[Official] Xbox Series X & Series S Discussion


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George P

Decided to start this thread to post news and talk about the event.  What do people expect and any predictions.  Still waiting for an official date but it might be around the 20th of July, though I hope it's actually sooner.

 

 

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Sszecret

So far we know 343 is going to be there with Halo Infinite gameplay, mayhaps another trailer as well.

 

In terms of what has a good chance of being there:

 

- We're due for a mainline Forza title - Motorsport 8 -, and racing games are usually very good in terms of a visual showcase of the console.

- Playground has a separate team working on an RPG (there's job listings over on LinkedIn) that may or may not be Fable. 

- The Initiative has got to at this point have something to show, be it a tease or anything else. Rumored to be Perfect Dark but no concrete evidence of that.

- Alpha 5 of Flight Sim is due to drop in July, so we might see Asobo there too with maybe a gameplay trailer (since it's a sort of second-party affair, via XGS Publishing)

- It's possible we'll see things like a new Wasteland 3 trailer, maybe one for the next Minecraft Dungeons DLC. I do hope they get the 'here's the upgraded Series X version' + current-gen trailers out of the way first, if they're even present at the event.

- Ninja Theory's Hellblade 2 might have a story trailer here, but I don't expect it to launch until at least the second half of next year. 

 

May or may not be there

 

- Double Fine, either with a launch trailer of Psychonauts 2 or some other project.

- Obsidian with Outer Worlds DLC and perhaps another project.

- Highly unlikely since it's not coming to console but possibly Age of Empires III DE or AoE IV.

- It'd be cool if Compulsion (We Happy Few) made something that's actually more story-focused that WHF rather than survival-focused.

- Some random third-party deal that would be done via Xbox Game Studios Publishing.

 

As for the date, if it's rumored now to be the week of July 20, I'd guess July 23. It gets it out of the way of Microsoft Inspire (July 21-22), and it lands on a Thursday, like the May event (which was on the 7th).

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dipsylalapo

It's probably unlikely but I'd love to know what the price of the console is. If they share the price, I'm hoping that pre-orders will open.

 

I think that Florin covered most of what I'd expect to see.

 

 

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George P
8 minutes ago, Sszecret said:

So far we know 343 is going to be there with Halo Infinite gameplay, mayhaps another trailer as well.

 

In terms of what has a good chance of being there:

 

- We're due for a mainline Forza title - Motorsport 8 -, and racing games are usually very good in terms of a visual showcase of the console.

- Playground has a separate team working on an RPG (there's job listings over on LinkedIn) that may or may not be Fable. 

- The Initiative has got to at this point have something to show, be it a tease or anything else. Rumored to be Perfect Dark but no concrete evidence of that.

- Alpha 5 of Flight Sim is due to drop in July, so we might see Asobo there too with maybe a gameplay trailer (since it's a sort of second-party affair, via XGS Publishing)

- It's possible we'll see things like a new Wasteland 3 trailer, maybe one for the next Minecraft Dungeons DLC. I do hope they get the 'here's the upgraded Series X version' + current-gen trailers out of the way first, if they're even present at the event.

- Ninja Theory's Hellblade 2 might have a story trailer here, but I don't expect it to launch until at least the second half of next year. 

 

May or may not be there

 

- Double Fine, either with a launch trailer of Psychonauts 2 or some other project.

- Obsidian with Outer Worlds DLC and perhaps another project.

- Highly unlikely since it's not coming to console but possibly Age of Empires III DE or AoE IV.

- It'd be cool if Compulsion (We Happy Few) made something that's actually more story-focused that WHF rather than survival-focused.

- Some random third-party deal that would be done via Xbox Game Studios Publishing.

 

As for the date, if it's rumored now to be the week of July 20, I'd guess July 23. It gets it out of the way of Microsoft Inspire (July 21-22), and it lands on a Thursday, like the May event (which was on the 7th).

I wonder if going so long between events is a negative because it just raises expectations even higher with no June event and the May event was a let down overall.

 

It might have been better for them to do something small, probably any 2nd party type deals in June and not have so much riding on the July event.

4 minutes ago, dipsylalapo said:

It's probably unlikely but I'd love to know what the price of the console is. If they share the price, I'm hoping that pre-orders will open.

 

I think that Florin covered most of what I'd expect to see.

 

 

The cat and mouse with Sony is interesting at least.   If the rumor about lockheart/Series S for August is true then I think odds of a Series X price coming out in this event are higher because then it forces Sony to price the PS5 and once MS knows the price for the cheaper digital only version they can drop Series S in August with a even lower price.

