There is again information about Xbox Series X, this time directly from Microsoft, more precisely: from Xbox boss Phil Spencer. The expectations of the fans are high for the new Xbox console, which should be in stores this year, just in time for the Christmas business. With more computing power, shorter loading times and lower latencies, fans should spend more time playing with waiting. Whether this will actually work will be known by the end of 2020 at the latest.
Pure power is only part of the story
Microsoft is aware of the expectations fans have of the next-gen console. Phil Spencer promises that the Xbox Series X's graphical power and processor performance should make games look almost alive and announces "visually outstanding" game worlds. All of this will be possible without long waiting times. "Without long waiting times" sounds incredibly good at first, but is poorly defined and ultimately meaningless.
After all, the sheer power resources of the Xbox Series X suggest that the power that comes out at the end actually corresponds to a technological leap in the console area. Phil Spencer describes the progress almost cautiously: "In direct comparison with the previous generation, Xbox Series X represents a superior balance of power and speed, united in a console design that has evolved on all technological fronts". Nevertheless, "breathtaking, dynamic and lively worlds" should await fans and those aspects that stand in the way of immersion should be minimized.
In terms of performance, this means for the Xbox Series X:
- Tailor-made processor from AMD's latest Zen-2 series and the RDNA 2 architecture
- four times as much processing power as the Xbox One
- 12 TFLOPS graphic power
- Hardware accelerated DirectX ray tracing
- More stable frame rates through variable rate shading
Ray tracing in particular should ensure visually impressive moments with photo-realistic light effects and reflections. Increasing the resolution will not have a negative effect on the frame rate with VRS because the graphics resources can be used more efficiently.
Shorter waiting times thanks to fast storage
Wait less, play more - that's what Microsoft wants to offer fans with the new Xbox Series X. The project is based on a comparatively simple concept: Microsoft simply wants to reduce loading times, among other things. This is not only made possible by a next-gen SSD, through which the game worlds "should load as quickly as lightning," promises Phil Spencer.
The quick resume feature is more exciting, as it allows players to pause several tracks at the same time and continue directly at the saved position. That doesn't sound like innovative at first, but it is: so far, players have been able to use similar features on consoles, but only for a single game. Several titles are now supported. That could make loading bar a relic of the past, at least in part.
Latency issues in particular are often a nuisance for gamers. Microsoft is keeping an eye on this and promises improvements: "We know that gamers need ultra-low latencies," says Xbox boss Phil Spencer. "The team therefore analyzed every step between the player and the game - from the controller to the console to the screen. And we asked ourselves: how can we do this faster?
Other specifications should support the Xbox Series X in terms of speed:
- Dynamic Latency Input (DLI) for optimizing the latency between player and console in order to allow the wireless controller to react even more precisely
- HDMI 2.1 as the new standard
- Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) allows the Xbox Series X to automatically set the screen to the lowest latency mode
- Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) for synchronization between screen and frame rate
- 120 FPS support
Even if the Xbox Series X is a new, stand-alone console, fans should still be able to use the old games. According to Phil Spencer, the Xbox Series X will therefore be “as compatible as possible” – the statement leaves a lot open, but a large number of titles already seem to be running in backward compatibility mode.
In the end, four generations of gaming should be connected. Spencer comments, "Our compatibility promise means that all existing Xbox One games, including all backwards-compatible Xbox 360 and Xbox games, look and play better than ever." the same, by the way.
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It is no surprise that the Xbox Game Pass will also run with the Xbox Series X. In the past few months, Microsoft has not skimped on marketing campaigns to make the subscription service popular.
When the console goes on sale at the end of 2020, we want fans to play a lot, in a comfortable way if possible. "Xbox Series X represents the promise we made to gamers who want immediate immersion in games that look and feel better than ever," said Phil Spencer. The Xbox Series X is unsurprisingly Microsoft's "fastest, most powerful console ever".
Microsoft plans to publish further details in the coming months.
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