You have to hand it to Mircrosoft – it’s finally living up to its adored game console’s name by making the Xbox look like an actual box. It’s always exciting to see what a next-generation console looks like, especially when it was surprisingly revealed at The Game Awards 2019 with a trailer making it look synonymous with the black slab from 2001: A Space Odyssey. But what’s more important in the long term are the specs it delivers and the games that will show off that performance. From the looks of it, consoles are finally catching up to PCs.
Now that’s a big statement. How so?
Well, Microsoft’s Xbox man-in-charge Phil Spencer promises that it will “deliver four times the processing power of Xbox One X in the most quiet and efficient way.” That may sound like all talk, but the specs make that believable. The Series X features a custom-designed CPU based on AMD’s Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA architecture, and supports 8K gaming, frame rates of up to 120fps and eight times the GPU power of the Xbox One, which means 12 teraflop performance. As its pitch states - “Power Your Dreams”, indeed.
But if the games aren’t as good, why bother?
Valid question, which Microsoft has already answered with Senua’s Saga, surprise sequel to Ninja Theory’s cult-hit Senua’s Sacrifice. While there wasn’t any gameplay to show, the trailer was captured in a game engine, running on the console, in real-time, and it looks stellar. Then there’s Halo Infinite to look forward to, and that’s a sure-fire winner.
The tide has shifted in the console wars.