The Xbox Family: What It Means For The Future
The next generation of Xbox devices, currently codenamed Project Scarlett, is being referred to as a “family of devices.” Not only is Microsoft planning a true next-gen powerhouse console, but rumors also suggest they will offer a more affordable console that relies on cloud streaming to play the same games.
Yet another report from Thurrott revealed that existence of two consoles in this family. The second console utilizes the Scarlett Cloud to make up for a lack of hardware in the box.
The less powerful streaming console will still require hardware for controller input, image processing, and collision detection, so it’s not going to be cheap, but it will cost less than he major hardware option. Microsoft apparently has some solutions regarding latency and lag in place as well, thanks to their Azure cloud and its prevalence around the world.
Whether you opt for the next-gen console or the cloud-based streaming device, Microsoft is planning on offering the same games for both, much in the way that Xbox One X and the S play the same games in this generation.
It’s a bold move, but it’s grounded in business sense. Microsoft doesn’t make a lot of money on their hardware, but they do make a lot of profits from Xbox Live, Game Pass, and their game sales. Project Scarlett and this second cloud-based console option could give them a boost to their profits while also offering options for both mainstream and hardcore gamers.
|XBox Two Release Date|
Xbox Series X Review Design And Connectivity
- The Xbox Series X feels like a natural successor to the previous generation
- Its controller and colour scheme remain very similar, for better or worse
- The body is 301 x 151 x 151mm and weighs in at 4.46kg
Microsoft has abandoned previous design conventions with the Xbox Series X, opting for something more akin to an office desktop PC than a traditional gaming console. Its a brave departure, and one of which Im definitely a fan. At first glance it may appear needlessly bulky, but it has slotted under my desk, alongside my existing TV setup with ease, the sharp corners and distinct profile making it an ideal fit.
Measuring 301 x 151 x 151mm and weighing 4.46kg, the Series X has a noticeable heft, but one that also exudes a degree of premium quality youll see in only top-quality electronics. You may or may not appreciate the design, but you certainly wouldnt be able to deny the craftsmanship. Taking certain aspects of the Xbox One X blueprint, Microsoft expands upon them here, maintaining visual motifs that set it apart from the less powerful Series S.
Unfortunately the Xbox button doesnt rotate to accomodate those who want a vertical view
Memory expansion is handled by bespoke SSD drives produced by Microsoft in partnership with Seagate. Youll require a specific drive speed to handle titles that are optimised for Series X. Theyre expensive, and weve yet to test one for ourselves, but the insertion and removal of such devices is incredibly seamless.
Xbox Series X Price Vs Playstation 5 Price
After many leaks and speculation, Sony confirmed the PS5 Digital and PS5 prices at £360 and £450 respectively. That came as a pleasant surprise to those who’d expected the PS5 to be priced much higher than the rival Xbox Series X.
As it turns out, the full-fat PS5 and Xbox Series X cost the same, although the all-digital Series S undercuts the PS5 Digital Edition by a fair margin of £90 .
Bear in mind, however, that the Xbox Series S is less powerful than the Series X, whereas the PS5 Digital Edition is identical to the standard PS5 except for the lack of a disc drive.
- See how the two consoles compare: PS5 vs Xbox Series X
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Xbox Series X Storage
The Xbox Series X’s 1TB Custom NVMe SSD translates to 802GB of usable storage, with 198GB reserved for system files and the Xbox operating system. We were able to download 18 games of varying sizes before having to utilize the console’s expandable storage.
That’s a fair chunk to play through, then, but we’d advise picking up the Seagate Storage Expansion Card if you really want to take advantage of features such as Quick Resume and the plethora of titles available through Xbox Game Pass.
Its important to note that true next-gen titles will likely take up more storage space once their optimizations have been rolled out.
Along with our console, we were able to test Seagate’s 1TB expansion storage card for the Xbox Series X. This doesn’t come cheap at $219.99 / £219.99 / AU$359, but we found it extremely easy to use when we found we were running out of storage, we simply slotted the card into the back of the Xbox and accessed the extra terabyte. When the console detects that it’s approaching its storage capacity, it asks if you want to install on the card instead, while also offering a pretty straightforward option for freeing up space by deleting games.
The process of adding an external hard drive works in the same way as it did on Xbox One: you simply plug the storage into one of the systems USB ports, and the Xbox will detect it. If the drive needs to be formatted, youll see a prompt asking you to do this. Its a plug-and-play solution that works just as youd hope.
Xbox Series X Review: Price And Availability
Released worldwide on November 10, 2020, the Xbox Series X is nearing its first birthday, at the time of writing. And it’s still stupidly hard to buy.
We’ve been tracking Xbox Series X restocks for month upon months, and still most retailers are out of stock. When they do get new stock in, it sells out in moments. Sadly, with semiconductor shortages ongoing, it doesn’t look like the Xbox Series X restock situation will get any better before 2023.
