Out of nowhere, Microsoft has revealed a ton of specs for Xbox Series X.
With around nine months to go until next-gen, and E3 2020 just getting cancelled, we did not expect to have an announcement so soon.
We run through all the new info, and try to decipher what's in store for Series X later this year.
Power and Speed
Xbox Series X holds a superior balance of power and speed in console design than the Xbox One.
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The new Xbox will deliver amazing, dynamic, living worlds and minimize any aspects that can take you out of the experience.
Next Generation Custom Processor
Xbox Series X is Microsoft's most powerful console ever, powered by a custom-designed processor leveraging AMD’s latest Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures.
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Delivering four times the processing power of an Xbox One and enabling developers to leverage 12 TFLOPS (12 trillion floating-point operations per second) 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)
Xbox's 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 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.
The next console generation will be defined by more playing and less waiting.
When play begins, many gamers demand ultra-low latency to be as immersed and precise as possible.
To this end, the Xbox team analysed every step between player and game, from controller to console to display, and asked how they could make it faster.
With the next-generation SSD, nearly every aspect of playing games is improved with Series X.
Game worlds are larger, more dynamic and load in a flash and fast travel is just that – fast.
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)
Microsoft is optimizing latency in the player-to-console pipeline starting with the Xbox Wireless Controller, which leverages high bandwidth, proprietary wireless communication protocol when connected to the console.
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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
The Xbox team have 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.
Levelling up on 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.
Microsoft continues its commitment to compatibility with Xbox Series X and investing in technology that makes game ownership easier across generations.
Four generations of gaming
Xbox's commitment to compatibility means existing Xbox One games, including backwards-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, whichever platform
This technology empowers you to buy a game once and knows 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.
The commitment to use Smart Delivery on all 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 released 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, game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, will continue to have first-party games, like Halo Infinite, including at their launch.