Phil Spencer Discusses the Monolithic Xbox Series X Design, and the New Name

By Sam Quirke,
In case you were asleep during The Game Awards, let's start by saying: Xbox have revealed their new console, it's called the Xbox Series X, and it looks, probably deliberately, like the monoliths from 2001: A Space Odyssey. The internet has happily started up the meme machine, but there's also plenty of outlets – ours included – that quite like the new design. It's nice to see Xbox go for something other than the standard VCR shape that they have been peddling for generations. Peter Brown of Gamespot seems to agree, as he interviews head of Xbox Phil Spencer and Jason Ronald, Partner Director of Program Management at Team Xbox.

Xbox Series X design

Spencer wanted the console's design "where the form was driven by the function" – which in his mind, is "to really play the highest power, most immersive games possible". Brown says that the Series X is "roughly" as wide as an Xbox One controller and about three times as tall, which certainly makes it a distinct unit compared to other home consoles, perhaps the boldest dimensional move since the GameCube. There's no funky colours or chunky faceplates to be seen here though; the Series X is sleek and minimal, clearly designed to somewhat disappear into the home entertainment unit.

Speaking of disappearing, it sounds like Spencer and Ronald both believe the Series X systems are no louder than the Xbox One X – not noticeably audible at a couch distance way in the living room. Spencer wasn't going to allow the noise issue to overtake other objectives – "we're not going to compromise on function" – but he was nevertheless impressed by the sound of the thing when the design was presented to him.

But what about that name? Another divisive and confusing moniker from the world of Xbox, by most available opinions. To reflect, we've now had the Xbox, the Xbox 360, the Xbox One, the Xbox One X, the Xbox One S and the Xbox Series X. There's a lot of speculation that the rumoured budget console in the Project Scarlett umbrella will emerge as an Xbox Series S, just to make things even more confusing. But the "Series" aspect gives Xbox room to explore this new era of thinking around console generations – according to Spencer, "it gives us freedom to do other things with the name so that we can create descriptors when we need to".

We have no release date for the Xbox Series X beyond the "Holiday 2020" bracket originally given to Project Scarlett. Pre-orders remain unavailable for now, though this Xbox All Access deal, which allows players to get an Xbox One console on a payment plan, launched with a clause that players would have a chance to upgrade to the next generation of consoles at the end of the plan.
Sam Quirke
Written by Sam Quirke
Sam has been a Newshound since 2016 and is now the Editor for both TrueAchievements and TrueTrophies. He loves gaming on all devices and in all genres. He remains a stubborn Assassin's Creed and Pokémon fan.