experience for you. It’s an affordable alternative for anyone who wants a console for general gaming needs, and is not particularly interested in the UHD 4K experience.
Now, how does all of this compare to the Xbox Series X itself? Well, we’d have to look at the system specifications.
The table below gives a brief view at what both the Xbox Series X as well as the Xbox Series S are packing inside. Since this article’s about the Xbox Series X primarily, I’ve explained some of its prominent features below the table in sections. The tidbits I’ve provided may satiate your curiosity.
There’s a lot of interest shown in what the new Xbox release date is, but there’s no data to show that the launch of the Microsoft Xbox Series X was rescheduled to a later date. So the question as to when is the new Xbox Series X coming out remains the same: November 10, 2020. Since it’s already released, you can buy it at your nearest electronic stores or retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Target and a few others for any stock. You may want to prioritize it, since the Xbox Series X get sold out quickly.
If you were to stress-test both the consoles and compare the performances, you’ll see the differences big time. It’s majorly because of:
The GPU (or what you’d call the graphic/video card);
The RAM (or the memory);
And, the bandwidth in the RAM.
The combination of these three directly influences the Performance Target, which is why you can get the 4K experience only on the Series X.
But, there’s something to be said about the console storage; they use a new solution called the Xbox Velocity Architecture. Here’s how it works.
Microsoft Xbox Velocity Architecture
It’s a great “solution” to the next-gen systems. Simply put, the Xbox Velocity Architecture is a mixture of software and hardware components that improve everything there is on storage data. With it, you can:
Transfer files and folders within the console at high speeds;
Reduce the amount of space that digital downloads take up;
Obtain storage flexibility. This is useful for console developers.
This architecture solution keeps the internal storage as its focus point: A 1 TB custom NVM Express SSD (NVMe) that offers 802 GB for free use. It’s also got an on-board compression/decompression block, which runs standard as well as proprietary algorithms to render textures at commensurate rates.
“Sonit, you’re talking gibberish.” Okay, okay, I’ll slow it down. Essentially, these algorithms allow the games you play to render (or “draw”) the textures at higher levels than usual. Level of detail? All-time high. Textures? Crisp. Loading times? No more! All of them are done with relatively low processing powers, and it’s all thanks to the big boy tech running under the storage device.
The amount of space you get, and the speeds at which the storage operates eliminates tons of issues we’ve had with the old-gen consoles, and it’s due to the optimization techniques at work. But, that’s only the storage part.
The audio-visual experiences — how the textures are drawn, what sound system the console uses — are crafted by…
Both Microsoft Xbox Series consoles come with special rendering tech that brings you tons of visual and aural goodies, starting with realtime ray-tracing!
With respect to the audio rendering technologies, both the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S support Dolby Atmos, which gives it that surround sound experience, or what is otherwise called “soundstage”. It’s thanks to the spatial metadata that it stores for dynamic rendering based on the theater capabilities.
There’s also dedicated audio hardware acceleration that uses the GPU to process spatial audio exactly as they would images and videos, which increases game immersion.
After taking a look at the video rendering technologies, I noticed that they are layered atop each other. This is to render crisper and clearer images. They take advantage of this by utilizing the Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) technology and the variable refresh rate (VRR) found in most modern televisions. Low latency is always good!
To reduce input latency in games, the Xbox Series X supports new HDMI 2.1 features, to give you that accurate responsiveness you’re looking for in games. And of course, there are the ray-tracing technologies involved, for which we have to give the custom RDNA 2 GPU credit. There’s nothing it does better than playing games that seem so real they may as well be real.
The bottom line, it’s an overkill piece of hardware that disguises itself as a minimalist tower. It’s got the roars to make you hear it, and the looks that kill! But, there’s no way we can know this unless you played the console’s flagship and upcoming games! Speaking of…
Admittedly, the lineup for Xbox-exclusive games has waned over the years, and it’s got a lot to do with PlayStation’s strong grasp over first-party titles and companies. Having said that, there are many games releasing on the Xbox Series X that may be worth looking into that could arguably give you a better gaming experience overall. Here’s a list if you need it.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
Watch Dogs: Legion
Devil May Cry 5
Forza Horizon 4
Bright Memory 1.0
These games aren’t exclusive to the Xbox Series X, though. They’ll still release on the Xbox Series S. The only notable differences you’ll see are the performances between them. What’s even cooler is that these games are made available from the console’s launch day. But, that brings up another good point; what about our older games? Well, I’ve got good news for you, friend!
The Xbox Series X Supports Backwards Compatibility
Take out any game you’ve played on the previous consoles, be it on the Xbox One or the Xbox 360, and they will still work perfectly on the Xbox Series X. If you’re thinking, “Well, how far back does it support?” How does “4 console generations” sound? It’s too perfect, I know!
