And just like that, Microsoft has officially unveiled its next-generation Xbox, otherwise known as Project Scarlett. Revealed at the Game Awards yesterday, the new console is now called the Xbox Series X and it will hit store shelves around this time next year.
It has been rumored that Microsoft is planning to release more than one version of its next Xbox—not wildly different from its current strategy—and although this has not been confirmed, opting for a naming scheme like Xbox Series X suggests that there’s room for other series.
As for the machine that has actually been announced, you may notice that it resembles more of a desktop computer than folks have maybe come to expect from a typical game console. The system stands tall and it’s more cube-shaped than the flatter rectangular design used by most game consoles up until now, though you can reportedly situate the machine so it’s standing up or laying down.
That kind of elbow room gave Microsoft the space it needed to cram in beefy enough hardware that the company already feels confident enough to claim that the Xbox Series X will be the fastest and most powerful console available in the next-generation—PlayStation 5 be damned.
Although Microsoft didn’t back that up with details about the graphics processing hardware inside its new Xbox, the system is said to be based on AMD’s Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA architecture. It will feature a speedy NVMe solid state drive for storage, which should reduce the amount of time you spend on loading screens, and it will have enough horsepower to support games at 8K and 120 FPS with ray tracing, variable refresh rates, and low latency tech that makes the Xbox Series X ready for cloud gaming.
Along with redesigning its console, Microsoft has revamped the Xbox controller so its size and shape can accommodate a wider range of people. The controller is a little smaller than the last generation and has new features such as a “Share” button that makes it easy to capture and share moments from your game sessions. This new controller will also work with the current Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs.
For all the information Microsoft provided about the upcoming Xbox Series X during yesterday’s Game Awards, we’re still not sure how much the system will cost or what exact date you’ll be able to buy one, though Microsoft may very well not have fully ironed out those details yet either with a year to go before the new Xbox is scheduled to arrive.