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Sszecret
21 minutes ago, George P said:

I wonder if going so long between events is a negative because it just raises expectations even higher with no June event and the May event was a let down overall.

It might have been better for them to do something small, probably any 2nd party type deals in June and not have so much riding on the July event.

It could go both ways honestly. It could backfire given the length of time between events, but there's also the possibility that Microsoft is intentionally leaving this much of a gap. Lockhart itself is the worst kept secret, and perhaps given the recent attention it's been getting, that's why we'll see it in August.

 

If they would've done a smaller second-party event in June, the reaction would've been the same as with the May even I think. "Why isn't there more, it looks so lame" and the like. Luckily it's been confirmed there will be no webcams during the July event.

 

What I honestly see them doing in regards to a timeline is this:

 

- Have the July event on the 23rd, showcase first and second-party games, drive home the message about "looks and runs better on Series X at 4K"

- Wait for Sony to have their thing (be it a State of Play in July and August or just in August)

- Have an event in August where the Series X price is revealed (I guess Microsoft is hoping after Sony announces that of the PS5 / PS5 DE), then reveal Lockhart / Series S with its pricing. Let's say Series X is $499 at the top end (I don't think they'd go past 500), that would put Series S at $249 if they want to be aggressive.

 

Or, and this is what Phil may be crazy enough to do, launch the Series S via Xbox All Access. Say that it's a 1080p60 machine, and have the hardware be 'free' when you sign up for a two-year contract at say $20/month (which also gets you Game Pass Ultimate and the like). In other words, not too dissimilar to phone contracts.

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George P
24 minutes ago, Sszecret said:

It could go both ways honestly. It could backfire given the length of time between events, but there's also the possibility that Microsoft is intentionally leaving this much of a gap. Lockhart itself is the worst kept secret, and perhaps given the recent attention it's been getting, that's why we'll see it in August.

 

If they would've done a smaller second-party event in June, the reaction would've been the same as with the May even I think. "Why isn't there more, it looks so lame" and the like. Luckily it's been confirmed there will be no webcams during the July event.

 

What I honestly see them doing in regards to a timeline is this:

 

- Have the July event on the 23rd, showcase first and second-party games, drive home the message about "looks and runs better on Series X at 4K"

- Wait for Sony to have their thing (be it a State of Play in July and August or just in August)

- Have an event in August where the Series X price is revealed (I guess Microsoft is hoping after Sony announces that of the PS5 / PS5 DE), then reveal Lockhart / Series S with its pricing. Let's say Series X is $499 at the top end (I don't think they'd go past 500), that would put Series S at $249 if they want to be aggressive.

 

Or, and this is what Phil may be crazy enough to do, launch the Series S via Xbox All Access. Say that it's a 1080p60 machine, and have the hardware be 'free' when you sign up for a two-year contract at say $20/month (which also gets you Game Pass Ultimate and the like). In other words, not too dissimilar to phone contracts.

I agree, Series S being part of All Access would be huge but also selling it alone for a possible $249 would be hard to pass up for anyone looking to jump into Xbox for the first time and doesn't want all the bells and whistles of the Series X.  

 

$500 is probably tops to, and I think PS5 will probably be the same price with the DE going for $400.   If Sony goes over $500 for some reason, they did it before with the PS3,  it'll be a big opportunity for MS to win on price and hammer home the more powerful marketing tagline.

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SnoopZ

My guess at pricing is.

 

Lockhart: $300 

XSX: $500

 

PS5DE: $400

PS5: $500

 

Now if Sony aggressively price the PS5DE lower than $400 then I believe Lockhart maybe in trouble considering its specs.

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George P
1 hour ago, SnoopZ said:

My guess at pricing is.

 

Lockhart: $300 

XSX: $500

 

PS5DE: $400

PS5: $500

 

Now if Sony aggressively price the PS5DE lower than $400 then I believe Lockhart maybe in trouble considering its specs.

It'll be harder for Sony to price it too far lower since the only difference is the optical drive, all the rest is the same.  So $100 less makes the most sense.  The optical drive is probably the cheapest piece of hardware in these new consoles.

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+Randomevent
23 minutes ago, George P said:

It'll be harder for Sony to price it too far lower since the only difference is the optical drive, all the rest is the same.  So $100 less makes the most sense.  The optical drive is probably the cheapest piece of hardware in these new consoles.

Makes the box less valuable to trade in too.  I'd love a digital only machine but I tend to trade in Sony consoles when I'm done with them.  :/

 

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SnoopZ
1 hour ago, George P said:

It'll be harder for Sony to price it too far lower since the only difference is the optical drive, all the rest is the same.  So $100 less makes the most sense.  The optical drive is probably the cheapest piece of hardware in these new consoles.

