March 19, 2020
No, Microsoft won't necessarily be serving up new Xbox for Thanksgiving
For a few minutes on Tuesday, the impending arrival of the new Xbox video game console became clearer—then that update disappeared in the ether.
Microsoft has previously said its next-generation game system, the Xbox Series X, was due to be released during the 2020 holiday season. But on Tuesday, some promotional pages announced the system's arrival in Thanksgiving 2020.
The Hollywood Reporter's Patrick Shanley was among the first to spot it and dash out a tweet that said, "that the Series X console will launch on Thanksgiving."
It didn't take long for Microsoft to shoot that report down. "An Xbox product page in some regions inaccurately listed the launch date for Xbox Series X as Thanksgiving 2020. We are committed to launching Holiday 2020," read a statement sent by Microsoft to U.S. TODAY and posted on Twitter by Xbox Live's director of programming Larry Hyrb.
Microsoft had been scheduled to do several presentations this week at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, but the event was among many canceled amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Earlier in the week, the game maker released more details about the Xbox Series X including that it contains a one-terabyte solid-state drive and 1TB expansion port, a 4K UHD Blu-ray disc drive and wireless controller. The Xbox Series X will be backward compatible with "existing Xbox One games, including backward-compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games," wrote Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, in the announcement.
Microsoft also on Tuesday and Wednesday held several online presentations and panel discussions (you can watch on YouTube). During one discussion, Jason Ronald, Xbox's partner director of program management referenced the abilities that developers will have creating new games for the system. "A member of our team, she mentioned (that) with Xbox One X it was like getting a playground to play with and then with something like Xbox Series X now the team has an entire amusement park," Ronald said.
Sony on Tuesday also released more information about the PlayStation 5, also due this holiday season, along with a live online presentation from the system's architect Mark Cerny. The PS5 will be backward-compatible with "almost all of" the top 100 PS4 titles at launch, Sony says. The PS5 will also have a 4K Blu-ray disc drive and custom solid-state drive that is slightly smaller than the new Xbox's.
That led many to begin comparing specifications between the two consoles. "As much fun as it is to talk about and compare specs, it rarely matters to most people when they sit down to actually play a game," wrote Jeff Grubb of VentureBeat. "Whether the Xbox or PlayStation has more power, it's the content that is going to matter."
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