The Fanatical Blog
What makes the Xbox Series X so powerful - Phil Spencer tells us more
By Sam Jones - 24th Feb 2020News
The Head of Xbox releases new info on the upcoming Xbox's firepower
It's Microsoft's fastest, most powerful console ever - and from the list of specs released today by Head of Xbox's Phil Spencer, you can blatantly see why.
Inside its small rectangular design lies an absolute beast, promising high-fidelity gaming experiences for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Of course, there's still more to see - along with what Sony's PlayStation 5 console offers - and both are being eagerly monitored, most likely due to which console is going to be the cheapest.
Here, we take a look at Spencer's recent announcement via the official Xbox website on what specs and features you can expect from the Xbox Series X console, and what makes it so powerful.
Power and speed balance
The Xbox Series X will have 'superior balance' when it comes to power and speed when compared to its predecessor, the Xbox One X. Gamers can expect dynamic, living worlds that come to life thanks to the console's advanced technology.
"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," says Spencer. "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 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."
From early announcements of the Xbox Series X, Spencer and the team have focused on the 'more play, less wait' angle, as well as the demand from gamers for ultra-low latency.
"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," he says."
"- 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."
Game compatibility for a new generation
The success of the backward compatibility on the Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X has seen hundreds upon hundreds of classic AAA and Indie games reignited for new and returning players to once again experience.
"We’re continuing our commitment to compatibility with Xbox Series X and investing in technology that makes game ownership easier across generations," says Spencer.
"- 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 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."