At long last, Microsoft has finally started to unveil more about its next-gen console – Xbox Series X. In a new blog post, Microsoft confirmed the long-rumored specs and feature list of the upcoming game console. The Xbox Series X will officially support full backward compatibility with ALL Xbox games, have DirectX Raytracing and more.
Here’s a rundown of all the confirmed specs of the console:
- AMD Zen 2 + 12 Teraflop GPU – With twice the raw power of the Xbox One X, the Series X will be more like a PC than ever before.
- Variable Rate Shading – Xbox claims that their implementation of VRS is proprietary. Rather than spending GPU cycles uniformly to every single pixel on the screen, VRS can prioritize individual effects on specific game characters or important environmental objects. In many ways, this is the secret sauce that Xbox will use to maintain high framerate at 4K+ resolutions.
- Hardware Accelerated DirectX Raytracing – This one was confirmed long back, so there’s really not much to add. As we’ve already seen with NVIDIA’s RTX cards, raytracing will add immersive and realistic reflections, shadows and more to the next-gen games. It’s interesting to note that the Xbox Series X will be using the Direct X API to attain raytracing.
Aside from these, Microsoft also revealed some more nifty features that the Series X will ship with. As we speculated with the console’s announcement at the Game Awards, the new console will indeed have backwards compatibility support. But that’s not all, according to Microsoft, the console will support ALL four generations of Xbox games, without any developer involvement. That means say goodbye to hand-picked updates for hand-picked games. You can pop in your Cyberpunk 2077 copy for Xbox One X in your Series X console, and it’ll work right there. The games will run with steadier framerates, at better resolutions. This lines up with Digital Foundry’s deep-dive report on how the next-gen consoles might downclock their internals in order to emulate older games. A mega-patch might unlock the “all games no matter what” approach that Microsoft is taking.
In fact, Microsoft confirmed that they’re working with an open content delivery system called Smart Delivery, that developers currently have access to for porting current-gen games to the next-gen without any input from the consumer.
The pricing of the Xbox Series X is yet to be revealed, although industry professionals are guessing it to be something around $500. The console will launch in Holiday 2020.
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