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Xbox Series X key features teased just ahead of PS5 event

Xbox Series X
(Image credit: Xbox)

Timing is a funny thing. Microsoft has just come out to champion how the Xbox Series X will have “thousands of playable games at launch” merely hours ahead of a big PS5 games showcase. 

Now we’re not going to accuse Xbox of trying to steal the PS5’s thunder, but Jason Ronald, director of program management for the Xbox Series X, sure did pick an opportune moment to pen a blog post about the “future of Xbox.” Ronald details a lot of what we already knew, from the Xbox Series X’s superior raw paper to the PS5, as well as it’s ray-tracing and 4K resolution capabilities. 

He also championed how the Xbox Series X‘s Quick Resume feature will help people drop in and out of next-generation games at “a new level of fidelity, immediacy, precision and accuracy never before seen in console gaming.” But the most notable part of the Xbox Wire post was how many games the Xbox Series X will have when it arrives late 2020. 

“We’re empowering you to play thousands of games at launch because we believe strongly in delivering compatibility across four generations of Xbox and we know you want this too,” said Ronald, noting that the Xbox Series X is now in the hands of 15 Xbox Game Studios teams. That means there should be a slew of new next-generation games to go alongside the backward compatible titles picked from all three generations of Xbox consoles, many of which will get upgrades such as 4K support, 120fps framerates and HDR.  

Ronald flagged Halo Infinite as one of the new “blockbuster games” coming to the Xbox Series X, effectively further confirming it’ll be a launch game for the Xbox Series X. And interestingly he noted that mobile gaming, cloud-powered game streaming via Project xCloud, and cross-platform gaming will all be part of the Xbox Series X’s repertoire. 

“Importantly, more than 80% of console gamers also play on PC and mobile,” said Ronald. “That’s why we’re building out services like Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Live and Project xCloud across console, PC, and mobile so you and your friends can play and discover your next great adventures together – on any device.” 

With all this in mind, it’s looking like the Xbox Series X is really shaping up to be a core part of a wider Xbox ecosystem. In comparison, the PS5 looks like it’s going to be more of a singular games console aimed at delivering the best next-generation gaming Sony can muster. That means there should be a compelling difference between the two next-generation consoles, and an argument for people with deep pockets to get both. 

We’re set to see more about the PS5 games lineup later on today in the big PS5 “The Future of Gaming” event, which starts at 1 p.m PT/4p.m. ET. So make sure to check back with Tom’s Guide as we’ll be gathering all the best news from the showcase. And we’ll see what Microsoft will need to then do in its July Xbox Series X event in retort to the PS5.