Xbox Series X: pre order details, UK release date, price and games for the new Xbox console - and how it compares to PS5

It’s ‘the most powerful and highest-performing console’ Microsoft have ever created

Monday, 9th November 2020, 8:33 am

2020 is a new console year, with Microsoft releasing their next Xbox, and Sony giving us the PS5.

Initially being developed under the codename of “Project Scarlett“, Microsoft confirmed its new gaming machine will in fact be called the Xbox Series X at last year’s Game Awards.

With the console finally available to gamers, here's everything you need to know.

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(Image: Microsoft)

How powerful will it be?

Microsoft’s next Xbox console is the company’s most powerful to date, ushering in a new generation of high-powered gaming.

The Series X is four times more powerful than the last generation’s Xbox One X thanks to a new custom-designed processor.

It can deliver frame rates up to 120 frames per second – twice that of the average TV set – and will support 8K-resolution playback, despite the fact the majority of current TVs cannot support the ultra high definition resolution.

(Image: Microsoft)

Xbox head Phil Spencer claimed the Series X will represent the biggest generational leap in Microsoft’s console history when first teasing the new machine back in 2018, calling it “the most powerful and highest-performing console we’ve ever designed.”

It features AMD’s Zen 2 CPU architecture and RDNA 2 graphics architecture, a custom-designed solid state drive, GDDR6 SDRAM, and support for real-time ray-tracing.

What does it look like?

The Xbox Series X has a minimalist design, all sleek and black and cuboid.

It’s certainly modern-looking, but it's not likely to distract your gaze from the TV screen either.

The console is approximately 6 inches (15 cm) wide and deep, and 12 inches (30 cm) tall, while configured in its vertical orientation, but the unit can also be used on its side.

Is this a ‘next-gen’ console?

When Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One X a few years ago, and rivals Sony unleashed the PlayStation 4 Pro, many assumed this heralded the end of traditional console generations as we knew it.

Instead of brand new machines, these were iterative upgrades to existing hardware. Yes, they were more powerful and could deliver more impressive graphics, but crucially, all games worked across both the improved consoles and their under-powered comrades.

The Xbox Series X is a true generational leap, though you might not have to worry about making an expensive upgrade just yet.

For the first year or so of its life, it appears as if most (if not all) games will run across both the new machine and Microsoft’s older models, although they will look and play best on the Series X.

Eventually, as games get more ambitious in visuals and scope, we will likely see titles developed exclusively for the Series X.

The new console will also be backwards-compatible, with Microsoft announcing that “thousands of games across four console generations will look and play best” on the machine.

“If now is not the time for you to buy a new console, and you're going to stay with the console you have, we're going to keep supporting that console,” Spencer recently told the BBC.

What is the new controller like?

It’s not just the Xbox itself that’s seeing a next-gen upgrade – the controller you’ll actually use to play the games is also seeing some improvements.

The console comes with an updated version of the Xbox controller with a slightly more compact ergonomic design, a concave circle pad similar to the existing ‘Elite’ Controller, and a newly-added “Share” button.

The new controller is also ‘forwards compatible’ with existing Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs.

Existing Xbox One controllers will be supported by the newer consoles, so there’s no need for an expensive upgrade if you’re looking for an extra controller to play with a friend.

What is the Xbox Series S?

Microsoft will also release a second next generation console, the cheaper Xbox Series S.

Both consoles are designed around the same technology, but the Series S will have lower performance specs, meaning it won’t be able to output games visual at true 4K resolution.

The smaller console will also have a smaller hard drive than its sibling console, but gamers will still be able to play all the same games, just at slightly reduced graphical fidelities.

How much does it cost?

It's been revealed that the Xbox Series X will be sold for a RRP of £449.

Meanwhile, Xbox Series S will retail for just £249 in the UK - £200 cheaper than the Xbox Series X.

When will it be released?

The Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X will both be released on November 10.

How do I pre-order it?

Unsurprisingly the console is enormously popular, and all retailers have already sold out pre-sale copies.

We’ll update this page as and when more stock becomes available.

How does it compare to the PlayStation 5?

Sony’s PS5 will also easily play games at 4K resolution - the next step up from 'high definition' - and at the fabled 60 frames per second, which gives a much smoother playing experience.

The PS5 will also support 'ray tracing', a graphical technique that models the travel of light to simulate complex interactions in 3D environments.

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The console will also feature a solid state drive (or SSD), which means it will be able to load games much faster than machines with more typical hard disc drives (HDDs).