Xbox Series X news: Microsoft’s game revenue soars by over $500m! Here’s all the info you need to know about the price, release date and where to pre-order the new Xbox consoles
Here’s absolutely everything you need to know about the Xbox Series X, from its games to the specs and the CONFIRMED price and release date…
Microsoft’s game revenue stream has increased by $550m year-on-year, as revealed in the company’s latest earnings call.
Microsoft revealed that its gaming revenue increased by 22 per cent and its Xbox content services revenue, which includes Xbox Game Pass, third-party titles and first-party titles, grew by 30 per cent compared to Q1 FY2020.
Based on these statistics, Gamasutra reported that this marks an increase of $550m in gaming revenue based on previous earnings.
Unlike in previous earnings calls, however, Microsoft did not reveal the number of Xbox Game Pass subcribers, which was previously at over 15 million users.
This comes as the company is under two weeks away from launching its figurehead next-gen console, the Xbox Series X, and the budget Xbox Series S.
More Xbox news: Phil Spencer wants to see more E-Rated Xbox games!
While Xbox’s titular games such as Hellblade, Gears of War and Halo often focus on violence and shooting things, to put it crudely, Phil Spencer hopes that Xbox Game Studios will soon release E-Rated games with a wider audience.
In an interview with GameReactor, the Head of Xbox admitted that the Xbox brand was missing “casual content with a broad appeal” from its collection.
“E-rated content is not a strength for us,” Spencer accepted. “We obviously have Minecraft and we have some other franchises. But when I think about expanding the creative palette that our teams have, I think that is critically important.”
This statement comes as PlayStation is set to release Sackboy A Big Adventure – a spinoff from the widely popular Little Big Planet franchise – ahead of Ratchet & Clank’s release after the PS5’s launch.
However, Spencer remained hopeful for Xbox in the E-Rated/PEGI 7 market, explaining that as the Xbox Game Studio team grows, new creators will be able to create fresh, E-Rated titles for Xbox.
“Teams that can build new franchises, tell new stories, those are always sought after,” Spencer explained. “As Game Pass continues to grow, we need to continue to feed that subscription. So, with the growth that we are seeing, I expect we will constantly be in this mode of bringing more creators into the fold.”
Xbox Series X price
Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox Series X price will be $499 USD (or £449.99 GBP in the UK).
The Xbox Series S, a cheaper version of the console with less-impressive specs, will be priced at $299 USD or £249 GBP.
Xbox Series X release date
The Xbox Series X release date is set for 10th November 2020 – that’s the same day that the Xbox Series S releases.
Xbox Series X pre-order date
Xbox Series X pre-orders began on 22nd September 2020.
There is also a live product page for the Xbox Series X on Amazon – you can click here to check it out. And you’ll find Amazon’s Xbox Series S product page, which still has stock at the time of writing, by clicking right here.
Next Xbox Series X live stream
According to rumours from respected industry insider, shinobi602, the upcoming Xbox Series X event scheduled for August will instead take place in September.
Responding to a question on ResetEra, shinobi602 claimed that “Stuff that was planned for [August has been] pushed to [September].”
It appears Microsoft has delayed the event so they can alter its marketing strategy after 343 announced that Halo Infinite, the Series X’s flagship title, will not release until 2021.
Here’s one thing we know for sure: Microsoft is planning to make an appearance the Tokyo Games Showcase in September, but the company has said this Japanese show will NOT feature any new info about the Xbox Series X.
READ MORE: PS5 vs Xbox Series X Boxes
Xbox Series X games
Quite a few games have already been confirmed for the Xbox Series X, and you can click here to view the full list of Xbox Series X games!
While Halo Infinite was slated to be the big first-party Series X game available at launch, this has since been delayed until 2021 by 343 Industries, who cited the Covid-19 pandemic as causing development issues.
Instead, Microsoft is pushing The Medium, Scorn and Tetris Effect: Connected as the big Series X launch titles.
Gears 5 Enhanced will also be an early next-gen experience for Xbox Series X owners, with Microsoft upgrading the game with even better graphics and gameplay.
However, these games might be cost more than their Xbox One counterparts, if we base the prices off of NBA 2K21.
