6 things we found out about Xbox Series X today

Today was a big day for Xbox fans, as Microsoft detailed the Xbox Series X in full. A lot of information came down the pipeline at once, painting the most complete picture of the Xbox Series X yet. With the dust settled, here are a few big things we learned about the Xbox Series X today.

That mysterious slot is for storage

In January, images of the front and back of the Xbox Series X leaked out. By then, the front of the console was nothing new, as it had already been revealed by Microsoft. The back, however, was something we still hadn't seen, and among all of the familiar ports was a large slot that couldn't immediately be identified.

While follow-up reports suggested that slot would be used for memory expansion, today Microsoft confirmed it. That slot is indeed meant to house a proprietary 1TB expansion drive, which will be connected directly to the CPU through PCIe 4.0 according to Digital Foundry. If that single memory expansion slot isn't enough, you'll also have the option of expanding storage further by connecting an external USB 3.2 HDD.

Speed is a major focus for Microsoft

Ever since the Xbox Series X was first announced, Microsoft has been talking about speed. Usually, this is done in the context of the SSD, but today Microsoft got a little more specific. To help make this a speedy console, the company is implementing what it calls Xbox Velocity Architecture, which will offer "tight integration between hardware and software and is a revolutionary new architecture optimized for streaming of in-game assets."

To put some actual numbers on that, Microsoft says that Velocity will allow developers to instantly access up to 100GB of game assets, which should ultimately mean less loading whether that would put you on a loading screen or make you wait while developers load new areas in the background.

Quick Resume in action

Quick Resume is another feature that was revealed before this info dump, but today we got to see it in action for the first time. In the tech demo you see embedded below, we watch as a player resumes a grand total of five games in quick succession, starting with State of Decay 2, then jumping into Forza Motorsport 7, Ori and the Blind Forest, The Cave, and Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice before going back to State of Decay 2.

In reality, most people probably aren't going to switch between that many games that frequently, but the tech demo gets it point across nonetheless: on Xbox Series X, you'll be able to suspend multiple games at once and resume them at any time. With Xbox One, you can suspend one game at a time and go back to it later, but Xbox Series X will look to really flesh out that functionality.

A new yet familiar controller

The Xbox controller is one that doesn't change a whole lot from generation to generation. Ever since Microsoft released the Xbox Controller S for the OG Xbox back in the day, the design hasn't really gone through too dramatic a change as we jump between generations. Still, at the beginning of each new generation, we see a controller that's a little different than the one that came before it, and that's slated to happen again with the Xbox Series X.

The controller you see in the image above looks a lot like the Xbox One wireless controller, but Digital Foundry describes it as smaller so it can feel comfortable with more hand types. We also see a new D-Pad that seems to take a page out of the Xbox Elite Controller's book, along with a share button joining the menu and options buttons.

Specifications galore!

In addition to all of these details, Microsoft also published a full specification sheet for the Xbox Series X. Have a look at the full list below.

With that out in the open, there isn't a whole lot to be left to the imagination. Stand out specs include that 8 core CPU clocked at 3.8 GHz, the custom RDNA 2 GPU capable of 12 TFLOPS, and 16GB of GDDR6 memory. There's also the performance target of 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, with developers able to push their games to 120fps if called for – expect that to be mentioned a lot in the lead up to the Xbox Series X's release.

The Xbox Series X will be smaller than a refrigerator

As a console, the Xbox Series X has something of an unconventional design. Though it can be used either laid horizontally or standing vertically (just like the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One S/X with the help of a stand), many of the images Microsoft has shared so far show it standing up.

Given the look of the console, that inevitably led to memes about how the Xbox Series X looks like a refrigerator. Microsoft took those memes on the chin today, sharing a tweet that compared the dimensions of the Xbox Series X to the dimensions of a standard-sized (is there a standard size?) refrigerator. This may come as a shock, but the Xbox Series X will be smaller than the refrigerator in your kitchen.


So, there you have it: The Xbox Series X in all of its glory. Now that all of these details are out in the open, we could very well Microsoft shift its attention to the games that will be on the Xbox Series X in the months to come. Stay tuned, because we'll let you know when Microsoft reveals more.