The most significant step forward in-game console processing and graphics performance in generations is coming this holiday season. Both Microsoft and Sony will debut next-generation game consoles, which will offer unprecedented high-fidelity graphics and gameplay. That big step, however, means you will need the right cables to take advantage of your new hardware.
For Microsoft's Xbox Series X, that means you will need the newest HDMI 2.1 cables and hardware to take full advantage of new features and 8K resolution.
When is the Xbox Series X release date and how much will it cost?
Finally, the news we have all been waiting for! Microsoft announced a November 10th global launch date for the Xbox Series X and pre-ordering starting September 22nd. They even announced a MSRP of $499. The Microsoft team also surprised us with news of the Xbox Series S, a smaller and more affordable option at $299.
What games will be on the Xbox Series X at launch?
The Xbox Series X already has an impressive line-up of games. Unlike other hardware manufacturers, Microsoft has bucked the trend of "exclusive" titles, so there are no true "exclusive" titles for the Xbox Series X. Instead, Microsoft is encouraging developers to optimize games for the new hardware. The company's first-party games will take full advantage of the Series X's processing power as well.
Since the release date of the Xbox Series X is still unknown, there are a limited number of games officially confirmed as Day 1 launch titles. So far, the list of confirmed Xbox Series X launch titles includes Halo: Infinite, Gears 5, Fortnite, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and Rainbow Six Siege.
A growing number of third-party games launching on other platforms between now and the end of 2020 will feature Series X versions. However, it remains unclear if those games will be available for the Series X at launch. Look out for other games which may launch with or shortly after the Xbox Series X, including Cyberpunk 2077, Madden NFL 21, Call of the Sea, Dirt 5, Chorus, Scarlet Nexus, and The Ascent.
The Xbox Series X is also fully backward compatible with all Xbox One games, and some Xbox 360 and original Xbox games.
What cable do you need for the Xbox Series X?
Microsoft has confirmed the Xbox Series X will take advantage of HDMI 2.1 technology. You will need an HDMI 2.1 cable and capable TV to take the fullest advantage of the Series X's advanced features. The new HDMI version does more than output a higher resolution and refresh rate, however. Due to the high bandwidth requirements, if your setup requires an HDMI cable longer than a standard length, then you’ll want to consider an AOC HDMI cable. Active fiber optic cables allow high bandwidth transmission over much longer distances compared to traditional copper cables.
HDMI 2.1 boasts several gaming-oriented features over its predecessors. This includes Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), which optimizes your TV or monitor with ideal settings for lag-free gaming. It also supports Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). VRR adjusts your TV's refresh rate on the fly, so you will always experience a smooth and tear-free image even in the most high-demand scenes.
Microsoft has confirmed the Xbox Series X will support both ALLM and VRR, as well as display resolutions up to 8K, which is only possible on HDMI 2.1. Make sure you have an Xbox Series X 8K HDMI cable.
Xbox Series X specs and is 8K gameplay possible?
The Xbox Series X features the latest in high-end components, and even resembles a gaming PC in design. Which begs the question: What about Xbox Series X 8K support?
The console is powered by a custom-designed AMD processor based on AMD's Zen 2 architecture. It closely rivals AMD's current top-of-the-line PC CPUs. An AMD RDNA 2 graphics chip drives the console's visuals. It packs 16GB of the latest GDDR6 memory and a built-in 1TB NVMe storage drive with the option of adding external storage cards.
Although the Xbox Series X is plenty powerful and does natively support 8K, Microsoft has not yet announced a game that will run at such a high resolution. Still, the console will likely offer a stellar 8K media experience.
Today, 8K televisions are an expensive niche limited to early adopters, but consider how quickly 4K became the dominant standard in display technology. For many, 8K is the next step after 4K. Buy an Xbox Series X this year, and it will likely remain a fixture of your entertainment center when you are ready to upgrade to 8K.
Should you pre-order the Xbox Series X?
With a September 22nd pre-order date and November 10th global launch, it shouldn't be completely necessary to pre-order the new Xbox. Rumors of global supply chain disruptions affecting Xbox release are so far, unfounded. However, if you're going to get it anyways, why not pre-order and make sure you're among the first to get it?