Xbox Series X news: Console tribalism is “one of the worst things about our industry” according to Phil Spencer

The Head of Xbox believes the ‘console wars’ are counterproductive…

by Jason Coles
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Tribalism in video games is “one of the worst things about our industry”, Xbox’s Phil Spencer recently claimed in an interview with The Verge’s Decoder podcast.

“When a team releases something into the market for the world to tear it apart on the internet — it’s just such a brave thing for a team to do,” he began. “I’m never going to vote against any creative team or any product team to do poorly because I have a competitive product.”

” I don’t actually think it helps us in the long run in the industry.”

Spencer singled out the console market as being especially notorious for this tribalism. “There’s like a core of the core, that have, I think, taken it to a destructive level of, ‘I really want that to fail so the thing that I bought succeeds.'”

“I just really despise it. I don’t think we have to see others fail in order for us to achieve the goals.”

This isn’t the first time Spencer has deplored the console war mentality. “We should be driven to help gaming as an industry grow, for creators to take the biggest risks they can,” he told The Washington Post. “When a great game comes out, we should applaud it, whether it’s for PC, or PlayStation, or on a Switch.”

“If we’re going to spend energy, let’s go spend it on those things, not ‘my piece of plastic is better than your piece of plastic’.”

READ MORE: PSVR on PS5: Is Sony releasing a PSVR 2 for PS5?

Keep reading for all the latest Xbox news and information following the console’s launch…

More Xbox news: Xbox launch causes huge internet surge in UK says Openreach!

The Xbox Series X’s launch caused a large surge in internet usage on UK networks, according to Openreach’s CTIO, Colin Lees.

174PB (174,000TB) of data was consumed on the Openreach network when the Series X console launched on November 10. The launch of the PS5 resulted in a similar surge, with internet users consuming 161PB.

In a statement to ISPreview, Lees said, “To give you a sense of scale – one Petabyte equals one million Gigabytes. That’s more than four times the amount of data in the entire written works of mankind from the beginning of recorded history, in all languages.”

This huge surge of internet usage is likely a symptom of the large number of updates and games downloaded by new console owners eager to play next-gen titles.

However, this Xbox Series X surge is still not the busiest day for internet usage in the UK. This record was set on August 5, with 193PB consumed.

READ MORE: Xbox Series X restock date and availability tracker

Xbox Series X smoking videos DEBUNKED

Previous videos allegedly showing the Xbox Series X releasing plumes of smoke have since been debunked as internet trolls blowing fumes into their Xbox consoles.

This video has since been confirmed to be a hoax, after an unofficial Xbox Twitter account posted a video demonstrating how these people are creating the illusion of a smoking Xbox, using vape smoke to make this effect.

This story prompted Xbox to respond to people blowing smoke into their brand new, $500 consoles. “We can’t believe we have to say this, but please do not blow vape smoke into your Xbox Series X,” they tweeted.

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, is at $299 USD or £249 GBP.

Xbox Series X release date

The Xbox Series X first released on 10th November 2020 – that’s the same day that the Xbox Series S also released.

READ MORE: How to build an Xbox Series X from PC components

Xbox Series X pre-order date

Xbox Series X pre-orders began on 22nd September 2020.

Right now, we are seeing live product pages on Argos for the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X consoles – you can click either of those links to see them!

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.

You could also check out the pre-order listing on the official Microsoft Store in the US here, or here if you’re in the UK.

BUY NOW: Xbox Series X product page is live on Amazon

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.

Furthermore, you’ll see third-party games like Assassins’ Creed Valhalla and Cyberpunk 2077 launching on the Xbox Series X too!

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.

Halo, is it me you’re looking for?

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 

READ MORE: Xbox Series X Reddit: Latest News, Rumours, Insights, Opinions

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.

READ MORE: Xbox Series X size explained – the fridge-like console is huge

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.

But only time will tell whether players flock to the Xbox Series X or the PS5, or perhaps even the rumoured Nintendo Switch Pro could be a contender for the next-gen console crown.

BUY NOW: Xbox Series X product page is live on Argos

Jason Coles