Home / Tech / Here's your first look at Microsoft's wild new game console, the Xbox Series X (MSFT)

Here's your first look at Microsoft's wild new game console, the Xbox Series X (MSFT)

Xbox Series X

  • On Thursday night, Microsoft gave its next-generation Xbox console a surprise reveal.
  • The new console is named Xbox Series X, and it looks … distinct.
  • There’s no price for the console just yet, nor is there a specific release date, but we do know that it’s scheduled to arrive in the 2020 holiday season.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A new, next-generation Xbox game console got a surprise reveal on Thursday night: the Xbox Series X.

The console, on paper, is largely a known quantity. It plays Blu-ray discs, it has built-in storage, and it contains some pretty hefty horsepower to power the next generation of console gaming.

What’s new and exciting, however, is the console’s distinct appearance. Let’s take a closer look!

SEE ALSO: The next Xbox is scheduled to arrive in ‘holiday 2020,’ and it’s named Xbox Series X — here’s everything we know so far about Microsoft’s next game console

Microsoft’s head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, took the stage at the 2019 Game Awards to reveal the look and name of the Xbox Series X.

Before that though, the console was revealed in a concept video that showcased some of Microsoft’s biggest first-party game franchises.

A racing game that looked suspiciously like the long-running “Forza Motorsport” series was shown off, as was a tease of the next “Halo” game.

But let’s get to the console: it’s a large-ish rectangular box.

It can be oriented vertically or horizontally, Microsoft says.

Though the photos make it look large, the gamepad offers an idea of just how big it is: About a foot tall or so, and about three to five inches wide.

But we can do one better than guesses.

GameSpot’s Peter Brown got an exclusive look at the console, and described it as such: “Series X’s square footprint is roughly as wide as an Xbox One controller and (again, roughly) three times as tall.”

Notably, you can stand it up like it is above, or you can lay it down on its side.

Due to the obelisk-like look of the Series X, some folks online are comparing it to … some unflattering objects:

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Xbox players waiting for the release of Xbox Series X like. #TheGameAwards pic.twitter.com/6MR9z1OjFQ

But the overall reaction to the console has been overwhelmingly positive.

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You know, I actually quite like the new #Xbox design… #TheGameAwards pic.twitter.com/SxncpJcVFhTweet Embed:
I like it. Minimalistic. #XboxSeriesX #Xbox pic.twitter.com/UQiF5Q5wLcTweet Embed:
I think the new Xbox Series X looks really awesome

The top of the Xbox Series X is a massive cooling vent.

The Xbox Series X is said to be four times more powerful than the most powerful current Xbox, the Xbox One X. It’s said to be capable of running games at 120 frames-per-second, at up to 8K resolution. Microsoft says it can produce graphics with “Ray Tracing” — a lighting technique that makes games look more impressive than ever.

All of that stuff requires a heavy lift, processing-wise, and all that processing takes a lot of cooling. The Xbox Series X is intentionally designed around cooling, with the entire top panel serving as a massive cooling vent for the computer inside.

Here’s a closer look at the front, which features a glowing Xbox logo as the power button — a continuation of a tradition started on the Xbox One.

And here’s a closer look at the bottom of the front, which features the Blu-ray disc drive, a USB port, and a button for pairing devices with the console.

In many respects, the front of the Xbox Series X is a minimalist interpretation of the front of the Xbox One X. It’s got a disc drive slot, a single USB port, a button for pairing wireless peripherals, and the Xbox power button.

It is otherwise a lengthy blank slate that’s intended to disappear into your home entertainment setup.

But the console isn’t the only thing getting a visual update — the Xbox Series X comes with a next-generation gamepad as well!

Similar to the design of the box, the gamepad is remarkably similar to the current Xbox One gamepad — albeit streamlined and updated.

It comes with two major new additions: a Share button, intended for easily capturing screenshots and gameplay video (and then sharing it), and a new d-pad, which is modeled on the Xbox One Elite gamepad d-pad design.

The new gamepad will work with the Xbox One as well as the Xbox Series X, despite belonging to different game console generations, just as old Xbox One gamepads will work with the Series X.

Microsoft has yet to showcase what the back of the box looks like, so we don’t know how many ports it has, but you can take a deeper dive into the console in its debut video below:

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