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Our first look at Microsoft’s next-generation console

After more than a year of official jokes, naming and many details about the implementation, Microsoft is on top of the release of its first properly new generation Xbox since the launch of Xbox One in 2013. It is expected to be released on November 10, 2020. Microsoft will be released on the next generation Xbox and they were kind enough to send us one for review. Unfortunately, this review will have to wait until about the 10th, but they allow some unpacking and photos today of the new hardware we thought we would share with you.

The new console is a somewhat radical departure from the previous generation, with Microsoft moving to a vertical tower design that is shaped like a box. Dressed in a flat black finish, it should fit pretty well in most TV settings and hopefully blend into the background. Design, of course, is a subjective measure, but the Xbox team adheres to a understated design. The console can be used vertically or horizontally, but the asymmetrical Xbox logo on the power button will be misdirected if used sideways.

For the console’s default stand, the new Xbox has a round podium to keep it raised, allowing more airflow into the device. And for horizontal use there are four rubber feet on one side. Unlike some models of the previous generation Xbox, you will not need accessories to change orientation, which is nice to see.

The top of the Xbox Series X features a wide-open cooling grill, with a slight Xbox accent in green that can be seen from a right angle. It looks pretty good. Cooling is also aided by some wide openings on the back of the device. With 12 TF performance, cooling is clearly one of the key features of the design and there is enough space for airflow.

The dimensions of the console are almost exactly 1: 2, with the short sides being 151 mm / 5.94 inches and the long edge being 301 mm / 11.85 inches. Compared to the outgoing Xbox One X, it is much taller, as the previous generation console was only 60mm high, but the square design means it takes up very little footprint, even though it has about 50% more volume than the Xbox One X. Although it looks a little strange when placed horizontally, as it is much shallower than you would expect the console to be.

With the new console comes a new revision of the Xbox controller. Relatively, this updated controller hasn’t changed much from the previous generation, and all previous generation controllers will work with the new Xbox if you have a custom one that you like. The new design has some subtle changes, with more handle textures for better control and an updated D-pad that now includes a full range of D-Pad, which should improve usage. In the center of the controller there is also a new share button that allows you to share video clips and screenshots more easily. The controller is still powered by two AA batteries, which are included, with Microsoft choosing to continue selling the battery pack as an optional accessory.

The console comes with a controller, batteries, power cord and high speed HDMI cable in the box. There is no power brick as the power is internal, so the power cord is the same standard connector as supplied with the Xbox One S and One X. The back of the device also has several USB ports for connecting storage and accessories, as well as Ethernet jack, as well as the new Storage Storage expansion port to add additional NVMe SSD storage without having to dig into the console itself. Somewhat unfortunately, but also probably not to be missed, there is no longer an HDMI input port, unlike the Xbox One range.

We have a much more in-depth review ahead of us, so check back soon. If there is something you want to see tested, let us know in the comments.

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