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What’s new with Xbox Series X: Blockbusters on Game Pass

A new generation of gaming is knocking on our door. Microsoft has unleashed the most powerful gaming console ever created, the Xbox Series X. Officially revealed in December of 2019, Microsoft slowly started to pull the curtain back on the next-gen console’s hardware, software and services.

From detailed hardware specs to a first look at next-gen games, there is a lot to be excited about. Sometimes keeping track of all the news can be difficult and daunting. To make things easier, we have created a one stop shop for all the latest and greatest news on Xbox Series X.

UPDATE MARCH 2021

The gaming machines to power your dreams have arrived! Both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are off to strong starts with powerful hardware that continue to deliver a wide range of diverse video game experiences. From new cutting-edge games to an extensive multi-generational back catalog, the Xbox platform has a massive library of games to jump into. As we move into the spring / summer release window let’s take a look at some of the software, subscription services and accessories that will help you get the most out of your console.

Blockbusters on Xbox Game Pass

One of the best values in gaming is the Xbox Game Pass Subscription which puts well over 100+ titles at your fingertips. You’ll get Microsoft’s first party blockbusters like Halo:Master Chief Collection, Gears of War 5 and Sea of Thieves along with many other must-play titles. Future Xbox Game Studios titles like Microsoft Flight Simulator, Halo Infinite and Perfect Dark will arrive day and date with their retail launch. Even big third-party titles like Outriders, Dirt 5 and MLB: The Show 21 have joined, or are slated to launch on Game Pass the same day as their retail debuts.

Purchase an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate 3-Month Membership

Bethesda Joins Xbox

If you needed more reasons to pick up Xbox Game Pass, 20 classic Bethesda titles have just been added to the library. Microsoft recently acquired the developer, and to celebrate, franchises like Dishonored, Doom, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and Wolfenstein are now available to Game Pass members. Many of Bethesda’s future titles will also come to the service, stay tuned to the Best Buy Blog for more details!

Top recently released / upcoming games for Xbox

Balan Wonderworld

Release Date: Available Now

The dreamlike world of Balan awaits, join the Maestro, Emma and Leo to become stars of the show. The game features 12 stages, 80 costumes with special powers and challenging bosses to face off against. The 3D action platformer is themed after a musical performance, featuring catchy tunes, unique character design and worlds that are larger than life. If you are looking for an offbeat platformer with a variety of worlds Balan Wonderworld offers a lot of zany fun.

Purchase Balan Wonderworld (Xbox Series X / Xbox One)

Hitman 3

The critically acclaimed stealth sandbox is back and sharper than ever on the Xbox Series X! Test your assassin skills and smarts with creative solutions in reactive sandbox environments. The stealth-thriller features new gear, unique characters and re-playable missions. Good luck with your next mission!

Purchase Hitman 3 (Xbox Series X / Xbox One)

It Takes Two

Release Date: Available Now

From the developer that brought us the critically acclaimed A Way Out, Hazelight Studios returns with another co-op classic, It Takes Two. Specially designed as a two-player experience, you play as Cody and May working together to overcome obstacles and repair your relationship. You can play online or co-op, and the game’s Friend’s Pass only requires one player to own a copy of the game to experience the full adventure. Unexpected twists and turns await as you work together to overcome your differences and repair your fractured relationship.

It Takes Two (Xbox Series X / Xbox One)

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2

Release Date: Available Now

One of the greatest sports games ever made ollies onto the Series S and X consoles. Originally released on the Xbox One the “next-gen update” for the Series X now has the game running at native 4K 60 FPS.  The Xbox Series S version will render at 1440P and upscale to 4K, Tony and the gang have never looked better in a game! Along with resolution visuals through better quality shadows and atmospherics (bloom, lens flare, reflections).  They also increased the texture quality used on the in-game skaters.

Buy Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 Next-Gen Upgrade

Resident Evil Village

Release Date: May 7, 2021 – Preorder Today!

Step back into the nightmare with Resident Evil Village, the next major installment in the franchise. The hotly anticipated title picks up where Resident Evil 7 biohazard left off.

Ethan and Mia Winters have been reunited but their “happily ever after” takes a dark turn that leads Ethan to a mysterious village with untold horrors. Faceoff against new foes and familiar faces in the next chapter in the storied Resident Evil series.

