Microsoft Bows Xbox Series X and Series S Consoles

Microsoft Nov. 10 announced availability of the next-generation Xbox Series X video game console, priced at $499, and Xbox Series S unit available for $299.

Microsoft will formally launch the new gaming systems in a global livestream at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET on YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Gaming.

Microsoft says the Xbox Series X features 12 teraflops of GPU power enabling new technologies and features such as framerates up to 120 fps, hardware-accelerated Direct X raytracing, variable rate shading, and Quick Resume, which enables players to resume exactly where they left off. The Xbox Series S offers similar performance at a more affordable price. The Xbox Series X|S are available in 40 markets around the world today.

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Microsoft claims the Xbox Series X|S are the only next-generation consoles enabling gamers to play thousands of games across four generations.

“We believe that gamers should be able to play all of their games from the past without needing to purchase them again, and they should play better than ever before,” wrote Will Tuttle, editor in chief of Xbox Wire.

This means that all titles should run at enhanced speed and more clarity than they were originally designed for on their original launch platform. Backward compatible games run natively with the full performance of the Xbox Series X|S for each and every backward compatible game.

“These games will look better than ever thanks to improved texture filtering, higher and more consistent frame rates, faster load times and Auto HDR support,” Tuttle wrote.

Microsoft Bows 40-Foot Replica of Xbox Series X to Celebrate Nov. 10 Launch

Microsoft Corp. unveiled a 40-foot-tall replica of the Xbox Series X in the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington state the weekend before the Nov. 10 launch of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

The structure featured a rotation of dream-inspired art from local artists — a nod to the Xbox Power Your Dreams campaign for the new consoles.

Nov. 9 the installation footage started streaming online, revealing clues for #SolveForX, an online global scavenger hunt. Consumers can follow @Xbox Twitter to review rules and participate for their chance to win the Ultimate Xbox Experience bundle or one of seven Xbox Series X consoles. Select pieces of art will also be made available digitally after launch.

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The installation is one of many activations worldwide approaching launch day, all of which will be featured in the official Xbox launch livestream on Nov. 10 starting 11 a.m. PT.

Analyst: New Game Consoles to Boost Unit Shipments 6% in 2020

What a difference a year makes. With Microsoft and Sony poised to launch next-generation video game platforms, new data from ABI Research suggests 40 million combined units of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and Series S will ship by the end of the year. That tally is 6% higher than combined unit shipments in 2019, when gamers held off buying hardware and software — sending the gaming industry into a months-long funk.

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In addition to the new consoles and relevant content, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has seen a surge in video game use in the home, driving sales of software, hardware and accessories throughout much of the year. With millions of consumers forced to stay at home in the first few months, game downloads and the number of active gaming users significantly increased. The demand for game consoles also increased in the first quarter of 2020, but supply chain disruption resulted in lower unit shipments. As operations resumed nearly back to normal in the second quarter, game console makers reported higher unit shipments in the second quarter.

“In addition to increasing demand in gaming, long-awaited next-generation consoles are targeting launch in November 2020, which will further drive the game console market,” analyst Khin Sandi Lynn said in a statement. “Although governments are reopening economies, still-imposed travel restrictions can impact logistics. Game console makers need to prepare for efficient production, content creation, and distribution plans to avoid supply chain shortages, especially during the holiday season when sales will peak.”

The Xbox Series X launches Nov. 10, and the PS5 bows two days later on Nov. 12.

Apple TV (Plus) on Pending Xbox Series X and Series S Consoles

Microsoft Nov. 2 confirmed that its next-generation video game systems, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, will launch Nov. 10 with the Apple TV app included. The app, which affords access to $4.99 monthly SVOD service Apple TV+, joins Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Showtime, CBS All Access, AMC+, Spotify, YouTube, YouTube TV, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Peacock, Vudu, FandangoNow, Sky Go, Now TV, Sky Ticket and Twitch, among other over-the-top video platforms.

The Apple TV app offers access to thousands of transactional TV shows and movies, in addition to Apple TV+, Apple TV Channels and personalized entertainment recommendations.

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“It’s not just your games that play better than ever before on our new consoles, your favorite movies and shows are about to sound and look more immersive on Xbox Series X and Series S,” Will Tuttle, editor-in-chief at Xbox Wire, wrote in a press release.

 

Sony Cuts PlayStation 5 Console Production, Citing Chip Issues

Ahead of a Sept. 16 pricing unveil for the next-generation PlayStation 5 video game console, Sony Interactive Entertainment has reportedly cut production for the year by four million units to 11 million, citing software chip issues.

As first reported by Bloomberg, which cited sources familiar with the situation, production for the new console was being hampered by a 50% reduction in available custom-designed system-on-chips (SOC) that help drive the unit. Coupled with manufacturing delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, production of 11 million PS5 units would still surpass previous first-year PS production runs.

“If Sony can really ship 11 million for this fiscal year, we do not think the shortfall will be critical,” Kazunori Ito, analyst with Morningstar Investment Management Asia, told CNBC.

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The news, which saw Sony Corp. shares dip slightly, comes as PS battles Microsoft’s Xbox with new gaming systems in time for the 2020 winter holidays. Microsoft earlier this month announced that the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles would launch Nov. 10, priced at $499 and $299, respectively. In a first, the software giant will market financing options for the consoles, beginning at $24.99 monthly.

After a near two-year slump as gamers awaited the arrival of new consoles and/or migrated to online gaming, the video game market has exploded during the pandemic. Driven by house-bound gamers and consumers, monthly industry sales ballooned more than 70% in April, according to The NPD Group — with accessory sales hitting an all-time high in August.

Nintendo, whose Switch gaming device has dominated the market in the absence of new Xbox and PS units, saw operating profit skyrocket 400% for the fiscal quarter from April to June 2020.

Microsoft Unveils Xbox Series X Video Game Console Launching Winter 2020

Microsoft formally unveiled its next-generation Xbox video game console, dubbed Xbox Series X and set to launch at retail for the 2020 winter holidays.

The new gaming console, disclosed at The Game Awards 2019, claims to be eight times faster than Xbox and twice as fast as Xbox One with terabyte of storage and UHD Blu-ray Disc drive. The console will use the Elite Series 2 controller currently included with Xbox One.

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Xbox Series X will be our fastest, most powerful console ever and set a new bar for performance, speed and compatibility, allowing you to bring your gaming legacy, thousands of games from three generations and more forward with you. Its industrial design enables us to deliver four times the processing power of Xbox One X in the most quiet and efficient way, something that is critically important in delivering truly immersive gameplay.

“We … designed Xbox Series X to support both vertical and horizontal orientation,” Phil Spencer, EVP of gaming, told GameSpot. “It’s bold and unique, very much like our fans around the world and the team of collaborators and innovators who built it.”

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“This generation, we’ve really focused on 4K visuals and how we bring both movies through 4K Blu-ray and video streaming,” Spencer added. “And with Xbox One X allowing games to run at 4K visuals will make really strong visual enhancements next generation.”