After revealing the design and a handful of features of its next-gen game console in December, Microsoft is spilling the beans on some of the key specs and capabilities of the upcoming Xbox Series X.
The game console will be powered by an AMD Zen 2 processor with RDNA 2 graphics for up to 12 TFLOPS of GPU performance. Microsoft says that’s twice the performance of an Xbox One X, which makes a number of new things possible.
But if you still have some older Xbox games lying around, you’ll be able to play them on the new console — Microsoft says the Xbox Series X is backward compatible with every Xbox ever released, including the original model released in 2001 as well as the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
So aside from the processor, what’s actually new in the Xbox Series X? Here’s a short list:
- 120 fps support
- HDMI 2.1 with support for auto low latency mode and variable refresh rate
- Variable Rate Shading and hardware-accelerated DirectX ray tracing
- Next-gen SSD
- Quick Resume for continuing “multiple games from a suspended state almost instantly” without waiting for loading screens
Microsoft is also promising a “Smart Delivery” feature for some games that allows you to pay once and play on multiple Xbox devices. While it’ll be up to game developers and publishers to adopt Smart Delivery, it’ll be available on all Xbox Game Studios titles. That means, for example, that if you buy Halo Infinite to play on an Xbox One, you’ll be able to play the same title on an Xbox Series X without paying again.
Call me old-fashioned, but the backwards compatibility with all past Xbox games is the most appealing feature here. I might get one of these just to play some older Xbox and Xbox 360 games. The lack of any good emulation solutions for Xbox makes this my only choice. Fair play, Microsoft.
Although aren’t most Xbox games found on PC and PlayStation anyway?
And the few that fall through the cracks, I am not sure those exclusives are that great anyways. It’s not like those Naughty Dog studio titles that are adored by many.
Most of the games I liked on the original Xbox were exclusives. Forza Motorsport, Amped Snowboarding, Project Gotham Racing, Rallisport Challenge 2.
Makes sense that it can play games all the way back to the original Xbox. It’s used PC hardware from the beginning. Sony’s had varying architectures, so unless it uses some emulation or something, backward compatibility will be more of an issue.
Xbox Series X – Xbox Series X Release Date and Specifications | Xbox Series Pre-Order and Console
I think the Xbox One launched better than the PS4… on the basis that they had the Kinect working, a robust Xbox Live connection, a great controller, a decent solution to combining the home entertainment, a promise of future backwards compatibility, and lastly they had a couple fun titles.
The price wasn’t a big issue, until you realised their console was weaker and unable to do 1080p for certain games. And MS had a massive issue with their terms of services, which spelt disaster for privacy, used games, and overall cost. I don’t think they will repeat these mistakes.
So I think the Xbox V will have a better launch than the PS5. Obviously, MS has a lot more money, so they can spend more on marketing, make the device slightly better, and even sell it slightly cheaper. Sony only has two advantages; it’s legacy reputation as being “the best” dating from each iteration…. and secondly, their game studios.
So maybe Sony can sell a slightly inferior console at a slightly higher price with less marketing and units available…. but they can say “you trusted us before, you can still trust us” in terms of a sales pitch. And they can show off 10-20 games they are working on, and simply say, these will come exclusive to the PS5 sooner or later. So it’s more of a delayed gratification. And a consumer might actually prefer it. Besides, most people won’t make the proper upgrade until a couple (1-3 years) into its lifecycle, as that’s when all the bugs/stuff gets ironed out, the exclusives get released, the consoles drop in price by $50-$150, and the previous consoles start getting neglected by game publishers.
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