The Game Awards 2019 edition aired last night and something unexpected happened. Xbox officially revealed their next gen console out of nowhere. And now here are some thoughts on Xbox Series X.
Yes, Project Scarlett is a thing of the past. We now know the official moniker is Xbox Series X. This is what will be going up against PlayStation 5 in 2020. The name choice took many by surprise for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it doesn’t exactly flow off the tongue. You would think Xbox would want a straight forward name to attract attention. But Series X sounds like a special edition and not a new, stand alone console. Which leads into the second problem with the name, they already have an Xbox with X in the title. They currently have a high powered console called Xbox One X which is an upgrade to the Xbox One S.
Continuing the X designation could potentially make marketing the idea of the Series X easier as it is also a highly powered system. But it could also create confusion with consumers not understanding it’s a totally new thing. Bold move Xbox.
The second most interesting part of their reveal was the design of the console’s look. It’s a nondescript black tower with an Xbox jewel on it. It appears to be completely smooth black with a vent at the top for cooling. Initial concerns with the design was that a tower will be incompatible with modern entertainment system setups. However fans got good news after the reveal, Xbox Series X can be laid down as well. Whew! This minimalist design is actually refreshing. Its no-nonsense outward appearance doesn’t detract from the awesome gaming power inside.
Although Xbox hasn’t officially announced the specs of Series X we have gleaned tidbits that indicate a very powerful system. In an interview with GameSpot Phil Spencer commented on the graphics power of Series X compared to past systems. “So when we do the math,” Spencer said, “we’re over eight times the GPU power of the Xbox One, and two times what an Xbox One X is”. This places the Series X around a whopping 12 teraflops. And Xbox attempted to demonstrate this power by showing off a new game that will be exclusive to Xbox Series X. Ninja Theory’s Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II was shown off with a breathtaking trailer. The trailer looked so good that fans are scoffing at Xbox’s claim that the footage was captured in-engine. But if the game ends up looking even marginally close to the fidelity of the reveal trailer it will be a huge step up.
Xbox shocked a lot of people by making a move like this when they did. Now the ball is in Sony’s court. Rumor is that early 2020 we will get our first look at PlayStation 5. Then E3 2020 will be the real throw down. Xbox is off to a promising start, hopefully they don’t fumble.
Hot Take is a live-streamed show where two of our hosts jump in-front of a camera to discuss the latest gaming news and trends. These videos are personal opinions and not intended to be news reports.