Xbox Series X

Xbox Series X: Everything You Need to Know Before Launch

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The release of Microsoft’s next generation of game console is less than a month away. In a year defined by the extreme chaos of a pandemic, civil unrest, and an historic election, it’s a bit jarring to see the wheels still turning in the world of video games. That being said, the industry marches on, and the next system will be upon us before you know it.

So, before the system launches, you’d probably like a few burning questions answered. Let’s take a look at Microsoft’s upcoming system.

Release Date and Pricing

The Xbox Series X, and its little brother, the Series S, will be launching simultaneously on November 10. However, stocking could be an issue on launch day: the system’s pre-orders were sold through almost instantly when it was announced.

While this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find the system, it might be a bit tougher than just strolling to your local shop and plunking down the cash.

As for the price, prepare yourself, because it’s steep. The Series X, which is the flagship console, retails for $500. What do you get for half a grand? Well, frankly, a great system, capable of outputting native 4K images and sporting a blisteringly-fast processor.

The Series S, which has no disc drive and is digital-only, retails for a slightly more reasonable $300. The Series S is likely to be a popular choice for those who simply want to play games through the Game Pass service.

Backwards Compatibility

Once the hallmark of every generation was having the previous systems’ titles still play on them. The Game Boy Advance played Game Boy games, the Xbox 360 played Xbox games, the PlayStation 2 played PlayStation games. However, in recent years, this backwards compatibility has been missing from some mainline consoles.

Nintendo, in particular, comes to mind as a company that has released no backward compatibility options for its current console. If you own a game on Wii U and want to play it on your Switch, you simply need to buy it a second time.

While this makes sense for physical media, it’s frustrating for digital purchases. What makes Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze on Switch more expensive than its release on Wii U?

Thankfully, the Series X has no such issues. Microsoft’s stable of backwards compatible games from all three of their previous systems will be available by the launch of the Series X. Get ready for a trip down memory lane.

Cloud Saves

Your saves from prior games will be saved to the cloud and easily accessible on the Series X. This applies to backward compatible games and “Smart Delivery” games, as well.

Smart Delivery is the term Microsoft uses to refer to the version of games released on both the Xbox One and Series X. Depending on the system you play the game on, it’ll be optimized to run on that system. This is irrespective of which system you bought the game on originally.

That means, any Xbox One games you buy near the release of the Series X that have the Smart Delivery option will also be playable in their next-gen form on the Series X!