MIcrosoft’s next console, previously known as Project Scarlett, has been given a name: Xbox Series X. The new console has a tall, PC-like tower design, and looks to be fairly small. In an image of the console with a controller leaning against it, it appears to have a square top about controller-sized, and is a few controllers tall. While no launch date has been officially announced, we do know it will be coming out holiday 2020, so we can expect it within a year.
Lots of the information we have on Series X comes from an exclusive interview with Gamespot, so if you want to know all the details, that’s where you should look. Some things we did learn from that interview is that the tall design (it can be put vertically or horizontally, like the good ol’ 360) is meant both to keep it quiet and unnoticed among everything else in your living room. We’ve also learned a lot directly from Phil Spencer, including that the new controller is basically the old controller, with a few changes. It’s keeping the same basic design as the Xbox One controller, but with some minor changes to the size and shape to make it more comfortable to more people. And, in the middle, a share button, making it easier to get screenshots and game clips in a Kinect-less world.
As for those who like their old games, don’t worry. In his announcement on December 12, Spencer said that Xbox Series X will support games from all generations of Xbox, including cross-saves and achievement sharing. What exactly that means, we don’t really know yet. Not all older games are backwards compatible now, and with the release of Series X, that number may go up or down, backwards-compatible Xbox One games notwithstanding. Will there be new original Xbox and 360 games playable on the Series X? Will there be fewer? It seems unlikely that the number will go down, Spencer has said that they’re “investing in consumer-friendly pathways to game ownership across generations”, but we’ll just have to wait and see. Bottom line is, if you’re playing an old game now, you’ll probably be playing it a year from now.
Series X has been said to be the fastest and most powerful console ever, but that’s also just something developers say. So far, we don’t know a huge amount, except that the new consoles are coming out soon; the PlayStation 5 is set to come out late next year as well. Halo Infinite is set to come out both on the One and Series X, and a new series Microsoft is pushing called Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice for the new machine. As we go through the next twelve months, we’re sure to learn even more about the new games and technical abilities of the Xbox Series X.