Xbox Series X chip revealed, features '8K' target

Xbox Series X
Xbox Series X (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft revealed the Xbox Series X at The Game Awards 2019.
  • The console launches in Holiday 2020.
  • Today, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer revealed the console's system on chip.
  • It prominently features an "8K" in the corner which reveals the visual target.

Remember when Microsoft revealed the Xbox One X system on chip (SoC) all those years ago? It didn't feature many defining markings, but we did see the 4K — the visual target of the console — in the bottom left corner. Today, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer revealed the Xbox Series X SoC.

While in many ways it's similar to the Xbox One X, it features a larger "8K" at the bottom left corner as well as the "Project Scarlett" codename. It's quite a large chip and given the fact that the Xbox Series X is rumored to output around 12 teraflops (tflops) of power, we expected it to be quite hefty.

A lot of leaks have been floating around lately, the most recent of which indicate that the PlayStation 5 is targeting 9.2 tflops. Only time will tell which console comes out on top, but given Microsoft's 12 tflops target, it's definitely going to give the competition a run for its money. As with any such leak, take it with a grain of salt until we receive official confirmation from Microsoft or Sony.

Xbox (opens in new tab)


Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

  • I'm really not sure with this whole 8K thing. Sony started it all by claiming 8K in the first place. Then MS obviously followed suit as well. I absolutely hope games dont push 8K. 4K@60fps with Ray Tracing will look far fsr superior to 8K games that struggle to maintain 30fps with less visual fidelity and minimal Ray Tracing. Hopefully the whole 8K thing is referencing video. And not a standard the new consoles try and reach with all games. Because PC struggles like hell with the best cards on the market to do so.
  • Microsoft is more likely to hit natives than Sony. The PS5 will use the same trickery to achieve "8K" like the PS4 pro did "4K"
  • Yeah but at what cost? At 60" TV you can barely see any difference between 4k and 8K. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe VRS among other neat MS tricks will make it possible. I mean Gears 5 managed practically 60fps @ a mostly native 4K throughout. And it really looked amazing. And that was on Jaguar architecture. I just think the visual fidelity of games on Series X would look so much better at 4K 60fps, Heavy Ray Tracing and loads and loads of detail.
  • Certain games bring out the benefits better than others. 1080p vs 4k is far noticeable in say, RDR2 or FH4 than The Witcher 3 or FFXV. Similarly I think we need high tier developers to really bring out the potential of 8k versus 4k. But that'll be a long term goal.
  • It's not really that. At certain sizes of TVs resolution becomes moot. You'll need a 100" projector to get any real benefit from 8K. I have 0 intention of ever going bigger than 60". So I have 0 reason to ever buy into 8K.
  • It's all distance verse screen size verse your personal vision. For instance, if you are sitting a couple feet away from a 50 inch (like I am in my bedroom), you could definitely see a difference between 4K and 8K if you have standard 20/20 vision.
  • Yeah, I'm with you, I'm still kinda sceptical about the possibility of 8K. The specs (on paper) of the Xbox One X actually puts it slightly ahead of 1070, which is actually about where it sits in the heirarchy of performance (give or take, depending on the game, as is usually the case). So the idea of consoles pushing more from their components than a PC isn't as clear cut as it used to be (obviously there is still the significant price difference factor). Currently people have managed 8K gaming with dual RTX 2080 TI cards. But with that setup every game is over 30 frames, but not all maintain 60 frames (a lot can though). But that's on PC, so it's a fixed frame rate. It stands to reason that if the Series X (or PS5), much like the One X and PS4 Pro, utilises dynamic resolution (and, unlikely, but maybe checkerboard) then they could feasibly hit 8K to a point where they could slap the label on a box and be happy about it. But it's a pretty big if.
  • 8k console gaming is pretty pointless, and almost no one is going to optimize for it. They'll focus on 4k60 or 120fps. 8k video is nearly as pointless for TV. It only really makes sense in theater settings, and even there it remains overkill. The size of the display relative to your field of view becomes all encompassing at that pixel density.
  • The one takeaway from 8K being a focus would be in VR, if the console can handle 8K as standard, it could pull off 4K VR easily. But we still have zero word on whether the Series X is going to even bother with VR so who knows.
  • Personally I have 0 interest in VR. Tried it, was a fun thing to try. I have just 0 interest in buying one. My hope is they don't bother with VR. And all First Party studios can focus on providing the best traditional games they can. As opposed to some having to support VR games to support the tech. I just don't think there is a large enough pool of people that pay VR to warrant taking developers off traditional games and making VR games.
  • I'm in the same boat, I mean I have zero interest in VR. But I also have zero interest in strategy games, that doesn't mean I think they shouldn't be a part of the console just because I'm not going to utilise them.
  • Thing with VR though is supporting it could mean any game or genre they make would only be viable to VR players. Imagine if they announced Fable Reboot was VR, or The Initiatives first game was VR. Liking different genres is one thing. Locking ganes of any genre behind a peripheral over 90% of gamers don't want and haven't bought is not a good idea IMO.
  • The console wars have always been about: 1. Which hardware 'on paper' is better (more 'powerful').
    2. Price
    3. Don't make too many changes (Forced Kinect, Digital only distribution, etc) I think MS learned their lesson with the One. They 'assumed' that brand loyalty would continue but quickly learned that the gaming fanbase is fickle. I think they made strides with the S (4K drive), and X ('most powerful console ever') to appease the hardcore fanbase. If they make the SeX a significant incremental improvement over the One, but not make to many changes, and ensure that it is 'more powerful' than the PS (even if on paper), and at least be the same price if not cheaper than the PS, they will have a hit.
  • I wouldn't be surprised if the Series X we have been shown is more expensive than the PS5, the alternative system that we don't know about will be cheaper though, but who knows where it sits performance wise.
  • Did you really mean SeX?