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3 major Xbox Series X mysteries still remain

Published Mar 16th, 2020 5:03PM EDT
Xbox Series X release date
Image: Xbox

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  • Microsoft has revealed almost everything there is to know about the Xbox Series X, but there are still three big mysteries we are waiting to solve.
  • The Xbox Series X is theoretically coming out this holiday season, but we don’t know the exact date or how much it will cost when it finally does hit store shelves.
  • We also don’t know how much the Xbox Series X Storage Expansion Card will cost, which allows users to expand their SSD storage, but might be extremely pricey.
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As of this Monday morning, we know close to everything there is to know about the Xbox Series X. We know what it’s going to look like, we know all of its internal components and technical specifications, we know how big it is compared to the Xbox One X, and we even know how the wireless controller will differ from its predecessor.

A few important mysteries remain, however, and as forthcoming as Microsoft has been with information about the new Xbox ever since it was unveiled at The Game Awards, we have no idea when we’ll get those details.

Starting with the most obvious mystery, we still don’t know precisely when the Xbox Series X will launch. For years, Team Xbox has promised that its next home console would be available in “Holiday 2020,” which is a release window the company continues to cite. That would likely imply that the Xbox Series X will hit store shelves between October and December. For the sake of reference, the Xbox One launched on November 22nd, 2013.

But Microsoft has yet to take the worldwide pandemic we are facing into account. Publicly, anyway. We know that the coronavirus crisis has already affected countless industries, from sports to technology to Hollywood, and analysts are convinced that, before all is said and done, the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 release dates will be delayed as well. DFC Intelligence went as far as to say that there is “a strong likelihood one or both systems will not make a 2020 launch.” Frustratingly, it could be some time before we know for sure, though.

The second and third mystery are related, as both concern pricing. We do not know how much the Xbox Series X is going to cost, but it’s hard to imagine that Microsoft will charge more than $499 for the console. The introductory price for both the Xbox One and Xbox One X was $499, and it’s one of the main reasons why the PS4 took such a massive lead over the course of the last generation with a price tag of $399. Unless the Xbox Series X has something that the PS5 can’t even hope to match, it’s hard to imagine Microsoft letting Sony beat it on price again. And multiple reports have already suggested that $499 might be the best Sony can do when it comes to PS5 pricing.

Image source: Seagate

And the final mystery is one that sprung up today alongside the enormous information dump from Microsoft. The Xbox Series X will ship with a 1TB solid-state drive, but if you need more storage for Series X games, you will need to use a Storage Expansion Card, which Microsoft has built in partnership with Seagate. You can use USB hard drives to play games from previous generations, but Xbox Series X optimized games will need to either be stored on the internal SSD or an expansion card. Here’s the big mystery: We have no idea how much the card will cost.

1TB may sound like enough internal storage, but many modern games are already pushing 100GB or more, including popular titles like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Destiny 2. Games built for the next generation will only get bigger, and if you play more than a few games a year, you’re likely going to need more than a terabyte. So how prohibitively expensive will it be to upgrade your storage on an Xbox Series X? This is yet another mystery that will be solved before the Xbox Series X launches, but one that could be a dealbreaker for some consumers.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.