Xbox Series X Inside and Out

Xbox Series X: A Closer Look at the Technology Powering the Next Generation – Xbox Wire by Will Tuttle

Microsoft has dumped the motherlode of Xbox Series X information upon the world yesterday morning. All that is really left is the release date, the launch games (besides Halo Infinite), and the price. Microsoft has been doing extremely well with the consistent drip feed of next-gen news. This news was likely always scheduled to be revealed at GDC 2020, which was supposed to be held in person this week, but was cancelled due to COVID-19. Here are some of the tidbits I found most intriguing.

Starting with the actual box, I’ve always been a fan of the vertical design. Now that we have seen the inside and know the air flow, it reminds me quite a bit of the Mac Pro—from 2013. Can’t innovate anymore my ass. After the Red Ring of Death back in the 360 days, the emphasis on thermal management is always interesting to see in each Xbox.

Inside the box itself, the specs are off the charts compared to the current generation. Both the Xbox Wire article above and the Digital Foundry video dig into the nitty gritty. What I cared the most about was actually the SSD size, which is 1TB. I find that too small as a baseline considering how large these end-of-generation games actually are. Games like Red Dead Redemption II take up two discs while Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is easily 120+ Gbs. Thankfully, Microsoft confirmed what the mysterious port on the back of the Series X is meant for. The slot is a proprietary SSD expansion slot. Since all Series X games expect the SSD for performance, you can’t just load Series X games from a standard external HDD. These proprietary SSD cards seem small, but weighty (as Digital Foundry mentioned). I am curious how much these SSDs will cost. Memory cards are back!

Besides the Digital Foundry content, Austin Evans also got hands-on. His video is a bit more high energy than Digital Foundry. Austin also talked about the Series X on The Test Drivers podcast.

As the new generation kicks up, it is astounding to look at how much of a 180 Microsoft has made. They have really spent the past few years rebuilding the brand and have built a seemingly solid foundation for the Series X. Very much looking forward to see how the generation’s launch shakes out.