Xbox Series X Hands On, Gameplay & Controller!
Articles,  Blog

Xbox Series X Hands On, Gameplay & Controller!

– This is the Xbox Series X. It is real and I have it
in my hands right now. Don’t believe me? Well let me show you. So, first of all, Microsoft
were very kind to invite us out for a very early look at the Series X. Now keep in mind that this
is not final hardware, this won’t be shipping until
almost the end of the year. However it is definitely
going to be our best look at what the next generation
of console experience can really provide. In this video not only am
I giving you a sneak peek at what’s inside the Series X, but on top of that we have gameplay and pretty much every
spec you might wanna know. So today is a very good
day because I can actually walk you through exactly what
is inside the Xbox Series X. So to start with we have
to look at the mainboard, or specifically the dual mainboards. Because of the unique
design of the Series X it actually has a very
unusual cooling system. One of the things I’m most excited about is just how powerful the
SOC inside the Series X is. So there’s a lot to talk about here but first I wanna go
over the actual CPU spec. So keep in mind this is
an SOC that has not only the CPU and the GPU onboard, and yet they’re able to
fit eight Zen 2 cores that can clock all the
way up to 3.8 gigahertz. And that’s not some kind
of like boost speed, it can run it 3.8 gigahertz,
sustained, pretty much forever. You have a couple of options if you’re a developer with this guy. So if you want multi-threading
you actually have to drop from 3.8 to 3.6 gigahertz, but a lot of developers
are probably gonna be fine with eight very fast cores onboard. Now when it actually comes to games, seven of those cores
are available to a game and one is reserved for Windows and the OS in the background. But that’s a lot of power,
especially considering that most of this chip
is actually graphics. They just threw in eight cores because it’s much better
than the previous generation. And by much better, I
mean four times better. On top of that we have some
seriously powerful graphics. So onboard we have twice
the graphics horsepower of the Xbox One X, which
I would just keep in mind, only came out a couple years ago, or two and a half years
ago, at this point. And beyond that we also have eight times the graphics horsepower of the original Xbox One. So there are a couple of
really interesting things here. So first of all this is
taking advantage of AMD’s brand-new RDNA 2.0 architecture, which is not even out on the PC yet. There’s a lot that comes with that and there are also some customizations that Microsoft has done
specifically for the Series X. So, for example, there is not
only ray tracing built in, but also there’s some specific
hardware and audio engines that have been built into the chip. But the GPU itself is massive, we’re looking at 52 CUs at 1825 megahertz. Now if you’re not a speeds
and feeds kind of person that might not mean anything, but this is an incredibly
huge graphics card, or GPU, I suppose, and it is running at
very very high clocks. So with a Series X dev kit here the first game I’m going
to try is “Minecraft”. Now this is no ordinary
version of Minecraft. This is, to be fair, a
very early technical demo, but this is incorporating ray tracing. So you can see, standard lighting, looks like “Minecraft” as you expect. However, I turn it on, the
game is completely transformed. I mean, can you see the difference here? That’s crazy, you can even see how the lava’s reflecting on the
actual material of the rails. Awesome.
