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Microsoft shows upcoming Xbox Series X with tower design and updated controller

Microsoft has shown the next Xbox console during The Game Awards. The Xbox Series X has a square tower design and includes an optical disk reader. The upcoming console will be ‘backwards-compatible with four Xbox generations’ and will be released at the end of 2020.

The Xbox Series X will be the successor to the current Xbox One. Microsoft unveiled the new console, previously known under the code name “Project Scarlett,” at The Game Awards in Los Angeles. The Series X gets a striking square tower design, where previous consoles often had a relatively flat set-top box design. There are air holes on the top of the console, so that the warm air is probably discharged at the top.

The announcement also shows a new wireless controller, which has been slightly modified in shape and size, so that according to Microsoft even more people can use it. The controller still looks a lot like the current Xbox One controller, but contains a circular d-pad. This is from the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller. The controller also has a share button, just like the PlayStation 4, and is compatible with the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. Current Xbox One controllers also work on the Series X.

The Xbox website states that the Xbox Series X is backwards compatible . It is unclear how this will work, but Microsoft speaks of ‘thousands of games spread over four [console] generations’. Users can therefore probably also play original Xbox games. That game console was released in 2001. The Series X also works with Xbox One accessories and the Xbox Game Pass, which gives players access to almost all Xbox exclusives and all sorts of other games for a fixed monthly fee .

Microsoft reports that the Series X will include a custom Zen 2 cpu and it is assumed that the console will receive a custom Navi gpu. The company at least mentions the support for hardware accelerated ray tracing. The console will support frame rates of 120fps in combination with a 4k resolution and also has the capacity for 8k. The manufacturer confirms the presence of an SSD that “virtually eliminates loading times.” The console also supports variable rate shading , auto low latency mode and dynamic latency input .

Earlier there was the rumor that Microsoft will come with two different consoles next year : a high-end model and a cheaper version. If this comes true, then the Series X is probably the more expensive version, just like the current Xbox One X. The cheaper version may not get a disc tray and some scaled-down CPU, although Microsoft has not yet announced anything about this.

A game for the upcoming Series X was also shown during the Game Awards. Developer Ninja Theory comes with a sequel to Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. The studio announced Senua’s Sage: Hellblade II in a somewhat shocking trailer . The previous Hellblade game initially only appeared on PC and PS4; a version for the Xbox One followed a year later. The developer has been part of the Xbox Game Studios since last year, so it is likely that Senua’s Sacrifice will become an exclusive Xbox title. Short images of Forza, Halo and a football game were also shown in the announcement trailer.

The Xbox Series X will be released at the end of 2020. This release period was already announced earlier this year . The suggested retail price is still unknown.

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