Xbox Series X Unboxed: Our First Look At Microsoft’s Next Gen Console

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 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.