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Xbox Series X: 10 things to know about the new console

New specs and details have been revealed - here's what we know about the Xbox Series X.

Xbox Series X: 10 things to know about the new console
Marc Chacksfield
24 February 2020

The Xbox Series X is shaping up to be a monster of a next-gen games console. And unlike Sony, Microsoft is keen we know all about how powerful it is, explaining in a series of blog posts just why the Series X is shaping up to be the best games console.

Arriving in ‘Christmas 2020’, the Xbox Series X doesn’t yet have a price but Xbox boss Phil Spencer has promised that the console will be four times more powerful than the Xbox One X.


And, yes - we probably should address the name similarity. It seems Microsoft didn’t think about how easily confused the current generation Xbox One X will be with this new Series X. Or perhaps they did, and we’ll be proved wrong. I guess we’ll have to wait and see on that front.


For now, we’ve rounded up everything we do know about the new console into 10 bite-sized points, including the hot-off-the-press new spec details.

1. It can lie horizontally

By now, you will have definitely seen pictures of the console standing tall. This seems to be the console’s default position, standing upright, making it look more like a Bluetooth speaker than a games console. Having it this way, also means it takes up very little space - barely the size of a controller. However, if that is too much change for you, Xbox’s Mr Spencer has confirmed it can also be laid down on its side.


2. There could be several models on their way

There has also been plenty of speculation about there being several models of the console - partly because that’s what the console’s name would suggest. Microsoft is yet to address these rumours but previous leaked specifications have indicated there could be an entry level version to go alongside a more powerful one.


3. It's very quiet, apparently

It seems Microsoft has also made every effort to make it as quiet as possible with a single, large fan pushing high volumes of air out of the top. They have indicated that the Series X should be no louder than the Xbox One X despite being more powerful, and that from the sofa you shouldn't be able to hear the console at all.


4. There's a new controller, too

There’s also a new wireless controller on its way, though it does not yet have a name. Not only will it work with the Series X, but it should also work with all existing Xbox One consoles and have new Share button so that players can screenshot during play. It's also expected to have a new D-pad design with the cross pad becoming more of a circle style, similar to that seen on the Elite controller.


5. Halo Infinite will be cross-generational

Now, this isn’t about the console itself, but it has now been confirmed that the Halo Infinite - set to be released next year - will be cross-generational. That means it’ll be out on both Xbox One X and Xbox Series X. Halo Infinite is the only game so far to be confirmed will be ready for the console’s launch, though Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 will also be released on Xbox Series X, we just don’t have a release date yet.


6. It's bloody powerful

Maybe in some sort of counter to what the likes of Google Stadia and other cloud offerings, er, offer, you will be able to instantly start a whole bunch of games on the Xbox One X, with Xbox's Phil Spencer noting: "The new Quick Resume feature lets you continue multiple games from a suspended state almost instantly, returning you to where you were and what you were doing, without waiting through long loading screens."


7. It will definitely have ray-tracing

Microsoft has also noted (boasted) that "you can expect more dynamic and realistic environments powered by hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing – a first for console gaming. This means true-to-life lighting, accurate reflections and realistic acoustics in real time as you explore the game world." Yowsers.


8. You will be able to resume (some) games in an instant

Maybe in some sort of counter to what the likes of Google Stadia and other cloud offerings, er, offer, you will be able to instantly start a whole bunch of games on the Xbox One X, with Xbox's Phil Spencer noting: "The new Quick Resume feature lets you continue multiple games from a suspended state almost instantly, returning you to where you were and what you were doing, without waiting through long loading screens."


9. CoD and the like will improve thanks to better ping rates

If you've ever been bored to sleep by a CoD fan, you would know that ping rates are key in gaming - essentially the smaller the 'ping' the lower the delay in you wanting to shoot people and your controller doing what you want. Microsoft is trying to improve this with something called: Dynamic Latency Input (DLI).
"We’re optimizing latency in the player-to-console pipeline starting with our Xbox Wireless Controller, which leverages our high bandwidth, proprietary wireless communication protocol when connected to the console. With Dynamic Latency Input (DLI), a new feature which synchronizes input immediately with what is displayed, controls are even more precise and responsive," says Microsoft. Fancy.


10. It's got the ultimate in backwards compatibility

Backwards compatibility is key with the Xbox Series X - it'll even let you use Xbox One accessories.
"Our commitment to compatibility means existing Xbox One games, including backward-compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games, look and play better than ever before," reckons Microsoft. "Your favorite games, including titles in Xbox Game Pass, benefit from steadier framerates, faster load times and improved resolution and visual fidelity – all with no developer work required. Your Xbox One gaming accessories also come forward with you."

With GamesPass being key to the new Xbox Series X - here's the best Xbox Games Pass games.