(chair squeaking) That’s a really squeaky
chair, how annoying is that? I get I shouldn’t get up, huh? Not only is the lighting
completely transformed but you actually can see
some real depth in the world that obviously when you
have ray tracing off, it’s fine, it’s sort of very brightly lit as you’re expecting with “Minecraft”. When you turn on it
makes a huge difference. Just look at the way that the
torch is naturally reflecting, and you actually can see
how there’s real texture and there’s real depth in the gold. And if you look on this side
you can see the diamond here. It’s really cool at how
much this sort of brings the “Minecraft” world to live. And as we walk into this
room with a bunch of glowstone and glass panes in front, with standard “Minecraft”
lighting it looks fine, but it really doesn’t do much. You can just sort of see a
little bit of light come through. When I turn on ray tracing it
completely changes the scene. You can see how it’s almost
like a rainbow effect and the light naturally sort of cascades. This is just a tech demo,
so it is a an early look at what ray tracing
will do on the Series X. But, I mean, it makes a huge
difference, just look at that. That’s crazy. Next I have some gameplay of “Gears 5” running on the Xbox Series X now. This is a very early build, it only took them a few weeks
to get this up and running, and therefore probably some other things are going to be tweaked and changed before it finally comes out. However a couple of key
things to keep in mind is that not only is this running at 4K60 with all of the ultra PC presets enabled, they even added some additional settings that were not even able to run
on the PC or the Xbox One X. So sit back grab your
popcorn and enjoy some true Series X gameplay. – [JD] Okay now, open fire! (explosions blasting) (monsters roaring) Del, we got a nest. – [Del] Toss a frag, close it up! – [JD] Got him! (dramatic music) (upbeat funky music) – Feeding the SOC is a full
16 gigabytes of GDDR6 memory, which you actually can see is arranged around the chip like this. So it’s actually a slightly
unusual configuration. So Microsoft are taking advantage
of a 320 bit memory bus, and that’s because there’s a mixture of one gig and two gig modules. Now as the end user you’re probably not
gonna notice any of this, but as a developer you actually have two classes of memory available. So there’s 10 gigs of
GPU optimized memory, which is essentially the fastest RAM for, obviously, the graphics. However, you also have a further 3.5 gigs which can be played with,
it’s slightly slower but, you know, you have to offload your audio or something
to that, you can use that. Now it’s kind of interesting to think because on top of that you
have a further 2.5 gigs of ram, which is partitioned
off for the OS and apps and that kind of thing. Now when you look at this
it might not actually seem super impressive, right? We’ve got four times the CPU power, we’ve got up to eight times the GPU power compared to the Xbox One, but we only have about double the memory. In fact, even less if you
compare to the Xbox One X. However, there’s actually
one other thing here which is helping to
improve the memory story. So you flip the board over we’ll see another major improvement, which is the standard one terabyte SSD. This is actually a big
component of why the Series X is able to be a big leap
forward in a lot of ways. So of course the previous generation was bottlenecked by
fairly slow hard drives. It made sense back on the time, but in 2020 we expect more speed, and every Series X game
also expects to have a SSD. So this is a PCI 4.0 SSD. It is, of course, been
custom designed by Microsoft, so it’s actually fairly powerful. It can pull almost four watts by itself, which is part of the reason why it’s shielded and cooled in this sort of way. But there’s actually a couple of very interesting things they’re doing. So first of all, like I said,
all games expect to have access to all this performance
at all times, right? So the CPU, the GPU they’re all gonna sit at that very consistent clock speed and the same goes for the SSD. So you’re getting 2.4 gigabytes per second pretty much period. They’ve done a lot of
optimizations, of course, on the latency side, which is important because you actually can pull
stuff straight off of the SSD straight to memory, so
essentially it will kind of expand that 16 gigabytes based
on how developers use it. But the, I don’t wanna say downside, but one of the things you have to consider is that while, yes, you can
plug in a USB hard drive and play games off of that on the Series X you can’t play Series X games, just simply because they expect
that high level of speed. So if you have your Xbox
One games on a hard drive you can plug in, it’ll be just fine. But if you want more than
one terabyte of space on your Series X you’re
gonna want one of these guys. So this is a little
Seagate expansion module. So there actually were
some rumors beforehand about this little mystery
port here which they very cleverly not shown until this point. Essentially that means that
you can expand with another SSD right into the back of the system. It looks like a memory card, but this is actually a
full one terabyte SSD which essentially gives you
the exact same performance of your standard SSD, and
of course you can imagine with that expansion port on the back, maybe larger capacities, maybe you could own a couple of these. We’ll see how expensive
they are, to be fair. So this next demo is of quick resume. So to give you a little
bit of context here we’re not gonna do any cuts here to show you just how fast this is. So I have a Series X controller, I am playing on this actual Series X. So right now I have “State of Decay” up, or “State of Decay 2”, rather, up. You can see it playing on the Series X, works just as you would expect. However, say I want to, I
don’t know, play “Forza”? Well if I switch over to it you can see just how
quick it’s going to move. So essentially in the background it’s saving “State of
Decay” in its own VM. So I can jump in and, look,
I’m playing “Forza” now, it’s that fast. Whoa, whoa, okay. Well it might be that fast,
I am not that fast. (laughs) All right, hold on. I’m gonna actually get
