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Microsoft reveals more Xbox Series X specs, confirms 12 teraflops GPU


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Microsoft reveals more Xbox Series X specs, confirms 12 teraflops GPU

More specs and performance hints for the next-gen Xbox


Microsoft is revealing more specifications about its next-generation Xbox Series X hardware today. The biggest new confirmation is that the Xbox Series X will include 12 teraflops of GPU performance, which is twice what’s available in the Xbox One X and eight times the original Xbox One. This type of performance puts the Xbox Series X beyond most mid-range graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia, and it’s an impressive jump for a game console. It certainly shows that the next-gen Xbox and PS5 are going to go far beyond the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro.


“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,” claims Xbox chief Phil Spencer.


Microsoft has previously revealed hardware-accelerated DirectX ray tracing and variable rate shading (VRS), and the company says it has patented its own form of VRS. “Rather than spending GPU cycles uniformly to every single pixel on the screen, [developers] can prioritize individual effects on specific game characters or important environmental objects,” explains Spencer. “This technique results in more stable frame rates and higher resolution, with no impact on the final image quality.”

The Xbox Series X will include a custom-designed CPU based on AMD’s Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA 2 architecture. Microsoft is also using an NVMe SSD on the Xbox Series X, which promises to boost load times and “nearly every aspect of playing games is improved,” according to Spencer.


Xbox Series X will also support 8K gaming and frame rates of up to 120fps in games. Microsoft says it has partnered with the HDMI forum and TV manufacturers to enable Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) on the Series X as part of its HDMI 2.1 support. This should reduce input lag and smooth out visuals in games on TVs.


Alongside the hardware specs, the next-gen Xbox Series X is also set to feature a “quick resume” feature. Microsoft used a similar feature on the Xbox One to resume games, but it’s now promising to let Xbox Series X owners resume multiple games from a suspended state. That will be a big improvement for switching between games or when you resume from standby.



Microsoft is also fully supporting backward compatibility on the Xbox Series X, including original Xbox and Xbox 360 games. The Xbox maker is also branding its future Xbox Game Studios as “Smart Delivery,” meaning you can play the games on the Xbox One or Xbox Series X consoles. Third-party publishers will also be able to brand their games in a similar way so consumers know how they’ll work for the next-gen of consoles.


Microsoft is promising to share “share more details about the new Xbox with you in the coming months,” as the company approaches key dates like the Game Developers Conference next month and E3 in June. We’re still waiting to hear more information on pricing, exact availability, next-gen launch titles, and whether a second, cheaper next-gen Xbox is coming in 2020.



Source: Microsoft reveals more Xbox Series X specs, confirms 12 teraflops GPU (The Verge)

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The next Xbox will quadruple XB1’s CPU, octuple its GPU performance

AMD RDNA2 GPU, “Smart Delivery” versioning, and multi-game “quick resume.”

Back in December, Microsoft showed us what the outside of the Xbox One Series X would look like. Today, the company is announcing in more detail what will be on the inside of the box, with a blog post discussing the machine's internal specs and new features focused mostly on speed and compatibility.

Forward compatible

Microsoft reconfirmed today that "existing Xbox One games, including backward-compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games" would still be playable on the Series X with "steadier framerates, faster load times and improved resolution and visual fidelity—all with no developer work required." More exciting, though, Microsoft seemingly announced a new commitment to forward compatibility throughout the Xbox line via a program called Smart Delivery.


In Microsoft's words, Smart Delivery "empowers you to buy a game once and know 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." That sounds a lot like the existing system that automatically downloads higher-resolution packages for "Xbox One X enhanced" versions of older Xbox One games. Extending the same system to the Series X, though, lets publishers take advantage of features like ray-tracing and SSD load times without needing to develop and sell an entirely new Series X-exclusive version of the game.


Microsoft already hinted at this kind of setup when it announced last month that all of Microsoft's Series X releases would also be playable on the original Xbox One for the first year or two. Today's announcement cements that commitment, highlighting that all Xbox Game Studios titles will use Smart Delivery to "[ensure] you only have to purchase a title once in order to play the best available version for whichever Xbox console [you] choose to play on." We do have to wonder, though, when some games will start to no longer have any "best available version" for original Xbox One hardware.


More than ever, it sounds like games in the Xbox universe will now work like PC games, with a single title rendered at different levels of fidelity depending on the underlying hardware. Publishers will also be able to upgrade games previously designed explicitly for the Xbox One to take full advantage of the Series X—CD Projekt Red has already announced it will be providing a free "Series X upgrade" for Cyberpunk 2077 at some point, which is the first confirmation that the game will be targeting next-gen hardware.

Chips and Flops

We've known since last June that Microsoft was planning to use a Zen 2 architecture CPU inside the coming Series X (known back then only as Project Scarlett). Today, the company said that CPU will have "four times the processing power of an Xbox One" and that the 12 teraflop GPU will be twice as fast as the Xbox One X and eight times as fast as the original Xbox One.


The Series X GPU will be based on AMD's RDNA 2 architecture, Microsoft said. There's little concrete known about this ray-tracing-ready update to last year's RDNA graphics cards, but AMD is planning to publicly reveal more about the 7nm FinFET processors in just a few weeks.

A Microsoft slide highlighting some of the salient Series X features in today's announcement.
Enlarge / A Microsoft slide highlighting some of the salient Series X features in today's announcement.

The current scuttlebutt is that the new design could provide an up to 50-percent performance bump above older RDNA chips, which is broadly in line with the stats Microsoft cited. Those numbers also broadly confirm leaked specs discussed by Digital Foundry in late December. And Microsoft is also touting "variable rate shading" that can "prioritize individual effects on specific game characters or important environmental objects" to maintain frame rates in complex scenes "with no impact on the final image quality."


Microsoft also went into more detail on the advantages granted by the Series X's previously announced GDDR6 RAM and "new generation SSD," which can reportedly act as "virtual RAM." That hardware will be put toward the service of a new multi-game "quick resume" feature that "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." The current Xbox One has a similar feature but can only store a quick resume state for the last game that was played.


The last major update in today's announcement is the use of "dynamic latency input," a system that uses a "high bandwidth, proprietary wireless communication protocol" to "synchronize input immediately with what is displayed," and thus making "controls... even more precise and responsive." We look forward to learning more details about what that actually means, including how many milliseconds of input lag is implied by the supposedly "immediate" synchronization.



Source: The next Xbox will quadruple XB1’s CPU, octuple its GPU performance (Ars Technica)  


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