Microsoft has announced new features for the upcoming next-gen console, the Xbox Series X. In a blog post, Xbox head Phil Spencer centers on some key areas: hardware power, variable-rate shading and ray-tracing, an advanced quick resume function, and a new feature Microsoft is calling “smart delivery.”
The hardware will be able to do 12 TFLOPS of GPU power, which Microsoft notes is double that of Xbox One X, based on an AMD Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architecture. A Variable Rate Shading technique allows the GPU to prioritize individual effects on specific game objects rather than focus on the entire screen. It will also sport hardware-based DirectX ray-tracing. The post also confirms SSD storage and 120 FPS support.
As for what all that power will go towards, Microsoft shared some end-user features too. The Quick Resume feature promises to be faster without waiting through loading screens, and now you can do it with multiple games at once. Xbox Series X will be backwards compatible with all previous generations of Xbox games and accessories. A new “Smart Delivery”‘ feature is a new cross-buy feature, it will you buy a game once and play it on whatever is the best hardware available. Microsoft says that developers and publishers will be able to choose to use the feature on games that release first on Xbox One and then they will release to Xbox Series X.
Microsoft is proceeding to promote its Game Pass subscription service, seeing that it will carry forward into the next-generation and continue including first-party games. Halo Infinite will be released at launch.
The Xbox Series X is Microsoft’s first volley into the next generation, as the company has noted that it’s switching to just Xbox for its branding going forward. That means we may see many hardware revisions within the Xbox family, which is the same as a smartphone model. We don’t know its actual price and release date yet, but Microsoft may disclose those at its E3 2020 event.