Gaming

Xbox Series X: Microsoft reveals next-gen console's name and a launch title

Goodbye Xbox Scarlett, and hello Xbox Series X.

Xbox chief Phil Spencer took the stage at the fifth-annual Game Awards Thursday night to give the world a first look at the the company’s upcoming console and announce its official launch name.

“We see a future where you’re instantly absorbed in your games where world are even more lifelike and immersive,” he said. “Next holiday Xbox Series X will lead us in to the future of console gaming.”

The Xbox Series X stands taller than any other Microsoft console before it. It resembles a PC tower more than a traditional console and for good reason. It will house a solid-disk drive for blazing fast loading speeds and tout stunning graphics capabilities, a lot like today’s PCs.

Spencer also revealed that Xbox Game Studios is currently developing 15 titles for the next-gen console. That includes Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 by Microsoft-owned studio Ninja Theory. The game is set for launch alongside the console late in 2020 and will succeed the 2017 release of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.

The upcoming title’s trailer showed off the Xbox Series X’s next-level graphics. The cinematic video was entirely captured in the game’s engine and featured photorealistic cultists and wispy shadows in a torchlit scene. Microsoft will likely announce more games coming to the console as its launch nears.

While Microsoft only announced one next-gen console Thursday, the Xbox Series X’s name implies there will eventually be more than one new Xbox, much like the current generation. Four anonymous Microsoft sources told Kotaku that the company still intends to launch a lower-cost console with no disc drive alongside its premium Xbox Series X.

It’s too early to say be certain, but Microsoft might have just revealed that it’s moving toward a multi-console strategy in 2020 at the Game Awards.

The annual event has grown exponentially since its 2015 debut, with the 2018 show attracting upward of 26 million viewers and more than 10 million online votes. (For comparison, this year’s Oscars drew 29 million viewers.)

The ceremony — was aired on 50 different platforms include Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Mixer, among others — included 30 categories that spanned a variety of video game genres. There were technical awards for standout elements like sound design and honors for content creators and esports athletes. Some 107 different games, individuals, and teams were nominated this year.

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