Microsoft looks to be making some big changes for the next console generation. Previously known as the Xbox Scarlet, the Xbox Series X is boasting some impressive features including backward compatibility, ray tracing, and possibly even 8K resolution. In the months leading up to the release of the Series X, Microsoft has laid out its plans for the generation: to provide the most diverse library of first-party titles, the most stunning visuals of any console, and a platform that accommodates the tastes of gamers of all shapes and sizes.

Some changes

According to GameInformer, Microsoft is phasing out its 12-month subscription package to Xbox Live. However, users can still opt for 1-month, 3-month, or 6-month renewals at this time. Players who subscribed to Xbox Game Pass had Xbox Live bundled with it.

Before, Microsoft teased the possibility of including Xbox Game Pass on rival platforms such as the Nintendo Switch. After all, Microsoft and Nintendo have maintained a pretty healthy relationship what with Banjo and Kazooie becoming playable characters on "Super Smash Bros Ultimate" and a switch port of the previously Xbox One exclusive "Cuphead."

However, it seems as if Phil Spencer is putting the kibosh on that. He's stated that since aspects of the Xbox brand such as the library, achievements, and the Xbox Live community wouldn't be on other platforms, fans might have to wait longer to see Game Pass appear on the Switch- if it ever comes at all.

Xbox Series X

The Series X's technical proficiency appears to be unmatched in the console domain. Ray-tracing is a fascinating graphical technique that makes an object or character's surface trace the source of light, producing stunning and more realistic lighting effects. However, since player interaction relies heavily on real-time rendering and since real-time rendering takes more time, seeing this level of detail during gameplay seemed to be an impossibility until now.

Microsoft boasts that the Series X will be the first console to be able to achieve real-time ray-tracing. they've previously experimented with this technique with "Minecraft."

The Series X boasts what is possibly the largest backward compatibility library on a console with every game released on every iteration of the Xbox being completely playable.

That's four generations of consoles. In addition to the first two "Halo" games and "Fable," the original Xbox's library includes overlooked classics such as "Jet Set Radio Future," "Panzer Dragoon Orta" and "Psychonauts." "Halo 3," and the "Gears of War" trilogy may have been big sellers on the 360. But, the console also saw an incredible output from Rare with "Viva Pinata," "Kameo Elements of Power," and the criminally underrated "Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts." The possibility of playing these games with an 8K resolution in 120 fps stimulates the senses.

The games lineup

Last year, Microsoft announced the purchase of some acclaimed developers including Obsidian, Double Fine Productions, and Ninja Theory.

Obsidian's "The Outer Worlds" was released last year to positive reviews and Ninja Theory's "Senua's Sacrifice" was well-received in its initial 2017 release. "Senua's" sequel, "Hellblade II" is one of the games that Microsoft is pushing in its lineup.

Double Fine's "Psychonauts 2" has proven to be one of the most anticipated sequels in gaming, but a change of publishers, a protracted development cycle, and the drying up of money have resulted in delays. Microsoft's purchase of Double Fine has proven to be a boon to the studio as the funds they provided made it possible to include boss fights.

Of course, Xbox's flagship franchise will continue with "Halo Infinite." Phil Spencer claims that this installment will change the structure a bit while borrowing elements of "The Master Chief Collection." "Halo Infinite" is slated for a holiday release for the Xbox One and Xbox Series X.

Microsoft plans to unveil more details and gameplay in their showcase on July 23rd.

Release date

The Xbox Series X is slated for a late 2020 release. Microsoft claims that the corona-virus will have no impact on its initial release date.