The 2019 Game Awards kicked off on Thursday night and there was plenty to be excited about. There were lots of trailers, launch dates, and sequel announcements but the star of the show, by far, was the new Xbox Series X.
Xbox chief Phil Spencer took to the stage fairly early in the show to pull back the curtain on what we’ve been referring to as Project Scarlett for the last six months. Up until that point, all we really knew was that the next-gen console would have better graphics, higher resolution, more memory, and it would be 40 times faster than current consoles. What we didn’t have was a name or any idea what the thing would look like. And since the Xbox One X was designed to be as small as possible, it was definitely a bit shocking to see the direction Microsoft went with this one.
The Xbox Series X looks way more like a PC than any Xbox console we’ve ever seen. Seriously, this thing is clunky. The only thing that makes it feel somewhat more like a console is the fact that it can be used in both vertical and horizontal orientations. And while size doesn’t necessarily guarantee performance, Spencer said the design allowed them to pack in four times the processing power of Xbox One X in the most quiet and efficient way possible.
The Xbox Series X will support 8K gaming and can handle 4K visuals at 60 frames per second. Additionally, the console will offer hardware-accelerated ray tracing and variable refresh rate. And its Xbox Series X GPU and solid-state storage will make for faster load speeds.
The latest console will also continue to accept discs, and will be backwards compatible all the way to the original Xbox. The Series X will come with its own controller that will accommodate a wider range of people and include a new Share button for screenshots and game clips. The new controller will also work with the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs.
We’re still waiting on a price and an exact launch date besides the holiday 2020 time frame, but it’s nice to finally be able to put a face and a name to the latest Xbox console.