Greetings, and welcome to Replay, WIRED’s collection of all of the week’s biggest gaming news. This particular installment is the Game Awards edition, featuring a bevy of new announcements, and the newly named next-gen Xbox console. Let’s get to it.
The New Xbox Console Has a Name and a Questionable Shape
Congratulations, Microsoft. You’ve given birth to a new baby Xbox! As announced at last night’s Game Awards, the Xbox Series X—yeah, that’s its name—is a, well, sort of desktop-tower-shaped black box, with a design aesthetic very much in line with the Xbox One and particularly the Xbox One X before it. Arriving during next year’s holiday season, the XSX (which is, at least, a pretty rad initialism) will bring unparalleled visual and computational fidelity to your entertainment center. Though, let’s be real, it probably isn’t going to fit.
We’ve also got some more granular information, courtesy of Kotaku. The new box will support 60 fps at 4K and has, apparently, the potential to put out up to 120 fps and 8K resolutions, though the resolution and frame rate, respectively, are unclear. Like the PlayStation 5, the XSX will have an SSD drive to decrease or even eliminate load times. It’ll also be extremely backward compatible, not just with the Xbox One but with the Xbox 360 and the original Xbox. Nice to see a console respect its elders. The one thing that’s unknown, other than a specific release date, is the price. So, you know, there are lots of big questions yet to be answered.
Some Other Stuff Happened at the Game Awards Too
In other news out of the Game Awards, the yearly awards show/marketing event also offered up a whole host of non-console announcements. Some of the most interesting ones included a sequel to the harrowing trauma simulator/action game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, which shows Senua in her terrifying warrior glory, coming to Xbox Series X; Prologue, a mysterious first-person game developed by the people behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds; an MMO based on Magic: the Gathering called Magic Legends; and The Wolf Among Us 2.
The Wolf Among Us 2 is an interesting one. Telltale, the studio that would be making the game, is dead. While the sequel is being created by the company that bought Telltale’s name, and apparently features some of the original creative staff working on it, it’s still a bit unsettling to see a “new Telltale” game announced (or, well, re-announced, the old Telltale had announced that they were working on it before its collapse) without at least a moment’s pause. Zombie games have been around for a while, but zombie game studios are new.
Companions in The Outer Worlds Were Cursed With a Hilarious Ladder Bug
Let’s end this week, and one of the last Replays of 2019, with something fun. As PC Gamer recounts, The Outer Worlds developer Taylor Swope recently went into a lengthy explanation of one of the game’s most bizarre, pernicious, and hard-to-find bugs. It features a ladder, unfinishable quests, and untimely death.
Here’s the short version: Companions were turning up mysteriously “dead” in the game in a way that made some quests impossible to complete. This happened because they were falling to death—from invisible ladders. See, in the game, the ability to interact with the environment is turned off for NPCs while the player is interacting with an NPC. So, if someone is climbing a ladder, and you started talking, they couldn’t climb off. And then they’d fall. And die. Oof.