True but if Sony can manage $450 for the regular PS5 then the PS5 DE would likely be $350 then it is just a case of how low MS can go, personally I can't see it being less than $300.

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George P
1 hour ago, SnoopZ said:

True but if Sony can manage $450 for the regular PS5 then the PS5 DE would likely be $350 then it is just a case of how low MS can go, personally I can't see it being less than $300.

Yeah, it depends what the full systems are priced at, then we get a good idea.   I think going under $500 will be hard for Sony, from the sounds of it they've got a pricy cooling system going which is why the system is so big to begin with.  

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Sszecret

May or may not be related to what we'll see in July, but Jenny Brewer joined Playground Games as a Senior UI designer recently. She's worked previously, among other places, at Lionhead between 2011 and 2016. Not clear which of the two Playground teams she has joined, but it's definitely interesting to say the least.

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George P
53 minutes ago, Sszecret said:

May or may not be related to what we'll see in July, but Jenny Brewer joined Playground Games as a Senior UI designer recently. She's worked previously, among other places, at Lionhead between 2011 and 2016. Not clear which of the two Playground teams she has joined, but it's definitely interesting to say the least.

With the Lionhead background odds are it's whatever rumored RPG Playground is working on, which we all expect is the new Fable.

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George P

Some new tidbits I haven't seen reported,  Thurrott is reporting that lockheart is smaller in size than the One X/S, quite small.  Also might hint at it not having a disc drive and being digital only from the start?

 

Also Tom Warren dropped a tweet talking about 20 CUs,  which is probably the GPU count for it.  

 

 

If it's a small digital only box that could bring the cost and thus retail price down lower than what people expect to see.  

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dipsylalapo

I'll see if I can find the link that I found, but I read a similar thing. 

 

I'm paraphrasing here, but apparently when moving around these units they often use things like PCs to disguise what's being moved. Apparently Lockhart has been disguised inside a One X or S (I can't remember) so it's fairly small. 

 

Also would explain how they're potentially able to keep the price down. The Series X uses that split motherboard layout which is custom expensive

 

Edit - found the article, seems they were quoting Thurrot too! Here's the article - https://www.thurrott.com/games/xbox/237240/the-latest-on-lockhart

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George P
2 hours ago, dipsylalapo said:

I'll see if I can find the link that I found, but I read a similar thing. 

 

I'm paraphrasing here, but apparently when moving around these units they often use things like PCs to disguise what's being moved. Apparently Lockhart has been disguised inside a One X or S (I can't remember) so it's fairly small. 

 

Also would explain how they're potentially able to keep the price down. The Series X uses that split motherboard layout which is custom expensive

 

Edit - found the article, seems they were quoting Thurrot too! Here's the article - https://www.thurrott.com/games/xbox/237240/the-latest-on-lockhart

It's pretty interesting because the Series X devkits just look like a bit bigger One X dev kits, or maybe around the same size.  Using something like that for the devkit probably showed the need for the better cooling option.

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George P

A 1hr pre-show, interesting, I'm guessing the show itself is also 1hr?

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Sszecret
20 minutes ago, George P said:
A 1hr pre-show, interesting, I'm guessing the show itself is also 1hr?

This would, I think, be their E3-like thing. Given that Xbox briefings usually take about 1h30 - 1h40, and taking out all of the nonsense of the live event (stage, people walking, stumbling on speeches, etc), it should come in at around the same amount of time as Sony's, so a little over an hour. A 1h pre-show is definitely interesting, as Geoff usually schedules the pre-show for 20-15min before. Wouldn't be surprised if there was a post-show from Geoff too.

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George P
1 minute ago, Sszecret said:

This would, I think, be their E3-like thing. Given that Xbox briefings usually take about 1h30 - 1h40, and taking out all of the nonsense of the live event (stage, people walking, stumbling on speeches, etc), it should come in at around the same amount of time as Sony's, so a little over an hour. A 1h pre-show is definitely interesting, as Geoff usually schedules the pre-show for 20-15min before. Wouldn't be surprised if there was a post-show from Geoff too.

They normally do post show inside xbox with MN and crew, that could happen.  Maybe the pre-show will have gameplay and more info on the games they've already shown from 3rd parties? 

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George P

This could be huge if it happens.

 

 

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Sszecret

It absolutely would be, though I don't see Microsoft acquiring the entirety of WB Games. Maybe just Rocksteady and NetherRealm.