back on the track here, you can see “Forza” is running just fine, and if I want I can jump
over to, say, “Hellblade”. Again, you can see how fast it loads, in the background it is
saving my “Forza” game. And, there we go, boom,
I’m now into another game. Now the cool part about this
is that this is all saved across, even you shut down
the system or whatever, this is all going to work no matter what. And keep in mind that these
games that I’m playing are not optimized at all for the Series X, these are just standard Xbox One games that you could play right out of the gate. So if I wanna jump over to a 360 game all the stuff is being
saved directly to that SSD. It is really cool. You can imagine what this might look like if, say, I’m playing on Series X titles that are actually optimized for this use. But that is so cool to
be able to just have essentially no load times going between. You can see this is my fifth
game and, again, no problems. Right in, boom. – [Ken] Go back to “State of Decay”. – Oh, yeah, you’ll see it’s
all still loaded up here. You can see, we’re what? Three, four seconds between these games, depending on which one we’re at. Look, “State of Decay”, it
jumps right on the internet without even missing a beat. But that is a good look at the actual hardware behind the Series X, but the rest of the supporting components, I think, are really interesting because there’s a lot that goes in to putting together the Xbox Series X. Microsoft’s have actually set up a very cool little demo here,
where most of these parts are obviously slightly
modified, they’re magnetized. But essentially I can
put together the Series X and show what it looks
like from top to bottom. So to start out with we
have this center chassis. So this is a piece of aluminum which actually preserves
a bunch of functions. So now I just helped give some structure but everything attaches to it. So let’s see if I can do this right, I’m gonna start out
with the rear I/O board. I know how to do this, I’ll
definitely get it right. It’s fine. Which goes in like this. So you can see there are
a ton of air channels here but essentially it should just
go with the I/O facing out. And look at that. Look how good I am at building things. All the guys who designed this
are standing right over here, I’m definitely getting a
little nervous. (chuckles) No judgment, it’s fine. Okay, so, the next step would be to take the other part of the mainboard and it should just attach like this. So you can see essentially we have the SOC and the memory facing this way and then we have the other
mainboard facing this way, with our SATA port and some
of our various connectors with the southbridge. You can see that the I/O all
comes together like this. So this would stick out
the back of the console. So with this level of power
there is a lot of, well, literal power flowing through the chip and all of that has to go somewhere, and that somewhere is a ridiculous, ridiculous vapor chamber. So while the Xbox One X was the first Xbox to feature a vapor chamber,
this is a whole other level. So not only do you have the
aluminum fins on the back where air flow will pass through, but you can see this is
a massive vapor chamber. So actually if I take off the
SOC, here, you can kinda get a little bit of an idea
what this looks like. So essentially the SOC will go on with this little section right here, so it’ll cool not only the chip
but also the VRM around it. And then you also have
all of your GDDR6 memory which can also make contact here. But there’s certainly a lot of heat that has to be dissipated
by this vapor chamber. So let’s see if I can
actually put it together. So next we have the SOC chassis which goes on something like this. (upbeat music) Almost there. Oh, there we go. All right, all right. Next I need to put the vapor chamber on, which obviously will
go something like this. There we go. There we go. Okay, that starting to look a
little bit more like an Xbox. Now we have the power supply. This is a very compact unit. I remember back when
the Xbox One came out, the original, and it had
that huge external supply. Well now we’ve got a 300 watt supply which not only fits inside, but is also cooled by the
exact same fan, spoiler alert, that cools the rest of the system. So I believe this slides
on something like this? Yeah, all right. That’s looking like a shape of a thing. Next step we have the
little bottom shield. So I slide it on something like this? Yes! Next step is the optical drive. So this is a very similar Blu-ray drive to what you had on the
previous generation, and believe it goes on
something like this. Hey, look at that! Now we’re getting a little
bit more of an Xbox One shape. I’m sorry, did I say the Xbox One? Xbox Series X. Next up we have the fan,
and you have to consider this is the only fan in
the entire Xbox Series X. So it is a very, very custom unit. So it’s a 130 millimeter fan. And you can see that
not only are the blades really uniquely shaped,
but the entire top shroud is pretty much designed
for the optimal airflow to keep things moving. ‘Cause you have to keep in
mind, with only one fan, the airflow has to be
very carefully managed. So if you imagine this is the Series X, which it is very close to at this point, air is coming through a
few different channels, so of course a lot of air is
passing through the heat sink on the back of the vapor chamber and being exhaust at the top. But air also comes
through the center chassis to cool the various
components like the SSD. We also have to consider that
the power supply needs air which is exhausted underneath this black little plastic piece. There’s a lot going on here and it all really starts
and ends with the fan. Which if I can line it up like this, is essentially how it sits. Obviously, as someone
who builds PCs and stuff, you see a lot of fans
that are exactly the same, or you see, like, “Oh, we
added RGB,” or whatever. But this is such a complicated shape, especially when you look at the fan blades and the way that this shroud. And this is actually kind of interesting. So you were mentioning this earlier. So there’s a little sort
of, like, escape path. So say someone accidentally
put something over the top there’s still the ability for air to be exhausted through here. – That’s right.