Preorder Resident Evil Village

 

Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Release Date: May 14, 2021 – Preorder Today!

Experience the intergalactic epic with the most comprehensive edition of the Mass Effect trilogy yet. The Legendary Edition includes Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3 remastered in 4K Ultra HD. Not only will it look great, but it will also include DLC from all 3 games including all previous promo weapons, armours, and packs. You are humanity’s last hope against the greatest threat it has ever faced, your choices will determine the fate of the galaxy.

Buy Mass Effect Legendary Edition (Xbox One)

 

Hot Xbox accessories

Xbox Wireless Controller

The arrival of the Xbox Series of consoles has also brought with it newly designed controllers. The new remotes refine the old design with enhanced ergonomics, a new hybrid D-pad, and textured grip. They also sport a new “Share button” which lets you easily capture and share screenshots, recordings and more. When it comes to multiplayer gaming you could always use an extra remote! Express your personal style with a host of colours including Robot White, Shock Blue, Carbon Black and Pulse Red.

Xbox Storage Expansion Card

The Xbox platform has a ton to play, from the rapidly growing Game Pass library to hot new releases you’re going to need more space. Enter the Seagate 1TB Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X and Series S with easy plug and play compatibility. The Expansion Card is the only hardware currently on the market that works with the “Xbox Velocity Architecture.” The hardware provides lightning-fast load times that are required with the Xbox Series line of consoles and next-gen games.

Xbox Wireless Headset

Designed with gamers in mind the Xbox Wireless Headset dials up your immersion with high quality audio. The headset is compatible with Windows Sonic, Dolby Atmos, and DTS Headphone:X sound technologies for multi-dimensional sound. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery offers up to 15 hours of runtime to keep you gaming even longer. Purchase the Xbox Wireless Headset here or check out Best Buy’s full range of gaming console headsets.

UPDATE NOV 5 2020:

**Updated October 15, 2020**

30 games fully optimized on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S on launch day

Today, Xbox announced that Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will launch with 30 games fully optimized for the next-gen consoles. Included on in these games are some of the year’s biggest titles such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Watch Dogs Legion. In addition, other AAA games such as Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Gears Tactics, and Tetris Effect Connected will be fully optimized on day one. Additionally, 20 of the 30 launch games feature Smart Delivery, which means they are upgraded automatically.

In addition to these 30 games fully optimized for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S there will be even more games before the end of the year. Titles include Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Destiny 2: Beyond Light, Cyberpunk 2077 and The Medium to name a few.

Check out the list below off all 30 fully optimized games that will be available on launch, Nov. 10.

Day One Xbox Series X|S Optimized Titles

Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S pre-order date and time 

Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will be available for pre-order at Best Buy Canada on September 22, 2020 at 8AM PDT / 11AM EDT. Pre-orders will be limited, and we are expecting them to sell out very quickly. Please ensure that your Best Buy online account’s billing and shipping information are up to date prior to September 22.

Xbox Series X price and launch date confirmed

Announced earlier this morning from Xbox, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are launching on November 10, 2020. The Xbox Series S will retail for $379.99 and the Xbox Series X will retail for $599.99. In addition, a brand new video was posted that goes inside Xbox Series S.

Additionally, Xbox announced that EA’s online subscription service, EA Play, will be included with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Xbox Game Pass for PC later this year, for no additional fee. Subscribers will be able to download 60 of EA’s titles, including FIFA 20, Titanfall 2, Star Wars Battlefront, Mass Effect, Skate and The Sims franchises. Furthermore, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will be able to play select titles via Xbox’s streaming service Project xCloud.

Quite possibly the best news announced this morning is that pre-orders for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will take place on September 22, 2020 at Best Buy. We are expecting pre-orders to sell out quickly. Please make sure that you have everything in your Best Buy online shopping account such as your shipping and billing information ready before pre-orders open.

Xbox Series S officially revealed

Rumours have been flying around that a cheaper, less powerful version of the Xbox Series X would be released this holiday season. And, early this morning, Xbox officially confirmed that indeed these rumours were true. Say hello to Xbox Series S! Priced at $379.99 and launching November 10, 2020. The console offers next-gen performance and is the smallest Xbox ever.

