Xbox Series X: 12 Tflops, 120 fps, latency, SSD… Microsoft formalizes the hardware of s…

by Jerry

The Xbox Series X reveals itself even more with new information about its technical capabilities and functionality. Microsoft has put the package in terms of power, performance and graphics as well as more secondary technologies but to improve the experience of players. We are now waiting for the response of Sony, whose PS5 is still very mysterious to this day.

Microsoft released a lengthy blog post on February 24, 2020, in which it brings new information about its next gen console: the Xbox Series X. Unpublished elements or confirming strong suspicions that add to what we already knew about the console.

Xbox Series X is a power monster

From the moment of introduction, Redmond's firm begins to make us dream. "This generation will be defined by visually stunning and immediately immersive worlds, supported by technological leaps on the CPU (Central Processing Unit), the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and storage,"said Phil Spencer, the boss of the Xbox division. He explains that the challenge with the Xbox Series X has been to find the best balance between power and speed.

The console is based on the latest Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures from the AMD smelter and offers 12 teraflopspower, twice as much as the Xbox One X and more than eight times as much as the original Xbox One. This confirms corridor noises shared by leakers, who were already announcing this figure. According to rumors, the PS5 would offer only 9.2 teraflops, which would be a first victory for Microsoft over Sony in terms of raw power if confirmed.

Phil Spencer also evokes a technology called Variable Rate Shading. This has been designed to make life easier for developers, so that they are put in the best possible conditions to make the most of the power of the GPU. And as we know, studios are logically more willing to turn to consoles on which it is easier to develop a game. This can therefore have a positive impact on the richness of the catalogue of titles as well as on the quality of the titles.

Microsoft is also talking about ray-tracing, which had already been officially mentioned by the group. This technology for now reserved for PCs equipped with a Nvidia RTX graphics card will allow to benefit from realistic lighting effects, reflections and acoustics calculated in real time for an immersion and realism hithert unmatched on home console.

Performance at the heart of concerns

Graphic considerations are important but cannot be the sole concern of the manufacturer. This is confirmed, the Xbone One Series X supports a display of up to 120 FPS. To enjoy it, you will of course have to be equipped with a compatible TV. And these 120 FPS are theoretical, the games will have to be optimized to achieve such fluidity. And we can of course forget the 4K at this level of image refresh, we will have to choose between definition and frames per second.

Phil Spencer also briefly discusses the integration of an SSD for storage space. A revolution that could end loading times if the leader is to be believed. This applies to both waiting screens and in-game texture loading. No more blurring effects when you move too fast or change your point of view too quickly?

At the same time, Xbox presents Dynamic Latency Input (DLI), a feature whose goal is to reduce latency between the player and the console. The DLI, compatible with the official Xbox controllers (the One's gamepads are supported by the Series X), is a new feature that immediately syncs the input with what's displayed for even more accurate and responsive controls.

As expected, there is an HDMI 2.1 port on the Xbox Series X. Again, it will take a TV that also uses this standard to take advantage of the Xbox's full potential. The Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) "automatically adjusts the display mode to its lowest latency mode,"Microsoft explains. As for the Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), its role is to synchronize the refresh rate of the viewing medium to the framerate of the game for the best possible experience.

Retrocompatibility, Smart Delivery… Xbox really thinks about players with its Series X

Phil Spencer and his teams focus their communication on making the lives of players simpler. As evidenced by Quick Resume,a feature that allows you to "go back to multiple games left on pause almost instantly, taking you back to where you were […] without having to go through long loading screens". The equivalent of a multi-tasking console. With Xbox One, it works pretty well with resource-efficient services, such as SVOD apps. But it is impossible to have more than two games open simultaneously, the system being forced to close the newest yet in the background to launch another game. If the promises are kept, we will be entitled to a very significant time saving.

Retrocompatibility is also on the agenda. All games available on Xbox One (catalogue One, 360 and original) will also be on Series X. Microsoft also promises a more stable framerate, faster loading times and improved resolution and visual fidelity. All this without the work of game developers, i.e. all titles will benefit, even without support from the publisher and studios.

Another very interesting announcement is the Smart Deliverysystem, which confirms that Xbox aims to create the best console gaming ecosystem on the market, even if it sells less hardware than its competitors. If you buy a compatible game, you can play it on any Xbox console that supports it. That is, you can acquire Cyberpunk 2077 on One upon its release, then play it on Series X without redeeming the title.

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.

— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) February 24, 2020

Beware, not all games will offer Smart Delivery. CD Projekt has made it official that this will be the case on Cyberpunk 2077, each publisher will have to communicate about it when launching a game. We already know that Xbox first party games (Xbox Game Studios) will all offer this feature. This will be the case for Halo Infinite for example. This is really a great idea on the part of Microsoft which, between this and the Game Pass, seems to establish itself as the ally of consumers compared to other major manufacturers that are Sony with PlayStation and Nintendo. This may help reverse the trend, as it has suffered from the comparison with its Japanese competitors in terms of sales on the current generation of consoles.

We are now waiting to know the price of the Xbox Series X, which seems to be a premium-oriented console. And to know what sony's proposal will be, which is much less talkative about its PS5 than Microsoft is with its Series X. The Japanese group, which is having trouble controlling the cost of the PS5, seems to be waiting for its rival to discover itself to retaliate.

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