It's a Guy Thing

Press X to Future

When Microsoft announced its brand new next-generation console, there were a lot of questions as to what the future of the Xbox was. The current generation was trailing behind the incredibly popular PlayStation 4 and many felt the Xbox was in decline. So when Phil Spencer and his team announced the Series X, gamers were quietly confident that they might see the American console company return to the heights of the 360 days. Yet details on the machine were limited and a near-catastrophic gameplay reveal of the highly anticipated Halo: Infinite left a sour taste in even the most hardcore Xbox fan. However, Spencer and his team seem to have corrected the Series X ship and has given gamers around the world a lot to be excited about. 

Power, Speed, Performance

The next-gen Xbox is without argument the most powerful console ever created with hardware and software innovations that will enable amazing possibilities for the future of games. The Xbox Velocity Architecture unlocks new speed and performance capabilities through the groundbreaking combination of hardware, a custom 1TB SSD and CPU and deep software integration, to make for richer and more dynamic living worlds unlike anything ever seen before. Powered by Microsoft’s custom-designed processor leveraging AMD’s latest Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures. The new system on a chip (SOC) has been built from the ground up for speed and performance, with 12 teraflops of processing power and with compatibility in mind for four generations of games. With 12 Teraflops of power, true 4K gaming with the promise of up to 120 frames per second gaming, the Series X is truly a beast of a machine. Spencer also claims that the Series X consoles are 8K ready, which immediately future proofs the console. Overheating has always been an issue with consoles, yet the engineers at Microsoft made that a priority when designing the new console. The three air-flow channels evenly distribute the temperatures generated by the advanced internal components, keeping the console cool and quiet. The innovative parallel cooling architecture allows for stunning game experiences with incredible graphical fidelity and performance. For the first time ever on console, an innovative split motherboard keeps the Xbox Series X internals evenly temperature controlled, allowing for the console to output more power. A heat sink is a non-electronic, passive mechanical component that has a vital role in the reliability and performance of the Xbox Series X and is integrated directly into the chassis of the console. This unique component of the parallel cooling architecture helps lend to the distinctive design of the console. The vapor chamber in the Xbox Series X enables evenly spread temperatures with the core and memory. As part of the parallel cooling architecture, the whisper-quiet fan keeps the Xbox Series X internal components cool without disturbing your gameplay.

Show Me The Games

With all the tech talk out of the way, the biggest question gamers will have though is about the games. Power means nothing if you don’t have games to play on it, a problem the Xbox One faced this generation. Spencer made sure that they won’t make that mistake again, with the Microsoft giant investing millions in new games and developers. With some exciting new exclusives expected, Spencer has promised that this new generation will be the greatest for gamers yet. Of course one of the biggest highlights of the current Xbox One was backwards compatibility and this feature will be present in the Series X. Through the revolutionary new Xbox Velocity Architecture, thousands of games on Xbox One, including Xbox 360 and original Xbox Games, will experience improvements in performance, including improved boot and load times, more stable frame rates, higher resolutions and improved quality on Xbox Series X. So all gamers can bring their entire library across to the new generation and play their favorite games, but much improved. Games built using the Xbox Series X development kit are designed to take advantage of the unique capabilities of Xbox Series X. They will showcase unparalleled load-times, visuals, responsiveness and framerates up to 120FPS. The highly popular Xbox GamePass will also be featured, a fantastic feature where you pay a nominal fee a month and have access to all the new Xbox exclusives as well as hundreds of other titles. So when buying an Xbox Series X console you are guaranteed to already have a library of over a hundred games. It’s a fantastic offering and one that truly sweetens the deal when aligning yourself with the green brand.

The Costs of the Future

All the information listed so far sounds great, but with any new piece of tech, the price point is what will make or break a console. Fortunately, Microsoft has given this much thought and the recommended price for the top tier Xbox Series X console is $499. But this was not the only surprise Microsoft sprung on gamers. The biggest surprise was the announcement of a second console, a more affordable, slightly less powerful erosion of the Series X, aptly named the Xbox Series S, which comes in at a more wallet-friendly $299. This version won’t feature a disc drive and will be purely digital. It will also be less powerful than the Series X, but still promises a next-gen gaming experience for anyone who would prefer a cheaper alternative to the powerhouse big brother. It’s a smart move by Microsoft to offer both the consoles on launch as it allows everyone, regardless of price points, to afford a brand new Xbox console. 

With a proposed November 2020 launch, the next-gen experience is around the corner and so far the Xbox’s future is looking very promising. So far Phil Spencer and his team have hit all the right notes and it looks like they have learned a lot from the Xbox One failings. With Sony still to announce their prices, Xbox has taken an early lead in the next-gen console wars.