Microsoft dropped a surprise reveal at The Game Awards.
Xbox Series X

First there was the Xbox, then came the 360, followed up by the XBOne which also included a brief fling with the Xbox One SAD (S All-Digital). Now there is the Xbox SeX!

Microsoft made a very surprise reveal during this past week's Video Game Awards. They officially showed off the design of their next-generation Xbox and even gave it a final name. What was once known as Project Scarlett is now officially called Xbox Series X.

The Xbox Series X, or Xbox SeX as it has already come to be known, is the upcoming next-gen console from Microsoft. The name sure does leave a lot to be desired, but at least it leaves the door open for other consoles Microsoft may release for the next generation, right? If we take the Xbox Series X to be their new, top of the line model with all the bells and whistles it could stand to reason that they will also release something along the lines of an Xbox Series D or Xbox Series S, much like they did with the Xbox One generation.

It's both a name that makes a lot of sense while also coming across as super lame all at the same time. I guess we just need to get used to the SeX though, because it's going to be around for a while. The Xbox Series X is slated to be released "Holiday 2020." The number of regions it will launch it is not yet known. The price for the SeX is also not yet known. The final specs and capabilities are also not yet known.

Right now, we have some pretty good ideas about the hardware that will power the beast. We also know that the outer shell looks an awful lot like the Corsair One Compact Gaming PC lineup. I know people have been guffawing these past few days about the look of the Xbox Series X. There have been many quips about it "just looking like a computer!"

Well, yeah? What do you think most modern consoles are? For years now, consoles have largely just been PC components, that have been crammed into special cases.

If nothing else, the Xbox Series X does go a bit deeper into that PC realm of putting RGB on random things as the top of the system does seem to have a green glow when powered on. Speaking of which, we do know that the Series X can be placed vertically or horizontally.

We also know that the Series X controller has a slightly reshaped design. It's a bit smaller than the Xbox One controllers. It also now includes a dedicated Share button like the PlayStation 4 controller. The d-pad on the Series X controller is now also a "modular hybrid d-pad." Microsoft says that you can use the Series X controller on the Xbox One and Xbox One controllers on the Series X.

According to Gamespot's interview with Phil Spencer, the GPU in the Series X is capable of 12 teraflops (TFLOPS) of power. To compare to current-generation PC GPUs, the RTX 2080 Ti is capable of at least 13 TFLOPS. The RTX 2080 Super sits at around 11.1 TFLOPS. It's important to remember that the Series X is still around a year away from release and may not compare directly to new hardware coming out.

Here are the rest of the ballpark figure specs on the Xbox Series X:
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen Zen 2 CPU
  • GPU: AMD Navi-based GPU (~12 TFLOPs)
  • RAM: GDDR6 SDRAM (capacity not confirmed)
  • Storage: NVMe SSD (capacity not confirmed)
  • Max Output Resolution: 8K
  • Max Refresh Rate: 120Hz
Even without knowing the full specs, it does sound like the Xbox Series X will be a very beastly console. At a bare minimum, the Zen 2 CPU will have 6 cores. That hardware lineup includes possible configurations that have 6 cores and 12 threads, 8 cores and 16 threads, 12 and 24, 16 and 32, and all the way up to 64 cores and 128 threads for the Threadripper line. I can't imagine there will be a Threadripper powering the Xbox Series X though.

I am a bit confused as to what they have suggested there for the RAM, as GDDR6 is for GPUs. RAM for the system in general would probably be DDR4 as DDR5 won't even be available to consumers until some time in 2020 at the earliest.

The NVMe SSD will also offer some very nice performance. Even just having a SATA based SSD would have provided some great performance on the Series X. In synthetic benchmarks NVMe SSDs blow away the read and write speeds on SATA SSDs. Though in terms of gaming, you may not actually notice that much of a difference in terms of load times between NVMe and SATA SSDs. The use of the NVMe would excel in areas such as decryption or decompression speeds though.

And obviously, the goal of 8K resolutions and/or 120Hz refresh rates is always nice to see. I will be quite impressed if the Series X can deliver 4K at 60fps constantly though.

So far, the only games we know for a fact will be on the Xbox Series X are Senua's Saga: Hellblade II and Halo Infinite.