If you do find an Xbox Series X in stock, then expect prices to start at $499 in the U.S. and £449 in the U.K. On paper at least, the Xbox Series X matches the price of the PS5 in those respective nations. However, its more expensive than the PS5 Digital Edition, which costs $399, or £349. But these consoles are often found in bundles that come with a higher ticket price. Speaking of that, if you have $10,000 to burn you could check out the Gucci Xbox Series X.
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Xbox Series X Restock At Microsoft
As you might expect Microsoft uses its own online retail arm to sell Xbox Series X consoles, although its restock process is a lot less defined than most other retailers on this list. When the retailer restocks the console its pretty much a free-for-all rush to get an order confirmation email before a sold-out sign appears.
Microsoft was sending out invite links to purchase a console last month, similar to how Sony Direct runs its regular PS5 restocks, but there didnt appear to be any concrete method in order to get an invite. As it stands the best way to score an Xbox Series X from Microsoft is to regularly check the site and hope you get a big old scoop of good fortune.
What To Do If You Miss Out
As with the previous GameStop Xbox Series X restock events, these units will sell out fast. So if you missed out don’t worry. There will be other restock events in the future. Also, make sure to follow our restock coverage for up-to-the-minute news on the latest restocks. In the meantime, you can browse other retailer pages to see if they may have quietly added any new inventory.
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Where Has The Xbox Been Recently
We keep track of every console restock, and maintain this list here of the most likely places you’ll find a console as well as when it was last in stock there.
- GameStop: Dec. 28, Jan. 20
- Target: Dec. 2, 16, Jan. 6
- Amazon: Nov. 21
- Walmart: Dec. 13, Jan. 13
- Best Buy: Dec. 22, 28, Jan. 11
A new era of Xbox is here.
Xbox 2 Concept Art: Form Meets Function
While the design of a console may not seem like much, todays consumer has a very open living room with entertainment centers designed to show off their gadgets. Beyond the overall look of the console, well also need to consider the functionality of its design.
How will it stay cool when the insides heat up during long gaming sessions? Will the controller change to match the new console? These are the big questions were asking on our concepts page.
Talented artists like Danny Haymond and David Hansson will bring the future of Xbox to life for all to see.
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Is It Safe To Buy An Xbox From An Unofficial Source
There are some places where you can safely buy an Xbox secondhand. If you’re shopping at eBay or StockX, there are protections in place to keep you from spending money and getting nothing.
- Stay away from Twitter links: If you see something on Twitter about an Xbox Series X restock happening somewhere, your best bet is to go straight to the retailer instead of clicking a link. In many cases, those Twitter links have turned out to be scams.
- Only buy at the retail price: If someone is offering you an Xbox Series X for more or less than $500 or an Xbox Series S for more or less than $300, you should probably stay away. There are many of these sites offering “deals” or “bundles” that are frequently not actually worth it.
Microsofts Two New Consoles
This week, Microsoft released its two new Xbox consoles. Theres the $499 Xbox Series X, and a cheaper $299 Xbox Series S. You can read our reviews of both of them by following the links below.
Its not unusual for console manufacturers to offer a couple of different hardware options at launch, but normally, the differences are minor. The PS3, for example, was initially available in two models. There was a version with a 60GB hard drive as well as a cheaper version with a smaller 20GB hard drive, no Wi-Fi support, and fewer ports. Meanwhile, Microsoft also originally sold a Core version of the Xbox 360 in 2005, which included compromises like including a wired rather than wireless controller and omitting a hard drive.
The differences between the Xbox Series S and Series X are more substantial and have a big impact on how games look. While Microsoft says the Series X is targeting running games at 60fps at a full 4K resolution, the Series S instead targets a lower 1440p resolution at 60fps. Its a big power disparity, similar to what we saw between the Xbox One and the Xbox One X, but this time, the two consoles were available on day one, rather than releasing years apart.
The Xbox Series X comes complete with a disc drive.Microsofts Series S is less powerful and digital-only.
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New Xbox Series X Features
One new Xbox feature is thats coming soon is Microsofts new cloud streaming service called Xbox Cloud Gaming, which is included as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Similar to or Geforce Now, it will allow you to stream games from the cloud onto your device. This way you can bypass download, install, and update times to hop right into the game or demo. As of now, its available on mobile, PC, and consoles.
Thanks to its access to the massive Xbox content library, Microsoft is already touting its superiority over other budding cloud gaming services like Stadia. Theres also Remote Play for those that want to stream directly from their console to mobile devices. This is far more stable, though youll still have to suffer through some input lag when playing. Nevertheless, its a handy option to have when someone else wants to take over the TV and youre not quite ready to quit.
