The team at Xbox has at last unveiled its next-generation gaming platform: The Xbox Series X. Previously referred to as Project Scarlett, the Xbox Series X is built to be the company’s fastest and most capable console to date. With high-end specs and 8K compatibility, it’s no wonder that gamers are wondering what components are inside and how much the system will cost. Here’s everything we know about the Xbox Series X price, specifications, and pre-order availability.
Xbox Series X | Specifications and compatibility
The team at Xbox is remaining tight-lipped about exactly what’s under the hood of the Xbox Series X. However, we do know that the console is supposed to be quite powerful. Press materials from the Xbox team state that the platform’s “industrial design enables us to deliver four times the processing power of Xbox One X in the most quiet and efficient way.”
Thankfully, we do have some solid facts: The Series X will be powered by a custom-designed processor utilizing AMD Zen 2 and RDNA architecture, and its GPU will include full support for ray tracing. Early reports suggest that the system will include an 8-core processor and 16GB RAM. The system also features an SSD for fast load times, and has a suite of different technologies such as Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), Dynamic Latency Input (DLI), and full cloud-based functionality.
This means support for 4K graphics at 60 frames-per-second, with the “possibility” of reaching up to 120 frames-per-second—good news for PC-oriented players already sporting high-end monitors. Variable refresh rate technology is baked-in, and the Series X will be compatible with both 8K content and displays. The console will also bundle in the new Xbox Wireless Controller, which seems to share its unique D-pad and general design (and perhaps even its individual price point) with the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller.
As for the console’s unusual shape, the Xbox team has stated that the Series X is designed “to support both vertical and horizontal orientation.” In other words, it’s not just a giant tower or obelisk: It’s perfectly capable of being turned sideways for users who prefer that configuration.
Finally, the Xbox team has stated that the Series X will include support for backward compatibility as well as the ever-popular Xbox Game Pass subscription service. There’s even support for “cross-generation entitlements,” meaning Achievements and even game saves can be shared across devices. When the system launches around December of 2020, players ought to be able to enjoy most or perhaps even all of their Xbox One games on the Xbox Series X.
Xbox Series X | How much will it cost?
The price of the Xbox Series X is still a complete mystery, but many experts believe the system will retail for $499. Take that projected cost with a grain of salt: Neither Xbox nor Microsoft has provided any kind of indication of what they intend to charge for the system. However, there are a few reasons why $499 seems like a decent starting price point.
The simplest way to arrive at this projected cost is to look back on the development of the Xbox One X, the most powerful system in the current Xbox line. For that, a brief history lesson is in order: The original Xbox One launched at $499 before the Elite came around in 2015 and also sold for $499. Back then, the Elite bundle was attractive for offering the then-new Xbox Elite Controller as well as a hybrid hard drive for faster load times.
Just about two years later, the team unveiled the Xbox One X, an even higher-end revision of the Elite hardware. Originally teased as Project Scorpio, the One X offered support for 4K content, an 8-core CPU and Radeon GPU, and 12GB of RAM. When it launched, it was priced at—you guessed it—$499.
Of course, that’s not to say that the Xbox Series X will follow suit and launch at $499. It may be that the power under the hood of the Series X drives the price point more toward the $600 dollar range. Alternatively, it could be that the Series X is just that—a series of new hardware—with $499 considered the base-level starting point.
It’s also worth considering that the PlayStation 5 is launching around the same Holiday 2020 window as the Xbox Series X, and a difference of just $100 could make the difference when it comes time for seasonal shopping.
Xbox Series X | Pre-order Availability
For now, there is no option to pre-order the Xbox Series X. The hardware is still technically in development, though we have caught wind that Xbox head Phil Spencer already has a working prototype up and running in his home.
So why no pre-order options? That’s fairly simple: the Xbox team wants to make sure that consumers have a solid understanding of what they’d be buying before dropping their hard-earned dollars. Xbox’s Partner Director of Program Management Jason Ronald provided a statement to Gamespot giving some more details:
“We think, in the end, what people want from us is […] to put a controller [in their] hand,” Ronald said. “People tell me, ‘Hey, I want to pre-order right now,’ and we definitely love that—like it’s great to have those fans—but I also know that these investments aren’t trivial for families. I want to be transparent about what our design goals are.”
As soon as we hear more about Xbox Series X pre-order availability, we’ll be sure to update this guide.