– Obviously, it’s optimal. But somebody accidentally puts a book on top of your Series X it’s
not gonna immediately go and completely get all the air cut off. You’ve done a lot of cool stuff here. – There is. The surfacing around the
fan shroud, like you said, it’s super complex and super driven by the
engineering requirements of getting that air up and then spread out as wide
as possible as it exhausts. – If you wanna a better
visual what this looks like, there happens to be a wonderful
graphic right behind me. Look it’s a tornado of heat and exhaust. – [Ken] You didn’t think
that one through did you? – Didn’t think that one through at all. Everyone the room is very upset with me. Is not a tornado, it’s
very carefully managed. Also, if you look up close
which you probably never will because no one should ever
open up your Series X. I mean, I guess technically
it could but you shouldn’t. Inside they’re actually a couple of really interesting Easter eggs. So first of all a lot of the components are individually labeled. So you can see this is number
one, the center chassis. We have the optical disc drive. They’re actually in total
of seven of these things. But my favorite is if you look
on the very top of this fan you’ll see a tiny little Master Chief. No one’s ever gonna see this, but it is very very cool of these guys to have spent so much time
optimizing this layout. And I know a lot of people
are kind of wondering when you saw the announcement of why the Xbox is shaped as it is. But as we put it all together you can see that there’s actually a lot
of very clever engineering that went into putting this together. I almost have the Series X complete. The next step is just to
put it all in the chassis which I’m sure I’ll get
first try, no problem. (gentle music) Okay, so I’m going to line it up. Angle it just a little bit. Hey wait, wait, wait! Look, I got it, I got it. And there we have the Xbox Series X. Don’t look at this
side, look at this side. It’s fine, look at that. Look how beautiful of a job I’ve done in developing this console. (coughs) With no help at all
from anyone in this room. No one just told me how to do
that or anything like that. Thanks guys, appreciate it. (coughing) So you know I’m gonna
have to ask the question that the entire internet asked the second one that we saw this. Why is it this shape? – Ha, very good question,
and it’s a good reason. I mean, you put the box
together, you can see how all of those big components
kind of fit together in this really unique way, and it’s all driven by
pulling air through the system with this big axial fan on the top. – Are you concerned at
all about this not fitting under people’s TVs or anything like that? – No, I mean, that that’s a good question. We were really conscious about being able to fit into people’s
homes, fit into the TV consoles that they had now on their shelves. One of the cool things
about this is you can, as you were doing, you
can put it down sideways, you can use it vertically. It’s actually got a
really small footprint, so you can put it on
a much shallower shelf than you ever could before. So we think it gives
people a lot of flexibility in where they can put it. – So I know when I first saw this, and, of course, if you’ve seen
the the announcement video you’ll see that you’ve got
the little scoop on the top, with what looked like LEDs. But, in fact, it’s sort of more of like an optical illusion here, right? – I mentioned that the fan
needs to pull a lot of air, we need really big holes and
we decided to embrace that as a design element. And we added this slight dish, on a really deep set of holes here, so that as you look at it your view changes and you
see more or less inside. And the green was really
kind of a nod to our fans, a nod to Xbox, it’s got like
the soul of Xbox inside it. And it reveals itself as you get closer. – A new console is nothing
without a new controller and the Series X has some
interesting differences. So you can see we have
everything from The Duke all the way up to the Series X. And while at first glance this looks very, very similar to the Xbox One there actually are some pretty
significant differences. So one of first ones is
actually in the size. So while the grip and everything down here is pretty much the same, the top has been tapered
a little bit more. So it’s better for smaller hands. And in fact there’s actually
a demo here that I have. It’s basically a giant controller to kind of give you a sense
of what it would feel like, and it’s still very comfortable even if you do have the smaller hands. Also, this looks hilarious. So a lot, of course, is very similar. So the sticks and a lot of
the buttons feel the same. However we do now have
a much nicer D-pad. So it’s nicely faceted, it has
a nice sort of clicky action, and we also do have a
share button built in. Now in the bottom it is
pretty much identical, so a lot of accessories, including your headsets and everything, should just slide in, no
problem, on the bottom. And if we flip over to
the top we now have USB-C. Now if we open up the back you will see that we have the exact