What’s better is that some of these Xbox One games will run on the console with enhanced visuals and performance. There is a confirmed list of games waiting for you to read through, so you can take a look and see which ones made it.
Anyway, all you have to do is pop in any old game of yours into the console, and the emulator in the console’s OS will run it. And that’s about it! Some digital games will also have this applied to them so long as you’re using their special Smart Delivery service.
Right, services! About that…
The Xbox Series X is Chock Full of Services
Microsoft first implied that they were working on something special; dubbed “Project xCloud”, it was the original moniker to Xbox’s cloud gaming service. It was first launched in September 2020, only two months before the Xbox Series X did. Clearly, Microsoft saw a big market for cloud services on next-gen.
Today, it’s been integrated as one of the core features of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which not only offers cloud gaming, Xbox Live Gold but it also offers over 100 games for you to play at affordable rates per month! Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offers titles ranging from the likes of Doom Hades, Halo Infinite to many more.
With the rise and fall of Stadia, the rising popularity of the PlayStation Now service, and other AAA giants such as Origin and Ubisoft following suit, there’s no time better than now for Microsoft to leverage the streaming and subscription-based market.
But, it doesn’t stop there. The Xbox Series X also introduced Smart Delivery, which allows you to get the best version of the game you’re playing without relying on the console itself. I did mention that the backward compatibility can go up to 4 generations. You have the Smart Delivery system to thank for that.
If you want to play a backward compatible game, then insert any physical disk. Or check to see if you may have any compatible games in your digital library. Everything else is automatic.
There’s a lot more that comes with it, but these are some of the most prominent services I’m sure you’ll love to try out.
Best Optimized Games for Xbox Series X
Here is my favorite game list that has a number of great next-gen optimization features:
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
Forza Horizon 4
The Xbox Series X Costs Quite a Bit
While the features are great, the console still comes with a hefty price tag. Conversely, we’re getting a bang for our gaming buck when compared to the last-gen consoles. So, how much will Xbox Scarlett cost? Well, it will cost as much as the Xbox One X did on the launch date; $499 for a unit.
For those who feel that the Xbox Scarlett price is a bit too much, the Xbox Series S is priced at $299, so it helps loosen that collar a bit.
For anyone having issues paying the price at one go, Microsoft has released a financing program called the “Xbox All Access”, which grants you 24 months to pay them in installments. This way, everyone can get the next-gen Xbox!
Here is the list of regions where the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are made available:
Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
Hong Kong SAR, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates
Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, United States
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the new Xbox coming out?
Xbox Series X has already come out months ago and the original date was November 10, 2020. But if you’re looking for the upcoming Xbox new console generation then hold your horses! There may be a chance that Microsoft will release an upgraded version of it in the future but as of now, there is no such news.
How much will Xbox Scarlett cost?
The Xbox Scarlett costs $499 as of now. We may see that number go down a bit during Black Friday sales, but that’s the price tag.
What’s the newest Xbox?
The Xbox Series X is the newest release under the Xbox banner.
Is there going to be a new Xbox?
Not for the foreseeable future! The previous-gen consoles still receive support from their respective companies, and they were released back in 2013.
What is the new Xbox One called?
The new Xbox isn’t a follow-up to the Xbox One, like the Xbox One X. It’s been labeled 3 codenames: Project Scarlett, Project Anaconda, and Project Lockhart. During its announcement, the final reveal showed that the official name is Xbox Series X.
Is Xbox Series X canceled?
Nope. In fact, it was released in November 2020 for $499. There may be stock available at various retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, and GameStop, so you can go ahead and purchase one if you’d like.
The Xbox Series X (or the Series S) is no doubt one of the best consumer-based entertainment systems you can get your hands on today. Microsoft made a big effort reconditioning their vision for player experience, and it shows through their newest consoles! And of course, it is one of the most powerful console available.
If you don’t want to capitalize on the “next-gen experience”, or would rather go for something lower than the Xbox Scarlett price, then the Xbox Series S is the best option for you. The UHD 4K culture is only beginning to take off among the crowd, so it’ll be a while before it becomes the new “1080p”.
But the options surrounding it are stellar. There’s no better time than now to invest in the 4K technologies introduced today. If you plan to take the “next-gen experience” to the next level, then you’ve got to get the Xbox Series X. In the end, these two choices dictate what you want to prioritize: Your budget or your experience, respectively.
Had your fill about the Xbox Series? Now learn about the PlayStation 5, too! Totally different ball game; still great. I’m always up for sharing experiences with the Xbox, so leave your thoughts in the comments below!