Xbox has launched its “best ever hardware” which the firm’s UK boss says will make gaming more “inclusive and accessible”.
The new Xbox Series X and Series S go on sale in the UK today as the firm’s “next-generation” devices.
The launch comes just over a week before rivals Sony release their own new console, the PlayStation 5, with both video game giants promising their most powerful systems, complete with major upgrades on current consoles.
James Butcher, head of Xbox UK, said the flagship Series X offers “the best console experience we’ve been able to deliver so far” thanks to significant internal hardware upgrades which mean the new console is faster and more powerful, as well as able to handle higher-quality graphics than ever before.
It is being released by the smaller, cheaper Series S, which the company argues offers more choice to consumers.
“Really the Series X is for the gamer who wants the ultimate gaming experience – the most immersive with the highest graphical fidelity on the world’s most powerful console,” he told the PA news agency.
In contrast, the Xbox Series S is the smallest console the company has ever made and comes without a disk-drive, instead relying on digital delivery for games and other entertainment content.
Mr Butcher said that although the Series S was more compact, it offered similar performance to the heavyweight Series X.
“I think with Series S it is more about consumer choice and making gaming accessible. It’s the smallest Xbox we’ve ever built. It’s a digital console and it carries the same next-gen features but at a slightly lower graphical resolution,” he said.
While the flagship Series X costs £449, the Series S is priced at £249.
Mr Butcher said the company’s aim was “enabling you, the gamer, to play the games you want with the people you want on the devices you want” and with the launch of these two consoles “this is the year where that vision becomes a reality”.
Early reviews have hailed the new consoles for the speed at which games load and launch compared with existing devices, while the introduction of technology such as ray-tracing, which enables games to better realistically mimic lighting, have also impressed.
Mr Butcher said it was these aspects that he expected users to notice after unboxing the new tech for the first time.
“I think it’ll be a combination of the speed – that instantaneous jump into the experience – and the performance side of things,” he said.
“What I’m finding is that it’s so immersive, in open-world games for example, they are so much more lifelike now when we’re getting up to 120 frames per second (fps), we get a much smoother, steadier experience and you can recognise it and feel it.”