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George P
5 minutes ago, Sszecret said:

It absolutely would be, though I don't see Microsoft acquiring the entirety of WB Games. Maybe just Rocksteady and NetherRealm.

Yeah, just those two would be big on their own.  Possible KI and MK crossover?  

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Sszecret
24 minutes ago, George P said:

Yeah, just those two would be big on their own.  Possible KI and MK crossover?  

That's the reason why I'd see them grab NetherRealm. We'd be due for a KI anyway, but I don't know who would make it at this point. Certainly wouldn't be announced on the 23 even if the deal goes through.

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George P

They've announced new studios the last two E3s so, this event being a replacement for it, timing would fit.   Sure we wouldn't hear about new games unless they're deep into development on something at the time of sale.  Just the news of grabbing those studios would be big alone.

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      Microsoft has acquired cybersecurity company RiskIQ for over $500 million. Windows Terminal Preview 1.10 is now out with Quake Mode added to the system tray. Edge Dev 93.0.946.1 has now gained the same flag previously found in Canary, enabling you to switch on the in-progress Windows 11 redesign. The Redmond giant has redesigned over 1,800 emoji in 3D, and has also brought back Clippy. JavaScript can now be debugged in Visual Studio Code without needing an extension. Logging off
      We end with some news around cyberattacks and security.



      Late last year, Microsoft, VMware, SolarWinds and others were victims of a targeted supply chain attack. As a result, through exploitation of said supply chain, attackers were able to even access private emails and documents of some companies.

      The latest development surrounding this attack is an RCE (Remote Code Execution) exploit making use of SolarWinds’ Serv-U Managed FTP and Secured FTP software. Extensive guidance regarding Indicators of Compromise has been published by Microsoft, with upgrade paths outlined by SolarWinds itself.

      As a result of the above, Microsoft has also begun cracking down on private business that sell cyberweapons, spurred on by the recent DevilsTongue malware discovery, which was distributed thanks to 0-day exploits in Windows and single-time-use URLs sent through WhatsApp.

      Missed any of the previous columns? Check them all out at this link.



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    • By Sszecret
      Microsoft Weekly: Windows 11 for insiders, cloud gaming, and print nightmares
      by Florin Bodnarescu



      Following on from last week’s special edition of Microsoft Weekly, where we covered most of what was known - at the time - about the Redmond giant’s upcoming OS, we take a peek at some additional info that has surfaced since. We’ll also cover an interesting development in regards to Project xCloud, and the rather serious Print Spooler vulnerability. All that and more can be found below, in your Microsoft digest for the week of June 27 – July 3.

      Windows 11 for insiders


      Following its unveiling of Windows 11 on the 24th of June, Microsoft stated that it would give insiders the chance to play with a test build soon. Rather unexpectedly, it was not ‘Microsoft soon’ as usual, but rather soon in the actual sense of the word.

      To start off the week properly, build 22000.51 made its way to the Dev channel, showcasing a new File Explorer, as well as a number of the new UI and UX changes shown in the presentation on Thursday.

      Although a number of new things made their way into the build – you can check out our hands-on video here -, like a new Store and some more consistent UI across Office apps, notably absent was support for Android apps, as well as the demoed Teams integration. The company says that these will come through at a later date, since the OS is still in testing (most likely targeted for an October release).

      Clarifying its rather stringent mininum system requirements, Microsoft stated that at the heart of those was security, including virtualization-based security (or VBS), hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI) and Secure Boot, the combination of which the company says reduces malware by 60%. Though the 8th-gen Intel Core / 2nd gen AMD Ryzen remains the cutoff officially, the firm also says that 7th Core and 1st gen Ryzen may be supported depending on testing and customer feedback.

      If you insist on installing Windows 11 on unsupported hardware – save for those few “special” PCs that don’t need a TPM to run the OS - , we have a guide for that, though you’re probably better off installing it in a VM. If you decide to go that route, here’s how to enable 3D Acceleration in VirtualBox.

      As for everybody else, if your PC qualifies, you’ll be getting the upgrade early next year. In case you’re not satisfied with Windows 11, you can always roll back to 10. If you’re an enterprise customer, Microsoft has also outlined a way to plan your transition to its upcoming OS.

      Last but not least, the company says that accessibility is area of focus for Windows 11, though it’s not clear if the new Black Screen of Death (which conveniently also shortens to BSOD) is part of this focus.

      Cloud gaming


      Hopping over to the gaming side of things, Xbox Cloud Gaming (formerly Project xCloud) has now expanded in availability to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers in 22 countries. This method of play is available through the Chrome or Edge browsers on Windows 10, Safari on Apple devices, and the Xbox Game Pass app on Android.

