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Microsoft finally unveils Project Scarlett console: Meet Xbox Series X

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Dec 12, 2019, 10:05 PM EST

One of the first big surprises of this year’s Game Awards came early in the proceedings, when Microsoft’s Phil Spencer took the stage to take the wraps off one of the most long-awaited reveals of the upcoming console generation. We’re talking, of course, about what its Xbox One replacement console, codenamed Project Scarlett, will actually be called when it hits the streets — not to mention what it’ll look like sitting in our living rooms.

Sporting a vertically-oriented, blocky look that veers in a different direction from any Xbox (not to mention any mainstream console) that’s come before, Spencer rolled out the new console — the Xbox Series X — as Microsoft’s new flagship gaming rig, in the process finally giving fans a chance to call its next-gen device by its proper name. 

Say goodbye to Project Scarlett, and say hello to Xbox Series X:

Xbox on YouTube

Though we’ve already heard plenty of buzz about what kind of graphical and processing tricks the high-powered new console will be able to perform, Spencer kept the details to a minimum, preferring to let the console’s new look do the talking. Series X, said Spencer, will deliver “the fastest, most powerful Xbox” in the company’s history, with games already in development “to take full advantage” of the top-tier model’s next-gen power. 

Developer Ninja Theory served up a quick, in-engine look at the new game it announced in conjunction with Microsoft’s big reveal: Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II (the sequel to 2017’s Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice). Take a peek at how the first wave of games on Microsoft's next batch of consoles could look below:

Xbox on YouTube

While the Xbox Series X will sit atop Microsoft’s Xbox lineup, it likely won’t be the only Xbox console you’ll be able to get your hands on as the new console wars heat up next year. A cheaper, less-powerful version is reportedly also in the works — though even with fewer tech goodies under the hood, it’ll still outmaneuver even the fastest Xbox One or PlayStation 4 we’re currently able to get our hands on. 

Microsoft stuck with its broad 2020 release date timeline in its announcement, so for now, we’re marking our calendars for the Xbox Series X to arrive sometime during the “holiday” season late next year.