This morning Microsoft’s Head of Xbox Phil Spencer put up a post over on Xbox Wire that detailed new features and specs for the upcoming next generation console, Xbox Series X.
The post goes over a lot of information we already knew but it also gives us specific specs that we hadn’t heard about yet. For instance the console will features a 12 teraflop GPU and will run on a custom designed AMD Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architecture. It will also have Variable Rate Shading and hardware-accelerated DirectX raytracing.
Other new features talked about includes quick resume for multiple games. This means that users should be able to keep several games open at a time and quickly jump back into them at any point. The current generation consoles allow you to do that but only for one game at a time.
The other big new feature talked about was something called Smart Delivery. This feature makes it so that when you start up a Microsoft published video game the system will detect what platform you are playing on and play the best version of that game. That means you won’t have to buy a Xbox One and a Xbox Series X version of Halo: Infinite for instance.
Developer CD Projekt Red also confirmed today that they will be supporting this feature for Cyberpunk 2077. This means that if you buy the game on Xbox One then you will get a Xbox Series X version or patch for free when you play the game on that console. Not all third parties are required to use this feature but hopefully we’ll see more and more of them do so so that we players don’t have to buy a last generation and a next generation version of the same game.
Xbox Series X is due for release in Holiday 2020. You can read more about what was revealed today below.
A Superior Balance of Power and Speed
Compared to the previous generation, Xbox Series X represents a superior balance of power and speed in console design, advancing on all technological fronts to delivering amazing, dynamic, living worlds and minimize any aspects that can take you out of the experience. Our job at Team Xbox is to give teams the tools they need to achieve their ambitions and tap into the console’s power with efficiency, a few of which we’re detailing today. Raw power is just part of the story:
- Next Generation Custom Processor: Xbox Series X is our most powerful console ever powered by our custom designed processor leveraging AMD’s latest Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures. Delivering four times the processing power of an Xbox One and enabling developers to leverage 12 TFLOPS of GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) performance—twice that of an Xbox One X and more than eight times the original Xbox One. Xbox Series X delivers a true generational leap in processing and graphics power with cutting edge techniques resulting in higher frame rates, larger, more sophisticated game worlds, and an immersive experience unlike anything seen in console gaming.
- Variable Rate Shading (VRS): Our patented form of VRS empowers developers to more efficiently utilize the full power of the Xbox Series X. Rather than spending GPU cycles uniformly to every single pixel on the screen, they can prioritize individual effects on specific game characters or important environmental objects. This technique results in more stable frame rates and higher resolution, with no impact on the final image quality.
- Hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing: You can expect more dynamic and realistic environments powered by hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing—a first for console gaming. This means true-to-life lighting, accurate reflections and realistic acoustics in real time as you explore the game world.
Immersion in an instant
The next console generation will be defined by more playing and less waiting. And when play begins, we know many gamers demand ultra-low latency to be as immersed and precise as possible. To this end, the team analyzed every step between player and game, from controller to console to display, and asked how we could make it faster.
- SSD Storage: With our next-generation SSD, nearly every aspect of playing games is improved. Game worlds are larger, more dynamic and load in a flash and fast travel is just that – fast.
- Quick Resume: The new Quick Resume feature lets you continue multiple games from a suspended state almost instantly, returning you to where you were and what you were doing, without waiting through long loading screens.
- Dynamic Latency Input (DLI): We’re optimizing latency in the player-to-console pipeline starting with our Xbox Wireless Controller, which leverages our high bandwidth, proprietary wireless communication protocol when connected to the console. With Dynamic Latency Input (DLI), a new feature which synchronizes input immediately with what is displayed, controls are even more precise and responsive.
- HDMI 2.1 Innovation: We’ve partnered with the HDMI forum and TV manufacturers to enable the best gaming experience through features such as Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). ALLM allows Xbox One and Xbox Series X to automatically set the connected display to its lowest latency mode. VRR synchronizes the display’s refresh rate to the game’s frame rate, maintaining smooth visuals without tearing. Ensuring minimal lag and the most responsive gaming experience.
- 120 fps Support: With support for up to 120 fps, Xbox Series X allows developers to exceed standard 60 fps output in favor of heightened realism or fast-paced action.
The Next Generation of Game Compatibility
The benefits of the next console generation extend in every direction, bringing greater visual fidelity and improved loading speeds to your existing gaming legacy, in addition to new games. We’re continuing our commitment to compatibility with Xbox Series X and investing in technology that makes game ownership easier across generations.
- Four generations of gaming: Our commitment to compatibility means existing Xbox One games, including backward-compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games, look and play better than ever before. Your favorite games, including titles in Xbox Game Pass, benefit from steadier frame rates, faster load times, and improved resolution and visual fidelity—all with no developer work required. Your Xbox One gaming accessories also come forward with you.
- Smart Delivery: This technology empowers you to buy a game once and know that—whether you are playing it on Xbox One or Xbox Series X—you are getting the right version of that game on whatever Xbox you’re playing on. We’re making the commitment to use Smart Delivery on all our exclusive Xbox Game Studios titles, including Halo Infinite, ensuring you only have to purchase a title once in order to play the best available version for whichever Xbox console they choose to play on. This technology is available for all developers and publishers, and they can choose to use it for titles that will be release on Xbox One first and come to the Xbox Series X later.
- Xbox Game Pass: In addition to games from across four generations of consoles, our leading game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, will continue to have our first-party games, like Halo Infinite, included at their launch. We look forward to millions of you experiencing the Xbox Game Pass portfolio and immersing yourselves in a deep library of high-quality games, playing those you love now and also discovering your next great adventure.
A Generation with Players at the Center
Xbox Series X is our fastest, most powerful console ever, designed for a console generation that has you at its center. This means a high-fidelity gaming experience enclosed in a quiet and bold design, with the ability to discover thousands of games across four generations, all with more playing and less waiting.
Whether it’s empowering amazing creators at our 15 Xbox Game Studios, fueling game discovery with Xbox Game Pass, or expanding what and where you can play with Project xCloud, Team Xbox stands for frictionless pathways between players and the best experiences our remarkable art form has to offer. Xbox Series X represents that same commitment for players who want immediate immersion in games that also look and feel better than ever.