The next console generation war is ramping up, and Microsoft isn’t waiting to take some swings. Today it unveiled the full specs for the Xbox Series X, along with details about the system’s controller and SSD card expansions. The console may have a terrible name, but the rest of it is shaping up nicely.
Let’s just get it out of the way; the Xbox Series X will be one of the most powerful consoles ever. We’ll know more when Sony releases PS5 specs, but Microsoft is certainly pulling out all of the stops.
Are you ready for the fastest, most powerful Xbox console ever? 💪
Take a closer look at the next-gen tech inside Xbox Series X.
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— Xbox (@Xbox) March 16, 2020
In terms of storage, the Xbox Series X will feature a 1TB custom NVME SSD storage drive. Given the size of games these days, it’s a genuine possibility that you’ll need more storage, and Microsoft has you covered. The company explained today that the Xbox Series X has an expansion slot for just that purpose.
You can slide a 1TB SSD into that slot (almost like plugging in a USB stick), which, according to Microsoft, matches the internal SSD exactly. Thanks to those speedy hard drives, Microsoft says it reduced loading times for the Xbox Series X dramatically, and you can resume games more quickly. It showed a video where a player resumed several different games, and the company promises that resume will work even after a system update and reboot.
To add to that power, Microsoft threw in 16 GBs of RAM, a custom AMD Zen 2 CPU with eight cores clocked at 3.8GHz each, and a custom AMD RNDA 2 GPU with 12 teraflops and 52 compute units clocked at 1.825GHz each.
That’s wickedly powerful, and probably a giant heat generator. Microsoft says it has that covered too. First, it split the motherboard into two pieces and explained that the shape of the console will let it generate a wind tunnel-like effect for cooling. It claims the fan will be whisper quiet, but we’ll have to go ears on to know for sure.
The company also gave us more details about the console’s new controller, and thankfully it makes the switch to USB-C. It takes some design cues from the Xbox One Elite controller, including its D-Pad style, and adds a share button as found on the PS4 controller.
Microsoft says it designed the controller to reduce latency for speedy reactions, and you can even use it with the Xbox One console. The company didn’t give us an exact release date (Holiday 2020) or price yet, but we’re expecting more information soon. Originally Microsft planned to hold a talk at E3, but those plans are shifting now due to the conference cancellation.