The Xbox Series X is basically a PC
What is the relevance of dedicated Xbox hardware when Microsoft wants the Xbox platform to be everywhere?
With last night’s surprise reveal of the Xbox Series X, Microsoft answered that question in emphatic fashion. It is a console that looks unlike anything that has ever been released. Except, well, a gaming PC. And that’s very encouraging.
With its chunky prismatic frame, the Series X feels like it won’t be constrained in any physical dimension. It’s reminiscent of compact gaming PCs like the Corsair One. That has its drawbacks — even in horizontal orientation, it definitely won’t fit in my TV cabinet. But the advantage is that Microsoft now has a lot more thermal headroom to play with than ever before.
Size doesn’t guarantee performance, of course. Microsoft started out this generation with the largest, least powerful console, and now has the smallest, most powerful machine around. From what we’ve heard about the Series X, though, it’s shaping up to be a potent machine even by gaming PC standards. That wasn’t the case with the Xbox One and PS4, both of which were built around low-power AMD CPUs. But Microsoft says that the Series X will target 4K/60fps performance with Zen 2 and RDNA architecture from AMD, leveraging hardware-accelerated ray tracing, GDDR6 memory, and NVMe solid-state storage.