All the Latest Features Announced for Xbox Series X

March 24, 2020

The Xbox Series X is set to be the most powerful and sophisticated machine that Xbox has ever created. Although it is not scheduled to release until the end of the year, fresh information continues to be released. With Microsoft wanting to create as much excitement as possible, they have already revealed plenty of features and specifications. Here are all the latest features announced for Xbox Series X.

A Dedicated Sound Chip

According to developers who are working on games for the Xbox Series X, the console has its own sound chip. Most home consoles don’t include dedicated audio chips. This means that developers have to share resources with other elements, reducing the quality and quantity of sounds.

By including such a chip, Microsoft will also allow hardware acceleration for sound. The end result should mean that games include more sound effects and can utilize things like 3D audio. This is a significant step forward in terms of audio in gaming.

Backward Compatibility for All Xbox Games

The Xbox Series X will have one of the largest libraries of games when it launches. That is because Microsoft plans to support all of the games that are currently available to play on the Xbox One. This includes all of the titles that have released exclusively for the console in addition to backward compatible titles. The Xbox One already supports a large number of Xbox 360 and original Xbox games. These will all be playable on the Xbox Series X, with more added in the future.

Smart Delivery for All Games

One of the aspects that Microsoft has been most vocal about is a new feature called Smart Delivery. This effectively is a way for the Xbox platform to know which platform you are using. It will then provide you with the appropriate version of the game. So, if you are on the Xbox One and download a game, the cloud will give you the Xbox One edition. However, if you then download it on the Xbox Series X you’ll get the upgraded version of the title. Fortunately, a consequence of this is that players should only have to buy one copy of a game.

Previous Accessories and Peripherals Will Be Supported

Microsoft has made it clear ever since they first announced the new console that they want a soft transition. What this means is that the company does not want users to have to abandon their old hardware. Instead, the plan is to allow Xbox One owners to slowly transfer to the Xbox Series X.

To aid this transition, Microsoft is adding support for older accessories and peripherals. Therefore you will not have to buy new controllers, headsets, and other gear for the new console. Meanwhile, the Xbox Series X controller will also work with the Xbox One family of consoles.

Improved Frame Rates and Faster Load Times

Microsoft is not trying to improve the resolution of games with the Xbox Series X. While this has been a goal of previous consoles, the Xbox team has other goals in mind this time around. Rather than focus on making titles look even better, they want to improve performance. Hence, the emphasis on improving the frame rate and making load times faster than ever. Xbox head Phil Spencer has confirmed that he wants games to “feel as amazing as they look.” The ultimate goal is for every game to have a frame rate of at least 60 frames-per-second.

A Solid-State Drive

Another piece of good news for players is that the Xbox Series X will use a solid-state drive for storage rather than a traditional hard drive. This means players should experience faster load times and smaller game sizes. That is because SSD storage has no moving parts and can access data much more efficiently. Therefore, there is no need for developers to replicate assets to make them load quicker, reducing the size. This also means that developers can include much more content than they might otherwise be limited to. 

Impressive Specs

The Xbox Series X will support 8K resolution, a significant improvement over the 4K limit of the Xbox One. It will have a 12 teraflop GPU, which is more than double what is available in the Xbox One X. Also included is a CPU that is four times as powerful as their current consoles. Generally, the specifications of the Xbox Series X appear to rival those of high-end gaming PCs.

  • CPU: 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.8GHz (3.6GHz with SMT) 7nm
  • GPU: 12 TFLOPs, 52 CUs at 1.825GHz, Custom RDNA 2
  • Memory: 16GB GDDR6
  • Storage: 1TB custom NVMe SSD
  • Optical drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray
  • 120 fps support
  • Potential 8K resolutions
  • Ray-tracing technology
  • Variable Rate Shading for more stable frame rates

New Multitask Functions

The Xbox One already supports certain multitask functions. You can switch between some apps while a game is paused, allowing you to come back to it later. However, the Xbox Series X will significantly expand on this idea. Hot-swapping between several open games will be possible thanks to the expanded GDDR6 RAM and the SSD. Subsequently, players will be able to switch between several titles, with the console saving their current session. This will even last over the Xbox Series X going through a full system restart.

Which features of Xbox Series X are you most looking forward to? Sound off in the comments below!

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