same setup as the Xbox One. So it will ship with AA batteries and you can, of course, still
use your Play and Charge Kit. Obviously, if you really
value AA batteries, that’s an option, although
rechargeables are definitely the way that I like to go. But interestingly this
is a very different style of controller they’ve done in the past, mostly because this is
actually backwards compatible with the Xbox One and vice-versa. So obviously there are
some improvements here. At it’s sort of core fundamentals this is not wildly
different than the Xbox One, which means that if you
wanna take your current Xbox One controller and move
it over to the Series X, or even take a Series X
controller and play it on Xbox One you can absolutely do that. Now it still does take advantage of the Xbox wireless radio, and they’ve actually done a lot of work to improve the latency, so
that the controller will update the console more often. But, interestingly, on top
of that, it does, of course, you can connect it via USB, but it does have Bluetooth low energy. So if say you’re using this with an iPhone or an Android or something, it will be a little bit
more energy efficient and it’ll be a little bit quicker. One very cool demo on this Series X is the ability to do HDR reconstruction. So you can see right here we have “Halo 5” and, keep in mind, it’s
gonna be very bright since it’s now in HDR. But essentially what
we’ve got here is a game which was never originally designed to have the HDR implementation. However using some very clever trickery you can see on this display
everything in the orange, and you see anything in
the reds and the whites, that’s actually full HDR color space which was not originally
designed into the game. To me I can’t believe,
like, just looking at this. Yeah, you can see how
bright it gets over here, for a game that was never designed for it. And the cool thing is this actually works for more than just like an Xbox One game that never had HDR. We got a demo earlier
of an original Xbox game, “Fuzion Frenzy”, clearly
never designed with HDR in mind and it still looks great. Maybe not quite as good
as Halo, but you know. So I have the exact same level loaded up on both of these Series X dev kits. So you can see on this we have
the full HDR reconstruction where especially you get
a lot of brightness here and this is a heat map. So essentially all this is
doing is just showing us, based on the color, where
we’re really getting that extra brightness and that extra range that of course was never designed. So you can see fire, you
can see with this over here. And if I try to throw a
grenade at the same time you can see, yeah. Actually, I’ll do that again,
that’s cool. (chuckles) It’s so bright. Realistically, if this just
was the way I played the game I don’t think I would ever realize that this wasn’t something that
the developer had intended. This is something that can be
added, and this can be added with essentially no impact to performance. What is this called? We know obviously it’s the Xbox Series X. But we’ve had the Xbox, we
had the 360, we had the One. What is this generation called? – This generation’s just called Xbox, and this specific
console’s the Xbox Series X. – Okay, gotcha. So fourth generation
Xboxes are just the Xbox. – Exactly.
– Okay. – [Jason] Absolutely, we
want people to be able to just go in and say,
“I want the latest Xbox.” So that’s why we named it Xbox. – You’ve been working on
this for how long now? – Xbox Series X development
started in 2016. So we’ve been working on it for four years.
– Before One X? – Absolutely. – [Austin] I’m assuming it’s gotta be nice to finally show off your baby. – That’s why we’re so
excited to have you here, is to actually be able to
start sharing more details about what the team’s been working on for the last four years. – I gotta give you
props, I did not realize. First of all, it’s kind of crazy to me that you guys are being this
upfront open about a console, what, six months or
whatever before launch. But on top of that, you’ve
shown us so much stuff and we get to show so much in the video. Why are you guys being so
open about this ahead of time? Aren’t you afraid that
people are gonna be like, “Oh, steal some notes,” or whatever? What’s the thought behind that? – Honestly, we’re just really proud with what we’ve actually built. We’ve been working on this for so long and it’s finally great to just
start sharing more details. And as we get closer to launch we’re really focused on showing what the platform can actually do and the awesome games
you’ll be able to play. – You do consider this to be a
new generation, though right? It’s definitely–
– Yeah, yeah. The technology inside of this generation is so transformative and the
kinds of gaming experiences you’re gonna be able to experience are just so fundamentally different, and its really unlocked by all the power that we’ve put in the box. – Thank you very much for watching. If you enjoyed make sure
to subscribe to the channel because there’s going
to be a whole lot more on the Series X coming soon. (gentle upbeat music)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *