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Phil Spencer Discusses Xbox Series X Design, Name, Controller, Games, More - VGChartz
Phil Spencer Discusses Xbox Series X Design, Name, Controller, Games, More

Phil Spencer Discusses Xbox Series X Design, Name, Controller, Games, More - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 January 2020 / 4,787 Views

Microsoft at The Game Awards announced its next generation console, codenamed Project Scarlett, is officially called Xbox Series X, as well as announcing Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II for the console. 

The trailer for the console revealed the design of it, the controller, and showed clips of some games coming to the console, including Halo: Infinite, a new Forza game, and FIFA.

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer an interview with GameSpot discussed the upcoming console. He talked about the design of the console, the name, the controller, next generation Xbox games, and more. 

The Xbox Series X square footprint is roughly as wide as the Xbox One controller and about three times as tall. An Xbox-logo serves as the power button, as well as a slot for inserting discs. The design on the front of the console is minimalistic

"There's always this tension between design and the kind of acoustics and cooling and function of the console and we were not going to compromise on function," Spencer said on the design. "I'm just incredibly impressed with the design that they came back with."

The Xbox Series X controller is not much different from the Xbox One controller. It does feature a new share button in the middle and a different d-pad. The new controller is slightly smaller than the Xbox One controller, which at first glance most will not notice. 

"There were certain things that we've learned through doing the Elite controller and just listening to fans," said Spencer. "One of them is on the d-pad we have a new hybrid d-pad that we've been working on that we think is important, so you'll get a sense of that in the new Xbox wireless controller.

"We do have a share button. We've heard the feedback. We're not the first ones to do a share button, so we're not going to say that we invented that, but we've heard feedback that sharing is such a part of a gaming experience now for many of our players that I wanted a dedicated hardware button to share, so you'll see that. We'll still have all the rumble triggers and haptic feedback that you've had in the console before."


Spencer added, "When we talk about things like refresh rate and we talk about input latency, this is all about the most immersive experience game designers can create, where the visuals are stunning, my ability to get into the experience [is] very timely, it's as great as it's ever been with the I/O speeds and the load times we're going to see, and the input and the ability for just my control and activation of my character or of the game itself becomes a subconscious thing and not something that I think about."

Partner Director of Program Management for Team Xbox Jason Ronald discussed the streamlined gameplay with the console. The Xbox Series X is confirmed to feature a solid state drive, which will lead to much shorter load times. 

"Today, we have the capability of instantly resuming the last game that you were playing. Why can't you do that for multiple games? Many players choose to play multiple games at the same time, being able to instantly jump right back where I was, those are things that we can do with the platform level to make the gaming experience better. It's really about ensuring there's less waiting and more time playing because that's ultimately what we all want to do with a with the consoles and with the services that we have."

It was confirmed at X019 recently Microsoft xCloud streaming service will launch as part of Game Pass Ultimate in 2020. xCloud won't replace gaming directly on a console or PC, but it will be adding a new way to play games.

"We're not trying to tell people that xCloud is going to replace their console or xCloud is going to replace gaming on a PC," said Spencer. "But we do think that ability for me to take my gaming experience with me, so that when I log in all my friends are there all my games are there, my saved games are there, I get my Achievements, my library is with me, is pretty critical."

Spencer Discusses Xbox Series X Design, Name, Controller, Games, More

"We literally show up to third-party publishers and we hand them a phone [with] their games running in xCloud," said Spencer. "They didn't have to do any work to make that happen.

"We started at the beginning saying there's a world where we might actually put as many of these in the Cloud as we do in people's homes," he added. "And how do you think about your silicon design and your platform design knowing that that's the design point that you're trying to get to.

"And as I said from a developer standpoint, it means you don't have to port to a new platform. You can build the games that you want to build on Project Scarlett and know that we can enable the deployment of those games to so many screens."

Xbox Series X will launch in Holiday 2020.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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35 Comments

ROBOTECHHEAVEN (on 13 December 2019)

I loved the new xbox look and design. And hellblade 2 looked absolutely stunning


jason1637 (on 12 December 2019)

That's a tiny console.


  • -5
Barkley (on 13 December 2019)

Posted a couple of images using the Disc Drive and the Controller as scale to work out the size of the machine. It's in the range of about 6000cm3-6500cm3. This makes it smaller than the original XBO, but a fair bit larger than the XBO S/X.

Xbox One Dimensions = 7208cm3
Xbox One S Dimensions = 4342cm3
Xbox One X Dimensions = 4320cm3


  • +5
Jigsawx1 (on 13 December 2019)

This Console is looking awesome! Thanks Microsoft!


Eric2048 (on 13 December 2019)

The design looks alright. But that name...


KLAMarine (on 13 December 2019)

Looks conveniently-shaped if you ask me.


Jabba89 (on 13 December 2019)

I haven't watched or read anything about the new console so to sure if this was mentioned, but can you lie it horizontal so that it fits in your cabinet??


SuperNintend0rk (on 13 December 2019)

Yup they confirmed that you can put it vertically or horizontally. You just need to make sure the vents aren't blocked.


  • +9
LuccaCardoso1 (on 13 December 2019)

What a terrible name, oh my god.


DonFerrari (on 16 December 2019)

Considering the report from last week where they said the reason why X360 and Xbox One had those names and that the Scarlett name would reflect the power and focus of the next xbox... what would Series X mean then?


DonFerrari (on 16 December 2019)

I really liked the design, seems cool. May not be practical for some setups, but nothing of real issue.


Cerebralbore101 (on 12 December 2019)

Jesus Tapdancing Christ! That's a PC if I've ever seen one! Also, bold of them to say "Fastest Most Powerful" before the PS5 specs are even revealed.


  • -9
  • -10
Blood_Tears (on 13 December 2019)

"The Fastest Most Powerful" is about being the fastest and most powerful Xbox they have built. Spencer worded it just like that at the awards. He didn't say most powerful console ever to be released. It's all about phrasing at this point.


  • 0
hush404 (on 14 December 2019)

At the end of the day, a console's appearance and name doesn't mean much to people wanting to play games on it, but man, that name... ahahha. I wonder if someone thought it was cool or they just decided "F*** it, lets roll with it".


Eric2048 (on 13 December 2019)

The design looks alright. But that name...


Barkley (on 13 December 2019)

Bad name, design is fine though could be problematic for people looking for somewhere to put it in their setup. It's not going to fit in their current TV units for set top boxes, that's for sure.


Azzanation (on 13 December 2019)

You can lay it down as iv been told.


  • +6
HollyGamer (on 13 December 2019)

The console design is not bad , but still uninspired and blend. Especially if you get used to PC. It can be unique but at the same time it will need some trick to put in front of your TV. But overall you love or hated design. It will not a big problem for PC gamer . What matter is spec and games.


Comments below voting threshold

Azzanation (on 12 December 2019)

Disappointed in the controller design, MS playing it safe like Sony and barely adding anything new.


trunkswd (on 12 December 2019)

Biggest change in controllers for Microsoft is the OG Xbox Duke controller to the smaller OG Xbox controller. After that the basic design has remained the same.


  • +6
Azzanation (on 12 December 2019)

360 to XB1 designs are also quite different. XB1 to X Series controllers are basically the same thing.


  • +1
VAMatt (on 14 December 2019)

The XB controller has been great since they switched to the smaller OG style. I see no reason to mess with it. People are used to it, and mostly don't want change, I think. The same goes for Sony, though I think there may be a little more tolerance for changes there, because I see fewer people talk about the Dualshock design as though it's the greatest controller. I think people would be pissed if major changes were made to the XB controller style.


  • 0
Valdney (on 13 December 2019)

What an ugly piece of hardware!!


crissindahouse (on 13 December 2019)

It's all about the sound quality the machine will output especially with so much power. Only a fool would take design over the noise


  • +11
crissindahouse (on 13 December 2019)

It's all about the sound quality the machine will output especially with so much power. Only a fool would take design over the noise


  • +4
JRPGfan (on 13 December 2019)

its ugly (its a brick)? and doesnt look like a console? Also Instead of Xbox One X, the new xbox is called Xbox series X? what? Are they out of ideas for names? its so damn generic and samish as last gen. Why not just use a number?


crissindahouse (on 13 December 2019)

Why not try to understand why they chose the design? It's still all about your console warz, right?


  • +4
Cerebralbore101 (on 13 December 2019)

To be honest, I'd rather the PS5 have a design like this. Makes it easier to repair. The name does suck though.


  • -2
Hynad (on 13 December 2019)

@JRPGfan: Yet you won't mention a thing when it comes to the PS5. Being generic and “samish” as last gen(s)...
Remove your horse blinders and cut the double standards. It's your comment on anything XBox that are constantly “samish”.


  • +4
Azzanation (on 13 December 2019)

You say its so Generic.. than say why dont they use numbers..


  • +2
MIXSTER37 (on 12 December 2019)

No thanks the design looks kinda bland. I know it not what it looks like but what the games are and Senua's Saga: Hellblade II is not a good start. The graphics for the first game are stellar but the game itself was boring to me and the controls were not the greatest.


  • -17
JWeinCom (on 12 December 2019)

Right it's not what it looks like, but what the games are. Apparently though only the first game announced.


  • 0