Take a look at the first official picture of Xbox Series S below. You’ll notice that it takes a more traditional console design approach, similar to Xbox One S. It has a large black cooling vent on the top of the console and there is no optical drive. This means that all your games will be digital on the Xbox Series S.

Xbox promises to share more info soon on the Xbox Series S, and we’ll be here to give you all those details. In the meantime, checkout the official Xbox Series S World Premier Reveal Trailer.

 

Detailed specs on Xbox Series X Processor and Graphics chip

At the annual Hot Chips conference, where engineers and chip designers meet to discuss the latest technologies and products, Microsoft held a keynote speech detailing the Xbox Series X processor and graphics chips. Many very technical aspects regarding the Xbox Series X were discussed. The Advanced Processing Unit, APU, which integrates both the CPU and GPU into one chip is roughly the same size as the Xbox One X APU. However, transistor counts have more than doubled relative from 6.6 billion to 15.4 billion.

Furthermore, key interest is in the graphic below, which shows the evolution of the graphics processing power in Xbox consoles. You can see, the Xbox Series X is roughly 9 times more powerful than Xbox One. It has advanced features such as ray tracing and can output all the way up to 8K resolution with 60 frames-per-second.

As for the Series X’s processor, it contains an 8-core/16 thread server class AMD Zen 2 CPU. It was noted that the processor is based on TSMC’s 7nm “enhanced” node. Essentially this means it uses a compact design that runs faster and uses less power. Needless to say, the Xbox Series X is a powerhouse.

Finally, I found this last bit of information the most interesting. Microsoft indicated that the production of this chip was higher than the Xbox One X. They didn’t say specifically, but listed “$” as the cost on the Xbox One and Xbox One S, “$+” for the Xbox One X, and “$++” for the Xbox Series X.

Halo Infinite delayed 

Halo Infinite made quite a splash at its debut in the Xbox Games ShowCase digital event in July. Scheduled to launch with the Series X, we got a glimpse of what 343 Industries had in store for the latest entry in the iconic Halo franchise. However, in early August, both Xbox and 343 Industries announced that the game will be delayed into 2021.

The reason cited for the delay, was that the team needs more time to finish critical work necessary to launch the game. Despite the disappointing news, we learned that Halo Infinite’s multiplayer mode will be free to play. Also, it supports up to a whopping 120 frames per second. While I am disappointed that Halo Infinite will no longer be a launch title for Xbox Series X, I’m glad that both Xbox and 343 Industries are taking the extra time to make needed changes to the game.

Xbox Series X global launch month revealed

Release date and pricing are the two most common questions I get asked about Xbox Series X. Xbox officially confirmed that Xbox Series X will launch globally this November. And, over 100 optimized games will be available for Series X this year. Not long after the global launch announcement, rumours started to swirl around the exact date. However, there is still no official date other than November, 2020.

Games, games and more games

For those wondering what games you’ll have to play this year, there will be plenty. There are more than 50 new games planned for 2020 across generations and optimized for Xbox Series X. Games include Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs: Legion, Dirt 5, Madden NFL 21 and more. With smart delivery, you only have to buy these games once to play the best versions for your console.

Likewise, Game Pass subscribers have quite a few games developed for Series X coming to the service. For example, exclusives like Tetris Effect: Connected, Scorn, The Medium and more.

Additionally, there will be more than 40 popular games newly optimized to take full advantage of Series X. For example, Destiny 2, Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, and more will be fully optimized.

Project xCloud comes to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Corporate Vice president of Project xCloud, Kareem Choudhry announced that the company’s cloud gaming service is coming out of public preview and being added to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on September 15, 2020. As a result, the move to Game Pass Ultimate subscribers gives gamers the opportunity to play the games they want, with the people they want, anywhere they want. And, sometime next year, Project xCloud servers will be upgraded to Xbox Series X hardware!

Stay up to date with everything you need to know about Xbox Series X

Bookmark this page for the latest news on Xbox Series X

Xbox fans, make sure to bookmark this page to keep up with the latest news on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S at Best Buy. We’ll be updating this page regularly with the newest info. Let me know in the comments section below if you will be picking up an Xbox Series X and what games you are most interested in.

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