Microsoft showed off its new game console, the Xbox Series X, for the first time, confirming the machine would go on sale in the 2020 holiday period. Photo: Xbox

INTERNATIONAL - Microsoft Corp. showed off its new game console, the Xbox Series X, for the first time, confirming the machine would go on sale in the 2020 holiday period. 

That sets up a clash with Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 5 console, scheduled to release at the same time.

The US company’s new console boasts an unusual monolithic shape, though it comes with a familiar controller design. A price for the new machine has yet to be announced. Microsoft had previously said that the new console would be four times more powerful than the current generation Xbox One X. 

Sony has yet to show details of the PlayStation 5 beyond the name and release period. The PlayStation 4 has been the clear winner in the current round of console wars, outselling Xbox by about more than two to one - but the launch of new machines gives Microsoft an opportunity to reclaim that edge.

"The Xbox Series X is shaping up to possibly give Microsoft the crown of most powerful console ever made again, as it did with the Xbox One X," said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matthew Kanterman. 

Kanterman added, "A stronger showing for Microsoft and continued strong performance from Sony should lead cumulative ninth-generation console sales to eclipse the eighth-generation by about 20 percent in our view". 

BLOOMBERG