XBOX SERIES X ANNOUNCED

Microsoft has now formally announced the new Xbox Series X. Previously know as Project Scarlet the new consoles will be available for the 2020 holiday season.

The company also discussed the console’s new design, compatibility with older Xbox games and how it’ll work with the internet. 

  • 16 GB GDDR6 (13GB for games, 3GB for OS)
  • 8-core CPU at 3.5 GHz
  • Navi GPU 12 TFLOPS

12 TFLOPS is double the performance of the RX 480. The RX 480 has 36 CU suggesting more than 72-96 CU will be needed to achieve the level of performance needed. The RTX 2080 Ti is about 12.4 TFLOPS so even this card is barely adequate.

Microsoft said the new name reflects the many ways you can play an Xbox. The new Xbox Series X will support the “thousands” of titles that already play on the Xbox One, for example.

The device will also support previously sold accessories, such as the Xbox Adaptive Controller for disabled gamers. Generally all of the existing Xbox One controllers will work fine. Here at the studio the old Xbox 360 controller is used for testing game support or for playing twin stick action games

Microsoft realized the mistakes of the Xbox 360 and they are no long making people buy games over and over. Games can be expensive so these moves will make sure that sales of the new consoles will be strong. It is technically possible to have some logic to play Xbox 360 titles but its not know if the console will have that available.

Backwards compatibility with the original Xbox will likely be better than any Xbox 360 game disk which is radically different than the AMD64 architecture. Best bet is Xbox One digital games. Xbox One game discs should be fine as well.

The box like design with a vertical optical drive is a tad unorthodox as most disk drives are horizontal. A stunning innovation: the mesh top has a fan to help keep the machine from overheating. The machine can be placed horizontally or vertically as desired.

The improved graphics is the biggest attraction. The console will be excellent on a standard 1920×1080 HDTV but many with the new 4K UHD television will be equally happy.

JOKE WITH XBOX

I teased Xbox on twitter about the all the leaks over the new console. They responded , “More of an announce than a leak.”

THE PC NOW

The X570 motherboard is far more than necessary for gaming. The existing R5 2400G is 4 cores and 8 threads which is still adequate. The Ryzen 4000 series may offer some system board improvements. The maximum available seems to be between 128 GB and 256 GB which is far more than a console.

Graphics cards next year should be more interesting. Graphics cards tend to follow new nodes fairly quickly. The Xbox One has also been updated as graphics improve. Dual graphics cards have faded with the rise of DX12 and its redesign of the API.

8K panels are still too early in the cycle. Better quality models will surface over the next few years with refinements to backlighting and color space support. Right now even 4K is well above mainstream so there is no rush yet for an 8K panel.