August is turning up the temperature in more ways than one, with Microsoft and Sony reportedly planning to drop price and pre-order bombs for the Xbox Series X and PS5, with leaks suggesting that each one is waiting for the other to tip their hand first.
Microsoft has just had to break the news to fans that the Xbox Series X won't be accompanied with a launch title on release, with the news of the Halo Infinite delay, but it's decided to balance that out by confirming when the console is going on sale, and detailing the true extent of its backwards compatibility.
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Both Microsoft and Sony have - thus far - only confirmed a 'holiday 2020' release window for their consoles, but in the wake of the Halo news, Microsoft has decided to soften the blow by throwing fans a bone and narrowing that down to November.
"We have plenty to keep you busy until Chief arrives: There will be thousands of games to play, spanning four generations, when Xbox Series X launches globally this November and over 100 optimized for Xbox Series X titles, built to take full advantage of our most powerful console, are planned for this year.
"And with brand new console features like hardware-accelerated Direct X raytracing, framerates up to 120 frames per second, faster loading times, and Quick Resume for multiple games, playing will look and feel better, no matter which games you choose to play on day one."
The Xbox Wire (opens in new tab) post goes on to say that there will be "50 new games planned for this year across generations and optimized for Xbox Series X, including Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Dirt 5, Gears Tactics, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, and Watch Dogs: Legion," reminding gamers that with Smart Delivery, they'll only have to buy a title once, and will be able to play it across the Xbox console family.
The console manufacturer has been leaning heavily on Xbox Game Pass and cloud gaming (Project xCloud), telling players that they don't need to upgrade their hardware on day one. Of course, this is slightly at odds with the move to discontinue both the Xbox One X and the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, meaning that anyone who isn't already in the Microsoft ecosystem and wants to enjoy 4K or digital-only gaming will ultimately be forced to buy the new Xbox Series X or the Xbox Series S.
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We're pretty sure we'll see the Xbox Series X makes its debut around Thanksgiving, after the Xbox Series X product page was accidentally updated with a 'Thanksgiving 2020' release window, instead of the 'Holiday 2020' placeholder.
While it's disappointing that we won't see Halo launch with the Xbox Series X, the huge game library goes some way to putting salve on the wound, meaning gamers can dive into the next generation with access to titles dating as far back as the original Xbox, and the Xbox 360. So kiss goodbye to the days of staring at your game collection and not being able to find anything to play.
Source: Xbox Wire (opens in new tab)