Microsoft is revealing more specifications about its next-generation Xbox Series X hardware today.
"We know you expect the next generation of consoles to set new standards in graphical power and processing speed, converging together in games that look incredible and feel alive. This will be defined by worlds that are visually astounding and immediately immersive, with innovative leaps in CPU, GPU and storage technology to give you frictionless access to new stories and new creators constantly," the company says.
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," Microsoft added.
The new Xbox Series X is Micrcosoft's most powerful console ever powered by a 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.
Microsoft's patented form of Variable Rate Shading (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. Microsoft asays that this technique results in more stable frame rates and higher resolution, with no impact on the final image quality.
You can also 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.
The next console generation will be equipped with a a next-generation SSD, improving nearly every aspect of playing games is improved.
The new Quick Resume feature will let 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.
Microsoft s also optimizing latency in the player-to-console pipeline starting with the Xbox Wireless Controller, which leverages a 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 should be even more precise and responsive.
Miccrosoft has 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.
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.
Microsoft also confirned that existing Xbox One games, including backward-compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games, will look and play better than ever before. Your favorite games, including titles in Xbox Game Pass, benefit from steadier framerates, 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.
Start Delivery 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. Microsoft is 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.
In addition to games from across four generations of consoles, Microsoft's game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, will continue to have first party games, like Halo Infinite, included at their launch.
Microsoft is promising to share “share more details about the new Xbox with you in the coming months,” as the company approaches key dates like the Game Developers Conference next month and E3 in June. We’re still waiting to hear more information on pricing, exact availability, next-gen launch titles, and whether a second, cheaper next-gen Xbox is coming in 2020.