This week Xbox teased more details about the much-anticipated Xbox Series X console, with Xbox head Phil Spencer stating the obvious – it's going to be the fastest, most powerful Xbox console ever. But what exactly makes it ‘fast and powerful'? Well, Xbox is still not providing all of the specifics.
We know that it will feature hardware-accelerated DirectX ray tracing, which may well be the first on a console. Ray tracing is becoming a big thing, especially in PC gaming, so the new Xbox may well bring more aesthetic reflections and ‘realistic acoustics' in games.
There's also variable rate sharing (VRS), which essentially boost effects on characters or object in a game – this contrasts with forcing graphics processors (GPUs) to work hard on every single game pixel.
Speaking of processors, the Xbox Series X will feature a ‘custom' processor that leverages AMD Zen 2 and RDNA2.
To make it sound exciting Spencer says, “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.
Processors aside, a console that doesn't do a good job of translating power to screen won't get very far.
The Xbox Series X will be equipped with HDMI 2.1 support. There is Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), which means the Xbox One and Xbox Series X will automatically set the connected display to its lowest latency mode.
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) will also work to sync the display with the game so you're not getting missed frames in-game. And for those with super high-resolution screens, Xbox Series X will support up to 120 frames per second (fps).
The Xbox Wireless Controller will feature something called Dynamic Latency Input (DLI), which means your button presses and stick movements are more responsive.
A quick resume feature will allow you to launch games from a suspended state ‘almost instantly', Spencer adds. It's quite possible that this means the death of the loading screen.
The Xbox Series X will be backwards-compatible with Xbox and Xbox One Games. Xbox Game Pass will also be a major focus for the new console, with games such as Halo Infinite leading the way.
But there are a few things that still aren't clear about the Xbox Series X. For example, we know it will with a ‘next generation SSD', but how much capacity will it have? The Xbox team won't say. Yet.