Xbox Series X news today: specs, features, price, release date, backwards compatibility, games reveal, live stream, and more info about Xbox 2020

Here’s absolutely everything you need to know about the Xbox Series X, from its games to the specs and even the release date/price predictions!

by Jason Coles

The Xbox Series X is on its way and the battle continues on between the two powerhouses of next-gen.

But what do we actually know about the Xbox Series X, beyond the vague fact that it’s a next-gen piece of hardware that should, technically speaking, blow Xbox One out of the water?

Well, as it goes, we actually know quite a lot about the Xbox Series X – we even know what it’s start-up sound is like!

Read on to discover all the essential intel about the Xbox Series X.

READ MORE: Xbox boss envisions more consoles beyond the Xbox Series X – but what will they be?

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Xbox Series X news today

05.07.2020

Experiencing titles on Xbox Series X could be like watching a movie, according to the CTO of Epic.

Speaking to official Playstation Magazine about the ability of Unreal Engine 5 (which can be used with Xbox Series X game development), he touches upon a number of interesting points.

One feature of Unreal Engine 5 is Nanite Technology. This allows movie grade assets to be imported into the game, with no loss of quality.

According to the CTO, this has already been used in TV shows like The Mandalorian, and allows for some photorealistic results.

03.07.2020

After NBA 2K21’s pre-orders opened yesterday, we got a first look at next-gen game prices.

Unfortunately, it looks like games for the Xbox Series Xwill be more expensive than their current-gen counterparts, with NBA 2K21 priced at £59.99 on the Xbox One and PS4 and £64.99 on the Series X and PS5.

While this is only the pricing of one game, as 2K are a pretty huge company within the gaming industry, this is likely a trend that will be reflected across AAA games.

This comes after SIE’s former CEO, Shawn Layden, warned last month that if games did not reduce in size and length we would see the prices increase due to rising development costs.

READ MORE: NBA 2K21 will cost MORE on next-gen consoles: Will the price of PS5 and Xbox Series X games generally be more expensive than PS4 and Xbox One prices?

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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!

The biggest first-party game that will launch with the console is Halo Infinite, which is sure to be music to the ears of Master Chief’s loyal fans.

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!

More info about Xbox Series X games is being revealed in the Xbox 20/20 live-stream series, and you can click here to find out Xbox 20/20 and when the next one is on.

READ MORE: Follow the LIVE BLOG for breaking Xbox Series X news

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Xbox Series X release date

The console is said to be coming in the ‘holiday’ season at the end of 2020, which means you should be connected up to your powerful new hardware in time for Christmas. It could even land around Thanksgiving!

A recent interview with Phil Spencer explored tactics and thoughts in relation to the recent pandemic.

Interestingly, when speaking about the supply chain, he’s quoted saying “it looks like builds of the consoles will be uninterrupted.”

With seemingly understandable concerns revolving around production in the midst of a pandemic, it looks like another vote of confidence for Xbox!

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

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Xbox Series X price

There is no hard price tag given in the article, as it’s probably something Microsoft will announce in a fancy video, perhaps around the time that E3 was meant to be on.

However, it should be noted that it could be a fair bit cheaper than initial estimations suggested.

This is thanks to “the size of the SoC at 360mm2 means we have a slice of silicon that is, in reality, much smaller than any speculative measurement we could come up with from prior teaser reveals – its 15.3 billion transistors mean that we are looking at just over twice the transistor density seen on the 16nmFF Xbox One X processor, and yet we are getting significantly more than twice the performance across the board.”

READ MORE:Xbox Series X price is decided, but will it cost more than PS5?

Which, at the very least, means that the Xbox Series X should be a fair bit less than a gaming PC.

There is also heavy speculation that Xbox are holding off on revealing the price of their latest console, waiting for Sony to announce the price of the PS5 so they can undercut their competitor.

After a pretty dismal generation with the Xbox One compared to the success of the PS4, especially with its exclusives, this may help bring gamers back to Xbox.

READ MORE: Xbox Series X price vs PS5 price history: What can previous console wars tell us about how much Xbox Series X and PS5 will cost?

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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 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 like they’re special controllers “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.

READ MORE: Xbox Series X controller design evolution: a history of Microsoft controllers from the Duke to the Xbox One and beyond

What is the Xbox Series S?

The Xbox Series S, known also as Project Lockhart, is allegedly a smaller, more affordable version of the Xbox Series X.

Microsoft has remained silent on their version of a smaller console, so does it actually exist?

According to leaks, when game developers were testing their games for the upcoming next-gen consoles, they were able to test under ‘Lockhart’ specs that included 7.5GB of RAM and 4 Teraflops of GPU.

It appears that Microsoft inadvertently confirmed the existence of the Xbox Series S console in a leaked copy of the June 2020 Games Development Kit.

A copy of these documents published on Twitter by TitleOS made reference to ‘LockhartProfiling’ alongside ‘AnacondaProfiling’. As the Xbox Series X was codenamed Anaconda, this just adds even more fuel to the fire that the Xbox Series S will be revealed soon.

READ MORE: Is the Xbox Series S a TERRIBLE idea? Lockhart’s low-end specs could stifle the next generation of Microsoft consoles – OPINION

Jason Coles

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