More info about Xbox Series X games is being revealed in the Xbox Games Showcase, and you can click here to find out Xbox 20/20 and when the next one is on.
Xbox Series X specs
Thanks to an incredibly detailed report from Richard Leadbetter of Digital Foundry, we now have access to all of the Xbox Series X specs. The report itself is fascinating and absolutely massive. To help you out, we’ve pulled out some of the key details for you here.
The report itself goes into painstaking detail about the hardware inside of the new Xbox flagship console. Every aspect is pulled apart and explained, but the key details of each of the parts are these:
- CPU: 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.8GHz (3.6GHz with SMT)
- GPU: 12 TFLOPs, 52 CUs at 1.825GHz, Custom RDNA 2
- Die Size: 360.45mm2
- Process: TSMC 7nm Enhanced
- Memory: 16GB GDDR6
- Memory Bandwidth: 10GB at 560GB/s, 6GB at 336GB/s
- Internal Storage: 1TB Custom NVMe SSD
- IO: Throughput: USB 3.2 HDD Support
- Expandable Storage: USB 3.2 HDD Support
- Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray Drive
- Performance Target: 4K at 60fps – up to 120fps
Xbox Series X power
The chances are that while you might understand all of the above, it’ll be a little alien to some people. That’s completely understandable, there’s a lot of data there. The key thing is what it actually affects.
The best example is from the report itself. Apparently a Gears 5 conversion was done in two weeks, hardly enough time to perfect things, but still resulted in “very, very similar performance to an RTX 2080”
This was done as “The developers worked with Epic Games in getting UE4 operating on Series X, then simply upped all of the internal quality presets to the equivalent of PC’s ultra, adding improved contact shadows and UE4’s brand-new (software-based) ray traced screen-space global illumination”.
What it means for all of us, is an astounding leap in fidelity and quality.
READ MORE: Xbox Series X controller info
Xbox Series X weight
Following an update to official Xbox Series X page, we now know that the Series X weighs 9.8lbs, or 4.45kg. This is 2lb heavier than the Xbox One, and 3.6lb heavier than the PlayStation 4.
If weight is a huge concern to you when buying a console, you might be pleased to know that the Xbox Series S is much more lightweight, weighing in at just 4.25lbs, or 1.93kg.
So how does this weight compare to the PS5? While Sony has not confirmed how heavy its console is, an Amazon.de listing suggests the console is 4.28kg, or 10.54lbs. This is likely a placeholder, however, as the release date still states ’31 December 2021′.
Xbox Series X backwards compatibility
Good news for fans of current-gen and even older games. Microsoft has seen how much fans appreciate the ability to play older games on newer hardware, and they’re not slouching on this front.
“It likely comes as no surprise to discover that Series X can technically run the entire Xbox One catalogue, but this time it’s done with no emulation layer – it’s baked in at the hardware level.”
That means the console was designed to be able to do this, not using the weird workarounds present in the current version of backwards compatibility.
This isn’t just Xbox One games either though. There was a game on the very first Xbox called Fusion Frenzy, a game which released nearly two decades ago.
So, yeah, Microsoft decided to show off. “It was indeed Fusion Frenzy – an original Xbox title – running with its usual 16x resolution multiplier via back-compat, but this time presented with highly convincing, perceptibly real HDR.
The key point is that this is proposed as a system-level feature for Xbox Series X, which should apply to all compatible games that don’t have their own bespoke HDR modes – and as Marais demonstrated, it extends across the entire Xbox library.”
The Xbox Series X will also have Smart Delivery, which will allow you to take certain Xbox One games with you onto the new console at no extra cost and play the ‘Optimized for Xbox Series X‘ version with ease.
READ MORE: Xbox Series X vs PS5 controller comparison
Xbox Series X accessibility
It’s not just gaming for the masses that is getting a boost though. Microsoft seem keen to build upon things that can appeal to everyone, regardless of disability, so let’s look at accessibility.
If you have people that cannot read well or see well, you probably want to enhance contrast when there’s a lot of text on-screen. We can easily do that. We talked to someone that’s colourblind this morning and that’s a great example.
We just switch on the LUT and we can change colours for them to more easily experience the announcement there.
All of this combines to make for a truly incredible level of potential for the next generation of Microsoft consoles.