With the next generation just around the corner, Microsoft has confidently offered a deeper look at what players and developers can expect from the Xbox Series X. It will include a variety of features including 12 teraflops of GPU power, the support of backwards compatibility back to original Xbox games, hardware accelerated raytracing, supporting up to 120 frames per second, and uses quick resume for multiple games simultaneously.
Phil Spencer has detailed some of this technology in more detail, and while it’s not all necessarily new information, it reiterates what Microsoft is trying to do with the next generation and comes off as a confident step forward compared to the almost absurdly quiet Sony with the PS5 having almost no information available and just 9 months to go before the Holiday 2020 release window.
They’re certainly putting their best foot forward when they discuss these features in more detail. Here’s the highlights:
- Next Generation Custom Processor: 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 framerates, larger, more sophisticated game worlds, and an immersive experience unlike anything seen in console gaming.
- Variable Rate Shading (VRS): Microsoft’s patented form of VRS empowers developers to more efficiently utilise the full power of the Xbox Series X. Rather than spending GPU cycles uniformly to every single pixel on the screen, they can prioritise 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: 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.
To further elaborate on their initial announcement, it has been confirmed that backwards compatibility will be in full effect, and that Xbox 360 and original Xbox games will look and play better than ever before. Smart Delivery, which we go into a bit more here, means that when you buy a first party game on Xbox One, it will be automatically owned on the Xbox Series X. This will prevent the need for buying the same game twice cross-generation, and third party developers can opt in to this as well.
Lastly, as hoped, Xbox Game Pass will continue to have first party games, such as the highly anticipated Halo Infinite, included at their launch. Xbox Game Pass has undoubtedly been a huge success and a strong point of difference on the Xbox One this generation, so to see it being carried forward to the Xbox Series X is a no brainer.
With Xbox Game Studios beefed up with 15 talented development teams up their sleeve, the next generation can’t come soon enough for Microsoft and the Xbox Series X. Are you hyped?