The Xbox Series X, Microsoft’s next-gen console, was revealed to the masses at this year’s Game Awards. But there’s one question that almost everybody seems to be asking: Why does it look like a PC? Well, as it turns out, considering the Series X is built on a PC-like architecture, it isn’t that surprising that the console would look like one. As for the name, it’s been well established that Microsoft is working on multiple Xbox consoles to be released in Holiday 2020, so the name also makes sense.
We first heard about the next-gen Xbox last year at E3, when Phil Spencer (Head of Xbox) officially acknowledged the development of the then-unnamed Xbox Series X. Aside from knowing that Microsoft has been planning to release 2 consoles, we’ve also known the specs for a while. As reported by many sources, the next-gen Xbox will have the following specs:
- An 8-core Ryzen Zen 2 CPU
- AMD Custom Designed GPU based on RDNA architecture with hardware Raytracing support
- 12 Teraflops of GPU Power
- NVMe SSD for little to no load times
- Cloud-based capabilities built-in
- Up to 16GB of RAM
- Complete backward compatibility
- 4K 60 FPS standard, with 120 FPS being possible
- 8K Video output
Sounds a lot like a PC, doesn’t it? Up until now, some of these specs were mere speculation. However, with the reveal of the Xbox Series X, Microsoft confirmed most of these features in their blog post here. This gives us a clearer idea of what the next generation of console gaming will look like, as both the Series X and the PlayStation 5 will be leveraging similar hardware. In PC land, these specs roughly equate to a mid-range gaming PC today. Hell, we’ve been gaming on similar hardware for over a year now. I personally game on a Ryzen 7 3700X and an NVIDIA RTX 2060 Super powered PC.
But that doesn’t mean that next-gen won’t look any better. Console hardware has always been behind what the best of PC can achieve. But as long as it isn’t severely underpowered, it only means better things for the developer. Just take a look at the 2013-released base PS4 and exclusives like God of War. With the amount of horsepower that the next-gen consoles are going to command, it only means that games are going to look and play significantly better. Here’s a look at Hellblade 2: Senua’s Saga, where the footage shown is in-game:
One of the concerns than many people had with the Xbox Series X, before its announcement, were things like airflow and heat management. After all, it’s not like you’re gonna fit a custom liquid cooler into one. The size of the Series X makes a lot more sense now, considering the specs that are going into it. Of course, as we’ve seen with the leaked PS5 dev kits, the next-gen consoles don’t have to be designed like a PC. But it does help if they are. Even the PS5 dev kit has a large vented area in the front for airflow, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes out looking any similar to a PC too.
The Xbox Series X will also tie into the Microsoft xCloud streaming service, which will be launching next year. This, combined with the raw power of the console, will surely help in it gaining a graphical advantage over the PlayStation 5. Microsoft has recently been pushing the Xbox brand a lot, with services like Xbox Play Anywhere and Game Pass, both of which are amazing. All in all, the next generation of gaming is surely shaping up to be something special.
Xbox Series X launches worldwide in Holiday 2020. The pricing of the console has not been announced yet.