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Xbox Series X: Release date, price, pre-order, controller and more

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Goodbye Project Scarlett, hello Xbox Series X. Actually, make that just Xbox. Microsoft's next-gen console has finally been fully unveiled as a PC-shaped tower that promises to be the company's "fastest, most powerful console ever."

That means features like 4K visuals at a consistent 60 frames per second, 8K and 120fps capabilities, a beefy AMD Zen 2 processor and a next-gen SSD that will all but eliminate load times for upcoming games like Halo Infinite and Hellblade 2.

Here's everything we know about Xbox Series X, including the console's price, release date, controller, game lineup and more.

Update: Dec 17: Microsoft says that the Xbox Series X will simply be called Xbox, which opens the door for other consoles in the series.

Xbox Series X cheat sheet: What you need to know

  • What it is: Microsoft's most powerful game console ever
  • The name: The new console is simply called Xbox and Xbox Series X is the series name
  • Release date: Holiday 2020
  • Price: TBD
  • Key features: 4K visuals at 60 FPS, 8K and 120 fps support, ray tracing, near-instant load times
  • Key games: Halo Infinite, Hellblade II, full Xbox One backward compatibility
  • Specs: Custom AMD Zen 2 CPU, Custom NVMe SSD, GDDR6 memory

Xbox Series X release date

Xbox Series X is slated for a Holiday 2020 release, which will put it right up against Sony's PS5. Based on previous console launches, we're expecting it to hit sometime in November.

Xbox Series X price

Xbox Series X doesn't yet have an official price, but we expect it to go for a premium given its high-end specs. For context, both the original Xbox One and Xbox One X launched at a $499 price point.

However, you will have an option to pay for your Series X in installments. The upcoming console has been added to Microsoft's Xbox All Access program, which allows you to finance an Xbox One S or Xbox One X for as little as $19.99 per month. All Access members can upgrade to Series X starting in Holiday 2020 once they've made 18 payments. 

Xbox Series X pre-order

Xbox Series X isn't quite available for pre-order yet, but we'll be sure to update this section once it is. However, if you sign up for Xbox All Access now, you can eventually upgrade to a Series X starting Holiday 2020.

Xbox Series X specs

Xbox Series X features a custom AMD Zen 2 processor that promises four times the power of the Xbox One X. Other features include ray tracing support, up to 120fps gameplay, 8K resolution, GDDR6 memory and variable refresh rate support. The system will also have a custom SSD that promises a 40x performance increase and virtually no load times.

Release dateHoliday 2020
ProcessorCustom 8-core AMD Zen 2
RAMGDDR6 up to 16GB
StorageCustom NVMe SSD (capacity TBD)
Ray TracingYes
Maximum resolution8K
Maximum framerate120 frames per second

Other key features include Variable Refresh Rate support, meaning the console can change the refresh rate on the fly based on what type of TV or monitor is connected (that means that support for G-Sync and FreeSync monitors may be possible). Series X will offer Microsoft's Variable Rate Shading technology, which improves rendering performance without sacrificing picture quality.

With features like Auto Low Latency Mode and Dynamic Latency Input, Series X should offer more responsive inputs than previous Xbox consoles, which could be key for competitive games. 

In an interview with Gamespot, Xbox chief Phil Spencer stressed that Microsoft is focusing on getting games to run at 4K at a steady 60 frames per second on Series X. Spencer also noted that fast load times is a major design priority, which is where the system's custom SSD will come in.

While Xbox Series X's high-end specs should easily power a VR headset, don't hold your breath for virtual reality on the next Xbox. Speaking to Stevivor, Spencer noted that VR is not a priority for Microsoft's next-gen console.

“I have some issues with VR — it’s isolating and I think of games as a communal, kind of together experience," Spencer told Stevivor. "We’re responding to what our customers are asking for and… nobody’s asking for VR."

Xbox Series X controller

Xbox Series X will launch with a new version of the Xbox Wireless Controller. While it looks fairly identical to the current Xbox One controller, the gamepad will feature a dedicated Share button for easily capturing screenshots and game clips, as well as a revised d-pad based on that of the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller. 

In a blog post, Microsoft also says that its "size and shape have been refined to accommodate an even wider range of people." Better yet, the new controller will also work with Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs.

Xbox Series X games

There will of course be some major titles releasing at the same time or shortly after the Series X launches to tempt people into buying the new console, but you won't need it to play these new games. Xbox has promised that the exclusives available on the Series X will also be playable on the Xbox One and PC, marking it from Sony's PS5-or-nothing approach to its launch games. It may sacrifice potential sales if players see they can get the same games on a platform they already own, but it's a gentler approach than Sony's taking, which may keep Microsoft in gamers' good books during the launch period.

Halo Infinite, the highly anticipated next installment in Microsoft's flagship shooter series, will launch alongside Xbox Series X in Holiday 2020. 

At The Game Awards 2019, Microsoft studio Ninja Theory revealed Senua's Saga: Hellblade II, the sequel to the beloved 2016 psychological action game. The game is being built exclusively for Xbox Series X and PC, and the debut in-engine trailer should give you a solid idea of what the console is capable of.

We don't know much else about the launch lineup, but the Series X will support all existing Xbox One games, including the vast library of backward compatible Xbox and Xbox 360 titles.

Other titles confirmed or expected to be in development for next-gen consoles include The Elder Scrolls VI, Starfield and Grand Theft Auto 6, so it seems safe to assume that those will land on Xbox Series X as well. According to TechRadar, Rage 2 developer Avalanche Studios is working on a next-generation title.

During its fall 2019 earnings call, EA confirmed that it has a new Battlefield game in development for next-gen consoles (according to GameSpot). The publisher is also skipping this year's installment of NBA Live to focus on a next-gen version for 2020, as reported by Polygon.