The 2020 Xbox is Microsoft’s newest take on the Xbox gaming console, announced to be released in late 2020. Microsoft had announced the date in 2019 at the Game Awards by means of a trailer. This follows Sony’s Playstation 5 announcement. In fact, we’re informed that the Playstation 5 will be released at around the same period as the new Xbox. Furthermore, we expect that both the Xbox, as well as the Playstation, will have a considerably different design from the consoles that we know today.
- The new Xbox gaming console is expected to be named Xbox Series X, codenamed Project Scarlett.
- The console is should be released during the 2020 holiday season, around November and December.
- Except 2 version of the console to be released: a light version which will have a lower cost and a more professional version which will cost more. Expect the price range to be between €399 to €599.
- No information on virtual reality support has been announced yet, but it is possible that the console will support the same VR headsets for PC.
- The new Xbox game console might run Windows 10, the same operating system used for PCs. Thus, the operating system of the console might be as capable as a PC.
Although Microsoft have only mentioned the 2020 holiday season as a possible release date, we expect the console to be released at any time around November and December of 2020. This would be in line with the holiday season of next year, when a lot of people would be buying presents or have more time on their hands to use the console.
In this respect, the time frame appears to be the same to the time frame for the release of the Playstation 5. It would be interesting to see which console’s sales would best perform considering that both consoles will be released in roughly the same period.
Xbox Series X Price
As per usual, Microsoft is expected to be releasing different versions of the new 2020 Xbox. One will be a light version, which will contain less powerful hardware and will be priced for less. In contrast, the other version will be a professional version, the pinnacle of the Xbox hardware, which will more powerful and will also have a higher price. In Europe, we expect pricing of the light model to be around €399, similar to the 2019 light version and €599 for the professional version. Considering inflation, the prices might get even more expensive. It all depends on the pricing strategy adopted by Sony as well, since the Playstation and the Xbox will be direct competitors.
Following various rumours and benchmarks all over the internet, we have deducted that the possible 2020 Xbox hardware specifications will be as follows:
- A custom-designed AMD processor. This processor will be making use of the Zen 2 and Navi architecture, a new architecture by AMD which should provide better performance with improved power consumption and improved thermals. Improved thermals mean that the console will generate less noise during load.
- 120Hz and up to 8k resolution. The console would be able to run games at either 120Hz @ 4k or 60Hz @ 8k resolution.
- Fast SSD storage will be the standard storage solution offered in the new Xbox console. Expect storage sizes to range from 500GB to 2TB. This would be in line with the increasingly demanding storage requirements by newer games, with a single game requiring 150GB of storage space.
- Optical disk support will be present on the new Xbox. Thus, you can rest assured that physical media will still be sold at stores.
Microsoft is designing a new controller to complement the new Xbox design. The changes will include an overhaul of the overall aesthetic of the controller, making it more comfortable to use over a long period of time, helping to reduce RSIs. Furthermore, just like the Playstation, the new Xbox controller will also be getting a physical share button, making it quicker for gamers to share content on the fly from the Xbox console.
Although no further information has been provided by Microsoft or leaks on the upcoming controller, the button layout is expected to stay like the current controller.
Following TV makers’ push to 4k content, Microsoft has had to improve its hardware in order to be able to deliver good performance when gaming at 4k. More so, newer gaming focused TVs are also able to support high refresh rates together with screen refreshing technologies like Nvidia’s GSync and AMD’s FreeSync 2. In fact, the new console is rumoured to be supporting at least one of these technologies while also being able to run games at 120Hz with a 4k resolution.
Further to the above, it is also rumoured that the new Xbox will be able to support games to run at 8k. Here, running games at this resolution will result in the game being capped at 60Hz, a limitation of the current HDMI/Display Port standards, which are limited with the volume of bandwidth they are able to support.
In addition, benchmark results have been spotted by a Twitter user for an engineering sample of the AMD Flute SoC. Should the benchmark be real, it would be a rare glimpse of what the chip is capable to delivering. The benchmarks points to an eight Zen 2 cores, 16 thread capability, with the possibility of going up to 3.2Ghz.
Microsoft have already confirmed that the console will be supporting cross-generation support from launch. However, they have not yet specified how the cross-generation support is going to be implemented.
In this respect, we suspect, that cloud gaming could be the answer to backwards compatibility for the Xbox console. This type of service is already being provided by Sony for its PlayStation, where gamers can subscribe to a service which offers them the possibility to play hundreds of backward compatible games without the need to install the games on the console. This is achieved by streaming the games from a remote server to the PlayStation console.
Microsoft has already confirmed several games which will be launched together with the release of the 2020 Xbox gaming console. Furthermore, more games are expected to be announced in the coming months running up to the launch of the console, with both exclusives, as well as non-exclusives, already being announced during the conference.
The games which have been confirmed to be released for the upcoming 2020 Xbox Series X are the following:
- Halo Infinite (2020)
- Watch Dogs: Legion (2020)
- Gods and Monsters (2020)
- Rainbow Six Quarantine (2020)
- Battlefield VI (TBA)
- Elder Scrolls (TBA)
Gamers making use of the remote play features on the Xbox One can rejoice, as remote play is rumoured to continue on the upcoming Xbox Series X console. The process to use the remote play functionality on the console is said to be very similar to the current implementation, with possible performance improvements and graphical enhancements.