Once games are installed, the upgraded SSD should drastically reduce load times in-game vs the HDDs of older-gen Xbox consoles. While it is a hair shy of the PS5s new storage speeds, it does have a slightly larger capacity, so it should fit more games. Either way, its a massive upgrade from current-gen consoles that will be felt in every game you play new or old.
The Xbox Series X can add HDR and improve framerates of Xbox One and Xbox 360 games.
Fable 4 News And Rumors
In development for at least 4 years
Fable 4 has been in development for longer than you might have expected. In a recent tweet, a developer at Playground Games who is working on the game celebrated four years of working on Fable.
4 years of working on Fable at @WeArePlayground. So excited for this game. pic.twitter.com/KO099HnYSd
That means the games been in development for at least four years and that development possibly started just a year after series creator, Lionhead Studios, was closed. Though we dont know a huge amount about Fable at the moment, the idea that its been in the works for multiple years gives us some hope that we could learn more in the near future.
Fable 4’s combat could feel like The Witcher
A developer from CD Projekt RED will be working on the game’s combat system. As reported by PCGamesN, gameplay designer Pawe Kapaa is heading up the combat at Fable developer Playground Games, with his LinkedIn page confirming the role entails “designing and implementing combat in Fable.”
In our opinion, the kind of sword-and-spells combat of The Witcher 3, one of the bestselling video games of all time, would be a perfect template for a Fable game, especially given how similar some of in-game spells are.
Youll probably see it before Elder Scrolls 6
Fable 4 might be a while away but it seems possible that youll get to play it before the Elder Scrolls 6, according to Phil Spencer.
Take confidence in Playground Games, says Phil Spencer
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Where Can You Buy An Xbox Series X And How Much Does It Cost
The Xbox Series X formally hit shelves November 10, 2020, alongside its smaller cousin the Xbox Series S. Unfortunately, over a year later, getting an Xbox Series X online is still incredibly difficult. Your best bet would be to try a local store, especially if you live in a more rural area. Even then, the odds arent great. Due to ongoing supply chain issues, youre looking sometime into late-2021 or even 2022 before getting an Xbox Series X proves easy.
As for how much the two new consoles cost, here is a full list of Xbox Series X and Series S prices around the globe:
- Australia: AU$749 and AU$499
- United Kingdom: £449 and £249.99
- United States: $499 and $299
So where can you buy them? Well, the answer is a bit complicated. Scalpers still control a large section of the global stock, and if you want to buy from them youre going to pay well above retail value. If you can be patient, retailers receive more consoles from time to time. Check the links below and you might just get lucky.
Xbox Series X Price: Game Bundles
Some of the biggest titles are usually partnered with a new console. This year’s instalments include FIFA 21, Fortnite, Rainbow SixSiege and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
We know that Microsoft has teamed up with EA to bring over 60 of EA’s biggest games to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which gives you access to 100+ games stored in the cloud.
Halo Infinite would likely have been the most-wanted launch title, and the most popular bundle, but 343 Industries, the studio in charge of the game, announced that it’s delayed until November 2021. Which could make the perfect Christmas present for the gamer in your life…
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What Is Minecraft On Xbox Series X
The Xbox Series X and S represent the beginning of a new generation of console gaming, with powerful evolutionary hardware pushing groundbreaking features that we haven’t seen in the console space yet, like faster SSD storage, ray tracing, and more reliable performance even with upgraded visuals. Minecraft, being one of Microsoft’s biggest and most successful franchises, will work on the Xbox Series X|S from day one through the platform’s impressive backward compatibility program, even if it doesn’t immediately support all of the latest features that the Xbox Series X|S can utilize for next-gen games.
Don’t expect a “Minecraft 2” or even a specific version of Minecraft built from the ground up for Xbox Series X|S. Instead, if Minecraft does receive an update to help it take advantage of next-gen hardware, Mojang Studios will leverage the power and flexibility of Minecraft: Bedrock Edition.
This more modern version of Minecraft currently spans Xbox One, Windows 10, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS platforms with one code base and feature set across all of them. This is all possible due to the Bedrock foundation and the Render Dragon engine, which allows Minecraft: Bedrock Edition to dynamically conform to whatever platform you’re playing on with the same great experience and gameplay with which you’re familiar.
The End Of The Xbox One Family
Microsoft refers to the Xbox One, the S, and the X as part of one Xbox Family. This means that you can play your games on any one of these consoles and use your accessories on each of them too. No one gets left behind.
Its pretty exciting, especially when you look at the effort Microsoft has put into backwards compatibility. With a huge selection of Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles available to play on the current generation, the plan is to keep this compatibility moving forward.
Can they do it? Will they be able to transition to the Xbox 2 and still keep everything backwards compatible? If anyone can do it, its them. With Phil Spencer at the head of the charge, the possibilities are endless.
Come check out our page on The End of the Xbox One to see how we believe Microsoft will make this important transition into the future.
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