Taking a page out of Sony’s playbook, Phil Spencer published a post on the Xbox Wire blog today that casually dumps a ton of Xbox Series X information right into our collective laps. I, for one, could not be happier about this.
In the post, we learn about the system’s specs, some exciting new features, and more than a few surprises about how the transition from this generation to the next will work. Let’s break down the big reveals!
Let’s Start With Specs
Phil Spencer knows how to write a blog post. This long article on Xbox Wire is structured well and divides the news into sections, something we will do here as well to make it easy for quick reading.
Pulling from the post, these are the big specs we learned about in the February 2020 blog post:
- The CPU is a custom processor running on AMD’s Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures. It has four times the processing power of an Xbox One.
- The GPU features 12 teraflops of power, which is twice the power of Xbox One X and eight times the power of Xbox One
- Variable Rate Shading (VRS) is a new features that allows developers to prioritize aspects of the game on screen, thereby saving system power and realizing higher resolutions or more stable frame rates.
- Hardware-accelerated DirectX Ray Tracing is confirmed, which is the first time such a feature has debuted on consoles. This will impact the lighting, reflections, and sound in ways that make them all more realistic than ever.
- SSD storage is confirmed, which should drastically reduce load times and offer more dynamic worlds that can load elements faster.
- Support for up to 120 frames per second is confirmed
- Dynamic Latency Input (DLI) is a new technology in the controller that will eliminate input lag and synchronize input immediately with what you’re seeing on the screen.
- HDMI 2.1 support will leverage Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) to automatically set your display to the lowest latency mode and synchronize the refresh rate with the frame rate respectively. This should effectively remove lag and screen tearing.
Beautiful specs indeed, and the support for things that enhance your screen’s compatibility with the console are a smart move. Honestly it just reminds me that I’m going to need a better TV. This wasn’t all that Phil Spencer announced, however.
New Features & Backwards Compatibility
Along with these new specs, the blog post also goes into some of the new features you can expect from the next generation system. Some you may expect, but I guarantee a few will surprise you:
- Microsoft is promising four generations of gaming, with support for all the current available backwards compatibility titles. These range from the original Xbox, all the way up to Xbox One. Playing them on Xbox Series X will offer better resolution, frame rates, and faster load times, all without any updates from the developers.
- Quick resume will allow you to suspend multiple titles and jump back into them without any loading. You will pick up right where you left off, as if you had never left.
- Smart Delivery looks to be an exciting new feature that ensures you’re always playing the best version of the games you own. This also means that certain titles that you buy on Xbox One will automatically upgrade to Xbox Series X when you install them on the next generation console.
In reference to Smart Delivery, Microsoft has already promised that all of their exclusives will have this feature. Halo Infinite, for example, will be something you can buy on Xbox One and upgrade to the Series X version at no charge when you buy the new system.
In addition, CD Projekt Red has already confirmed that if you buy Cyberpunk 2077 on Xbox One, you’ll get the Series X upgrade for free when it’s ready. See their tweet below:
Gamers should never be forced to purchase the same game twice or pay for upgrades. Owners of #Cyberpunk2077 for Xbox One will receive the Xbox Series X upgrade for free when available. https://t.co/nfkfFLj85w
— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) February 24, 2020
Clearly people are happy about that. While we still have a few questions and details to iron out, (price, anyone?) Microsoft made a smart call by publishing this blog post. It finally gives us some insight into their plans for the next generation, and things are looking good!
What do you think of these new features? Let us know in the comments!