Published on February 25th, 2020 | by Adrian Gunning
Xbox Series X – What you can expect from the next generation of gaming by Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox
The future of gaming has never been more inspiring. Creativity in games is flourishing. New services empower you to discover more games—and bring you closer to the games and creators and streamers you love. The cloud creates a massive opportunity to stream console-quality games and play with the people you want, wherever you want. And for many of us, nothing is more inspiring than the dawn of a new console generation.
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.
We’ve been using Xbox Series X in our internal Takehome program and are energised by the feedback we’ve been receiving. At Xbox we value being open and transparent with you, and I’m proud to be able to share details about some of the technologies we are enabling for the next generation and look forward to boldly sharing more as we head towards E3.
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 minimise 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 framerates, 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 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: 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 analysed 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 optimising 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 synchronises 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 synchronises 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 favour 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 favourite 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.
- 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 centre
Xbox Series X is our fastest, most powerful console ever, designed for a console generation that has you at its centre. 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, fuelling 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.
We can’t wait to share more details about the new Xbox with you in the coming months.