After over a year of official teases, naming, and plenty of performance details, Microsoft is on the cusp of launching their first proper new generation of the Xbox since the Xbox One launched in 2013. Set to be released on November 10, 2020. Microsoft is going all-out on their next-generation Xbox, and they have been gracious enough to send us one for review. Sadly, that review will have to wait until close to the 10th, but they are allowing some unboxing and photos today of the new hardware, which 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's shaped, well, like a box. Dressed in a flat black finish, it should fit quite well in most TV setups, and hopefully blend into the background. Design is of course a subjective measure, but the Xbox team has stuck with an understated design. The console can be used either vertically or horizontally, but the asymmetrical Xbox logo on the power button will be pointed the wrong way if it is used on its side.

For the console's default standing position, the new Xbox features a round podium to keep it elevated, allowing more airflow into the device. And for horizontal use, there are four rubber feet on the one side. Unlike some previous gen Xbox models, there will be no accessories needed to change the orientation, which is nice to see.

The top of the Xbox Series X features a wide-open cooling grill, with some Xbox green highlighting that can be seen from the right angles. It looks pretty good. Cooling is also helped by some wide vents on the rear of the device. With 12 TF of performance, cooling was clearly one of the key design features, and there is plenty of room for airflow.

The console's dimensions are almost exactly a 1:2 ratio, 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 former generation console was only 60 mm tall, but the square design means it takes up a very small footprint, despite having around 50% more volume than the Xbox One X. Though it does look a bit strange when laid out horizontally, since it is much shallower than you would expect a console to be.

With the new console comes a new revision of the Xbox controller. Comparatively, this updated controller has not changed much from the previous generation, and all of the previous-generation controllers will work with the new Xbox if you have a custom one you enjoy. The new design has some subtle changes, with more texture on the grips for better control, and an updated D-pad which now includes a full circle on the D-Pad which should improve usage. There is also a new share button in the center of the controller which lets you share game clips and screenshots more easily. The controller is still powered by two AA batteries, which are included, with Microsoft opting to keep selling the rechargeable kit as an optional accessory.

The console ships with a controller, batteries, a power cord, and a 6-foot high-speed HDMI cable in the box. There is no power brick, as the power supply is internal, so the power cord is the same standard connector as shipped with the Xbox One S and One X. The rear of the unit also features a couple of USB ports for connecting storage and accessories, as well as an Ethernet jack, and the new Storage Expansion port for adding additional NVMe SSD storage without having to dig into the console itself. Somewhat sadly, but also likely to not be missed, there is no longer an HDMI input port, unlike the Xbox One range.

We will have a much deeper review coming up, so check back soon. If there is anything you’d like to see tested, let us know in the comments.

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  • StevoLincolnite - Thursday, October 29, 2020 - link

    As a firefighter, the fires are to be taken seriously.
  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - link

    Someone piss in your Cheerios this morning?
  • Makaveli - Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - link

    It was me sorry I couldn't make it to the bathroom fast enough.
  • brucethemoose - Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - link


    Besides, these consoles are very interesting from a technical perspective. And you'd be hard pressed to assemble a more powerful PC for the same price.

    Personally, I'm interested in all the accelerators MS has managed to stuff into this thing than. Video, storage, compression(?), sound dsps, raytracing... theres an ASIC for everything.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - link

    But we dotn get any of that. All we get here are some pictures and commentary.
  • Brett Howse - Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - link

    The embargo today was for unboxing. We are not allowed to discuss anything else at this time. If you don't want to see it, I am sorry. Others may.
  • Magnus101 - Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - link

    The "hard pressed to assemble a more powerful Pc for the same price." is not a strong argument here at anand since the tech interested majority already have a PC that is powerful enough for gaming and the only thing that you pay for is an upgrade to the GPU.
    I mean the choice would be between upgrading the GPU for the PC you already have or buying a whole new console.
    This advantage seems to be forgotten.
    For me the insteresting thing with the consoles is that I want them to be as much powerful as possible so that ports from the consoles will take better advantage of an ever increasing GPU power for the PC during the lifecycle of the Console version.
  • StevoLincolnite - Thursday, October 29, 2020 - link

    Quantumz0d. - Hows about not reading the article if it triggers you so much?
    Hows about taking your self-important self off this website and go elsewhere?

    I for one thank Anandtech for the hard work they do and providing this article, they have been doing analysis on consoles every generation and I always look forward to them.

    So please stop being a snowflake who complains about MSM.
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - link

    The XSX is the one that I want, but the design is awful. On its side, its going to take up 4U, unlike the Xbone X that only takes up 2U. It sounds like they prefer it stand upright like the Mac Trash Can Pro, but what entertainment center/console has 12" high shelves? I think I'll wait for the revision hardware in 2021/22. Hopefully they'll make the next high-end model conform to a more standard form factor.
  • Duncan Macdonald - Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - link

    That wide open grille on the top seems designed to ensure maximum damage occurs if liquid is spilled on the machine. It may be intended for vertical mounting but the design of the top grille requires horizontal mounting (or being in some form of protective enclosure).
    This is an open invite for a third party to make a protective top that is suspended two or three inches above the XBox to stop liquid ingress.

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