Not surprisingly, Sony will launch PlayStation 5 in the second half of the year, and Microsoft will also bring out the Xbox Series X. This means that the struggle of this generation of consoles is coming to an end, the video game market is reshuffled, and players will officially enter the 4K era.
Contrary to Sony's recent silence, Microsoft officials have almost completely exposed the appearance, parameters and features of the Xbox Series X. Based on this, I think this game console has completely exceeded my imagination.
Appearance: more like a computer, but smaller than expected
When I first saw the Xbox Series X exterior renderings, my first reaction was that this thing must be big, right? The vertical design in the rendering, the angular square body, and the appearance that looks very similar to the PC will make people think of the computer at home directly.
As a home console, or TV game console, the main usage scenario of the Xbox Series X is the living room, which requires that it must not be as large as a computer.
According to the following news, the size of the Xbox Series X is not as large as expected, its height is roughly equal to the length of the Xbox One X, and the extra thickness in exchange for a narrower body.
In other words, if you are used to standing up the console, the Xbox Series X will not bring more space requirements, but you can't put it in the TV cabinet.
If you are familiar with the installation, you should understand that the vertical air duct can make the whole machine achieve better heat dissipation. The Xbox Series X should also be designed to achieve vertical airflow, so it should be more stable when playing for a long time.
△ Yinxin LD03 chassis with vertical air duct and ITX specifications
The appearance of the Xbox Series X should be more like an ITX console, and the angular design is in line with Microsoft's style. The size of the whole machine will not be as large as expected, and it uses a black body similar to the Xbox One X.
In addition, Microsoft should launch an Xbox Series S at the same time. This host removes the optical drive, the performance will be weaker, but in exchange for a more compact size, and uses the white body I prefer.
Gaming and performance: far more than expected
Expectations for the performance of the mainframe are often based on the performance of the computer in the past two years. This practice is more common after both Microsoft and Sony adopted custom APUs.
In order to achieve 4K @ 60fps games on the computer, generally we need at least one RTX 2070 SUPER graphics card. However, Xbox Series X can achieve a gaming experience up to 4K @ 120fps with a custom APU based on the Zen2 + RNDA2 architecture.
This is not only due to the optimization of game manufacturers, but also to the chip size of 360 mm². With a larger chip area and 7nm process, this APU is already equivalent to a product combining a mid-range CPU with a high-end GPU. With 16GB of GDDR6 shared memory and 1TB of NVMe SSD, it is not surprising that such performance can be achieved.
According to the news, the CPU part of this host will have some ARM cores, and it is unclear what these parts do. I think it may be used to achieve low-power standby and download, and assist the operating system, so that more resources can serve the game.
As a product with a life cycle of more than 6 years, we can't just look at this console with our current eyes. Maybe 6 years later, 4K @ 120fps or even 8K @ 60fps has become popular, and Microsoft Xbox Series X is naturally more difficult to handle 8K games, and may not be stable to 30fps.
By then, maybe Microsoft has launched an upgraded version of this host. According to Microsoft's philosophy, they will gradually weaken the concept of "generation", which means that games you buy in consoles such as Xbox Series X and even Xbox One can run on the next generation of consoles.
Xbox Series X can also run almost all games on platforms including Xbox One and Xbox 360, which means you can achieve better picture quality and resolution in older games.
In addition, the Xbox Series X supports technologies such as audio tracking, ray tracing, and fast game recovery. The first two items can provide users with a better audiovisual experience, while the latter can help players quickly return to the game to achieve a better immersion.
Handle and expandability
The Xbox Series X controller will also have a new design. Among them, the D-pad cross key is similar to the current elite handle. The deeper depression and hemispherical design can make the user more convenient to operate in all directions.
The buttons and body of the new controller will also be more rounded. These changes make the entire controller more suitable for players with smaller hands, which is good news for female players.
This handle will also use a USB Type-C interface. This not only means that it can plug the data cable in both directions. In the case that more and more mobile phones and computers use this interface, maybe in the future, it will be possible to complete charging and pairing with only a part of the cable And almost all tasks, including data transfer.
In addition, Microsoft has prepared hard drives for the Xbox Series X. This product was launched by Seagate. It seems that the size should be customized by M.2 interface products. Although the officially designated products should not be cheap, providing corresponding interfaces means that more converters or third-party products can appear in the future.
In terms of interfaces, the configuration of a USB Tpye-A in front and two USB Type-A, wired network, HDMI, and storage dedicated interfaces in the back cannot be said to be much, but it is enough.
Summary: An excellent next-generation console, but also looking forward to PS5
Based on the above, although Microsoft wants to gradually weaken the concept of "generation", it also wants to break the gap between PC and Xbox. But according to our habit, we still prefer to use the concept of "next generation" to call the upcoming game console.
With stable 4K @ 60fps up to 4K @ 120fps performance and possible compatibility with 8K, the Xbox Series X is undoubtedly a great answer from Microsoft for the "next-generation" console market.
As for the game lineup, Microsoft's traditional car guns are naturally indispensable, and Microsoft's work such as Forza Horizon and Halo will not be absent.
But with more Xbox games starting or coming soon to Windows 10, I still have questions about the competitiveness of the Xbox Series X. Although monopoly does not require players to buy a certain console, it can increase the appeal of the product, and regarding monopoly, we naturally expect Sony's PlayStation 5.