      In additional news, Conker: Live & Reloaded, Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break, Planet Alpha, and Midway Arcade Origins are this month’s Games with Gold. Folks who have either an Xbox Live Gold or Game Pass Ultimate subscription (which includes Gold) can now grab Conker: Live and Reloaded and Planet Alpha for free.

      But if those don’t sound like quite your thing, there are always the Deals with Gold to look at, or the upcoming horde mode from Doom Eternal. Unfortunately for those looking forward to it, horde mode will be replacing Invasion Mode, which is now canceled.

      Print nightmares


      While security updates are something folks have gotten used to, the other side of the coin, security vulnerabilities, are perhaps a tad more pervasive - even if they don’t really get too much mainstream attention. This is not the case with the latest vulnerability, which in this case targets the Print Spooler service in Windows.

      Known as PrintNightmare, the flaw allows for RCE (remote code execution) due to the Windows Print Spooler not restricting access to the RpcAddPrinterDriverEx() function. To put it simply, an attacker that is remotely authenticated can run arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges.

      This is being tracked by the CERT Coordination Center under VU#383432, and by Microsoft under the related issue CVE-2021-1675. June’s Patch Tuesday set of updates has only fixed part of the issue, unfortunately.

      As a result of the above, Microsoft has pushed out further mitigations for the exploit, bumping its severity rating up to ‘high’.

      Dev channel
      The June firmware update for the Surface Pro 7 has brought in critical security fixes, among other things.

      Microsoft has also announced a raft of security updates for the Power Platform.

      Azure SQL on Azure Arc will reach General Availability on July 30.

      The out of band KB5004760 update has been pushed out to Windows 10 systems to fix PDF problems.

      Edge Dev build 93.0.933.1 is out, enabling Tab Groups by default and adding Collections integration.

      Edge Dev and Canary builds now have a new Share menu with an ‘Email to myself’ option.

      Teams’ activity feed is now integrated with Power BI.

      Microsoft has detailed all the changes it’s making to the App Developer Agreement come July 28.

      Logging off
      To wrap things up, we’ll take a look at a couple of updates that have arrived for PowerToys.



      For one, version 0.41.2 has brought in the ability to configure how you would like your PC to stay awake, either by keeping the current power plan, staying awake indefinitely, or for a set number of hours or minutes. Improvements have also been made to the ColorPicker, FancyZones, Image Resizer, and other features, with the list of changes and fixes being rather lengthy.

      Not long after the update above, the company also pushed out version 0.41.4, which fixed a bug that caused high CPU usage when using the 'Awake PC' feature we mentioned above. This version also included some fixes for PowerToys Run and image resizing.

      Missed any of the previous columns? Check them all out at this link.



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    • By Abhay V
      Xbox Cloud Gaming expands to all Game Pass Ultimate users, heads to PC and iOS via the web
      by Abhay Venkatesh

      As promised earlier this month, Microsoft today announced that it is opening up Xbox Cloud Gaming to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, including on the web, to 22 countries. This means that users will be able to stream games from the cloud using Edge or Chrome on Windows 10 and Safari on Apple devices, along with the Xbox Game Pass app on Android.

      Catherine Gluckstein, Vice President & Head of Product, Xbox Cloud Gaming, says that the firm wants users to “have new opportunities to play the deepest, most immersive games whenever and wherever [they] choose”. The ability to stream games from Microsoft’s servers means that users on any of these devices will be able to access games in the ever-expanding Xbox Game Pass library via their subscription.

      In addition to opening up cloud gaming to all users, the firm also announced that it has upgraded its data centers with “custom Xbox Series X hardware”, a step up from the Xbox One consoles. The firm says that these upgrades allow for “faster load times, improved frame rates, and an experience of a new generation of gaming”.

      However, to limit latency issues and maintain quality, the firm will stream games at 1080p resolution capped at 60 frames per second. This might not be a huge deal considering that most mobile displays are Full HD units, and do not need the resolutions as high as those for TVs connected to real consoles. Additionally, the company recommends internet speeds of 10Mbps or higher.

      The Redmond giant also revealed that one in six players that stream from the cloud use touch-based controls that are available for “more than 50 games”, including the likes of Minecraft Dungeons. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members who want to try out Cloud Gaming can head to this webpage from their Windows 10, iOS, or iPadOS devices to get started. Users can use a Bluetooth or USB controller, or touch-based controls in supported games. There is no mention of support for keyboard and mouse, though. For iOS devices, the company is also introducing new Designed for Xbox Mobile Accessories (shown in the header image).