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xbox series x

Next-generation Xbox unveiled with unusual shape and confusing name

Image credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has shown off its next Xbox console, confusingly called the Xbox Series X following on from 2017’s Xbox One X.

It said the console will be the “most powerful” ever and moves towards a cylinder shape, setting itself apart from previous games consoles.

The unusual shape is based around one large fan that is designed to cool the console’s components without causing too much noise, Microsoft said it will be the same loudness as the One X.

But it has also been confirmed that it can work laying on its side, so gamers needn’t worry that it won’t fit into their existing TV setups.

The gaming giant first announced a new console in the summer under the codename Project Scarlett, saying that it would launch at the end of 2020.

Writing in a blog post on the new console, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said: “Xbox Series X will be our fastest, most powerful console ever and set a new bar for performance, speed and compatibility, allowing you to bring your gaming legacy, thousands of games from three generations and more forward with you.

“Its industrial design enables us to deliver four times the processing power of Xbox One X in the most quiet and efficient way, something that is critically important in delivering truly immersive gameplay.

“We also designed Xbox Series X to support both vertical and horizontal orientation. It’s bold and unique, very much like our fans around the world and the team of collaborators and innovators who built it.”

The Series X also comes with a new controller that only makes minor changes from the design originally introduced with the Xbox One launch in 2013.

The most obvious new feature is the addition of a share button that will allow gamers to more easily post clips and screenshots to social media. But it has also been designed to accommodate more hand sizes and is slightly smaller than the previous version.

Only two games have been confirmed for the console thus far, a new iteration of the long running Halo series dubbed 'Halo Infinite' and 'Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II'.

The footage of the games shown in the teaser above is apparently running on the Series X in real time, an impressive feat considering its visual fidelity.

“The footage shared tonight was captured in-engine and reflects the power of Xbox Series X available to developers to deliver new universes, experiences and games in ways you have never imagined,” Spencer said.

Xbox said the new console will run games at 4K resolution – double that of HD – with the possibility of running 8K resolution, and will also process faster so as to “eliminate” loading times around games.

The end of 2020 will be a busy time for the gaming industry, with fellow industry heavyweights Sony set to launch its own next-generation console, the PlayStation 5.

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