Xbox Series X Release Date Seemingly Revealed, Then Reverted to “Holiday 2020” [Update]

Mar 18, 2020
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Update: The Xbox Series X website has been updated, changing the release date from "Thankgiving 2020" to "Holiday 2020." Could Thanksgiving 2020 still be in the cards? It's possible, and the fact that the date was listed on the XSX website hints that date is, or was, in the plans. That said, I have a feeling whatever Microsoft might have been planning at once point may be in limbo due to COVID-19 concerns. We'll just have to wait for a more concrete release date from Microsoft.

Grubb: Third-Party Devs Are ‘Fawning’ Over PS5, Didn’t Hear Same Level of Praise for Xbox Series X

Original story: Sony finally revealed the tech powering the PlayStation 5 today, but Microsoft had a bit of a bomb to drop themselves – they’ve officially unveiled a release date for the Xbox Series X. Microsoft isn’t pulling any punches, as they’re launching the Xbox Series X on American Thanksgiving (November 26), just in time for the Black Friday shopping bonanza.

In addition to the release date, Microsoft has updated the Xbox Series X website with a new letter Phil Spencer, in which he runs down the new consoles features in bullet-point form. Here’s everything the Xbox Series X is going to be bringing to the table.

  • Next Generation Custom Processor: Xbox Series X is our most powerful console ever powered by our custom designed processor leveraging AMD’s latest Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures. Delivering four times the processing power of an Xbox One and enabling developers to leverage 12 TFLOPS of GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) performance – twice that of an Xbox One X and more than eight times the original Xbox One. Xbox Series X delivers a true generational leap in processing and graphics power with cutting edge techniques resulting in higher framerates, larger, more sophisticated game worlds, and an immersive experience unlike anything seen in console gaming.
  • Variable Rate Shading (VRS): Our patented form of VRS empowers developers to more efficiently utilise the full power of the Xbox Series X. Rather than spending GPU cycles uniformly to every single pixel on the screen, they can prioritise individual effects on specific game characters or important environmental objects. This technique results in more stable frame rates and higher resolution, with no impact on the final image quality.
  • Hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing: You can expect more dynamic and realistic environments powered by hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing – a first for console gaming. This means true-to-life lighting, accurate reflections and realistic acoustics in real time as you explore the game world.
  • SSD Storage: With our next-generation SSD, nearly every aspect of playing games is improved. Game worlds are larger, more dynamic and load in a flash and fast travel is just that – fast.
  • Quick Resume: The new Quick Resume feature lets you continue multiple games from a suspended state almost instantly, returning you to where you were and what you were doing, without waiting through long loading screens.
  • Dynamic Latency Input (DLI): We’re optimising latency in the player-to-console pipeline starting with our Xbox Wireless Controller, which leverages our high bandwidth, proprietary wireless communication protocol when connected to the console. With Dynamic Latency Input (DLI), a new feature which synchronises input immediately with what is displayed, controls are even more precise and responsive.
  • HDMI 2.1 Innovation: We’ve partnered with the HDMI forum and TV manufacturers to enable the best gaming experience through features such as Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). ALLM allows Xbox One and Xbox Series X to automatically set the connected display to its lowest latency mode. VRR synchronises the display’s refresh rate to the game’s frame rate, maintaining smooth visuals without tearing. Ensuring minimal lag and the most responsive gaming experience.
  • 120FPS Support: With support for up to 120 FPS, Xbox Series X allows developers to exceed standard 60FPS output in favour of heightened realism or fast-paced action.
  • Four generations of gaming: Our commitment to compatibility means existing Xbox One games, including backward-compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games, look and play better than ever before. Your favourite games, including titles in Xbox Game Pass, benefit from steadier framerates, faster load times and improved resolution and visual fidelity – all with no developer work required. Your Xbox One gaming accessories also come forward with you.
  • Smart Delivery: This technology empowers you to buy a game once and know that – whether you are playing it on Xbox One or Xbox Series X – you are getting the right version of that game on whatever Xbox you’re playing on. We’re making the commitment to use Smart Delivery on all our exclusive Xbox Game Studios titles, including Halo Infinite, ensuring you only have to purchase a title once in order to play the best available version for whichever Xbox console you choose to play on. This technology is available for all developers and publishers, and they can choose to use it for titles that will be released on Xbox One first and come to the Xbox Series X later.
  • Xbox Game Pass: In addition to games from across four generations of consoles, our leading game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, will continue to have our first party games, like Halo Infinite, included at their launch. We look forward to millions of you experiencing the Xbox Game Pass portfolio and immersing yourselves in a deep library of high-quality games, playing those you love now and also discovering your next great adventure.

So, now the next question – with the Xbox Series X locking down November 26, will Sony also launch the PlayStation 5 on Thanksgiving? Or will they go earlier? I doubt they’ll go later, as they want to get in on those Black Friday sales. Of course, this is all still rather hypothetical that this point – the COVID-19 pandemic could still delay things or make shopping for consoles impossible. We shall see how things develop.

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