Microsoft today announced the launch date for their Xbox Series X and its cheaper sibling, the Xbox Series S: the 10th of November. What do Xboxes have to do with us, a PC gaming website? A fair bit!
1) All of Microsoft's Xbox games are PC games too.
2) Xbox gamepad is the best gamepad (fight me) and it's being updated.
3) System requirements will start creeping up again.
4) Aw bless, that Series S looks like a cute wee retro radio.
Microsoft announced the big news today. The big ol' Xbox Xeriex X will cost £449 ($499) and its less-powerful sibling the Series S will be £249 ($299). It is also curious that Microsoft are launching a slower one right out of the gate - usually they wait a bit before splitting a generation into multiple models. Consoles are more and more like PCs. Anyway!
1) Yup, seems Microsoft are continuing to release Xbox games simultaneously on PC. That's been nice. The best part of the latest console generation, really. I think Microsoft's commitment to PC gaming (a genuine commitment this time, not the empty promises they offered for a decade) and the success they've found is part of why Sony want to bring more PlayStation games to PC too.
Xbox Xeriex games we know Microsoft are bringing to Windows include Halo Infinite, the Fable reboot, State Of Decay 3, the 'reimagined' Forza Motorsport, Everwild, Avowed, As Dusk Falls, and Senua's Saga: Hellblade II. That's only the games Microsoft have a hand in themselves, mind. Microsoft's games are all on Xbox Game Pass For PC too, the subscription service which will soon also include EA Play membership.
2) The Xbox pad is chuffing lovely, and I want to get my hands on the new one. Microsoft have said it's largely the same but with some small tweaks to the shape, a new D-pad (always a weak spot, I will concede), Bluetooth Low Energy pairing, a shift to USB-C cables, a few tweaks that might reduce latency (though maybe smaller improvements than you'd see on a console?), and some new textures and finishes on certain parts. My Xbone pad broke only a few months back so I've been holding out for this.
3) With new console hardware arriving (the PlayStation 5 is also due this year), multiplatform games will start pushing harder with new technographical effects, including ray tracing. Good news if your PC is a righog slammed full of terachops, because you'll have more that can properly use it. Worse news if you've quite enjoyed being able to play the latest and greatest without upgrading your PC for years. And eh maybe boring news if you're sick of the phase at the start of a new console generation when big publishers chase the bland dream of 'photorealism' more than interesting aesthetics.
I am looking forward to Microsoft bringing next-gen loading times to PC. Oh, and we'll see more bonuses like The Witcher 3's free next-gen upgrade as devs retouch older games for release on the new consoles.
4) Okay really, look at this lovely little radio: