Xbox Series X and Series S

The Xbox Series X and Series S are the fourth generation of the Xbox series of home video game consoles developed and sold by Microsoft. Released on November 10, 2020, the higher-end Xbox Series X and lower-end Xbox Series S are part of the ninth generation of video game consoles, which also includes Sony‘s PlayStation 5, released the same month.[4] They succeeded the Xbox One.

In early 2019, rumors emerged of a fourth generation of Xbox consoles (codenamed « Scarlett ») that consisted of a high-end model (« Anaconda ») and a lower-end model (« Lockhart »). Microsoft teased Anaconda in June 2019 during E3 2019 and unveiled it as the Xbox Series X during The Game Awards in December. On September 8, 2020, Microsoft unveiled the Xbox Series S.

Like the Xbox One, the consoles use an AMD CPU and GPU. Both models have solid-state drives to reduce loading times, support for hardware-accelerated ray-tracing and spatial audio, the ability to convert games to high-dynamic-range rendering using machine learning (Auto HDR), support for HDMI 2.1 variable refresh rate and low-latency modes, and updated controllers. Xbox Series X was designed to nominally render games in 2160p (4K resolution) at 60 frames per second (FPS). The lower-end, digital-only Xbox Series S, which has reduced specifications and does not include an optical drive, was designed to nominally render games in 1440p at 120 FPS, with support for 4K video scaling and ray tracing.

Xbox Series X/S are backwards-compatible with nearly all Xbox One-compatible games and accessories (including Xbox 360 and original Xbox games that were made backward-compatible with Xbox One); the newer hardware gives games better performance and visuals. At launch, Microsoft encouraged a « soft » transition between generations, similar to PC gaming, offering the « Smart Delivery » framework to allow publishers to provide upgraded versions of Xbox One titles with optimizations for Xbox Series X/S. Publishers are not required to use Smart Delivery and may publish Xbox Series X/S-exclusive titles if they choose. Electronic Arts is among the developers that do not use Smart Delivery.

Critics praised the Xbox Series X/S for the hardware improvements over Xbox One and Microsoft’s emphasis on cross-generation releases, but believed that the games available at launch did not fully use the hardware capabilities. Microsoft has not released sales data for the Xbox Series X/S but said on July 27, 2021, that they were the fastest-selling Xbox models to date. It was estimated that Microsoft had shipped at least 14.6 million units of the two consoles worldwide by June 2022.