We’ve seen quite a bit of information come out over the past few months based on the Xbox Series X. From our first look at gameplay in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, to hardware specs, information on Quick Resume, and the initial launch, we’ve got it all right here. Well, Microsoft went in-depth in a blog post today to outline everything that we currently know about the Xbox Series X, and what’s to come. So, without further ado, let’s dive into everything Microsoft has told us about the Xbox Series X.
Quick Resume will be a game-changer for changing games
The headline above is a little wonky, but it gets the point across. Changing games on console has never been a fast process. Back with PlayStation 2 and original Xbox, you wouldn’t have ever thought about running a game off of internal storage. It was all disk-based, and you’d have to swap the DVD for each game you wanted to play. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 offered some forms of hard-drive-based gaming, though it was fairly limited due to the smaller size of the disks.
However, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 really pushed disk-free gaming to the next level. Consoles were shipping with 500GB HDDs built-in, and some could even be upgraded. You could hook up an external hard drive if the 500GB-1TB wasn’t enough, and further expand your capabilities. But, we were limited by the read speeds of normal hard drives, so some games had longer loading times, and things just weren’t very quick. Sure, changing from one game to another was easier since no disks were involved, but it still took a bit for everything to load in.
Quick Resume, as it’s called on the Xbox Series X, changes that. We learned that the Xbox Series X uses an all-new NVMe storage framework that offers blazing-fast data transfer speeds in an earlier announcement, and that’s what’s leveraged here with Quick Resume. According to Microsoft, through Xbox Velocity Architecture and its custom OS, players can “resume a game exactly where they left off, across multiple titles.” This will be a game-changer when it comes to changing games, as you’ll be able to switch from title to title “in an instant.”
120FPS gaming on console and true backward compatibility? Microsoft claims to deliver it
The Xbox Series X is an extremely powerful console, which we know from its touted 12 teraflops of raw power. This power won’t go to waste if what Microsoft has said is true. The Xbox Series X is supposed to be able to play games in 4K 60FPS, and in other resolutions up to 120FPS. We’re assuming the breakdown will be: 1080p 120FPS, 4K 60FPS, and 8K 30FPS given the information that we’ve gathered. Before now, this type of gaming has been limited to high-end desktops only, and it’s not been easy to achieve. But, newer OLED 4K TVs are packing 120Hz capabilities, and 120Hz 1080p monitors are starting to come down in price.
This feature alone could give console gamers an edge, but that’s not where Microsoft stops. The Xbox Series X is also touted as the “world’s most-compatible console ever.” This is because the Xbox Series X is compatible with all Xbox One games, and then quite a few Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles as well. All Xbox One controllers, peripherals, and accessories are also compatible here. The one thing that Microsoft is doing that’s quite awesome, however, is they’re not running backward compatible titles within an emulator. Each game runs native on the Series X, gaining full access to the powerful hardware here. This should make all titles boot faster, load quicker, and sometimes, look better than they did on their launch platforms, according to Microsoft.
Smart delivery ensures you only buy once
Something that really makes me excited about the Xbox Series X is Smart Delivery. This feature allows game developers to build one title and launch it on multiple platforms at once. Should you own an Xbox One right now, and buy a title that works with Smart Delivery, you’ll own the game for all Xbox platforms essentially. Fire up a Series X, and you’ll play the game natively on the powerful console as you purchased it for that. Have a Series X and visit a friend with an Xbox One? No problem, the console downloads the optimized version of the game, letting you still enjoy it without making a second purchase. This is how gaming should be, and I can’t wait to see what Sony has to say about it tomorrow.
Xbox Game Pass + Project xCloud + Xbox Series X = cloud gaming heaven
The Xbox Series X is being called “the world’s first console designed with cloud gaming in mind.” This is mostly because of Project xCloud but also is helped by Xbox Game Pass at the same time. All of this combines to make the Xbox Series X a killer console, for local and remote play. Project xCloud, if you’re not familiar, will be the “fastest, most powerful, and most compatible” gaming cloud, according to Microsoft. Later this year, Project xCloud will bring Xbox Game Pass members the ability to play with friends, anywhere, no downloads required.
This is a killer feature as it allows you to enjoy the same titles you play at home while you’re on-the-go. Starting this holiday season, Xbox gamers are about to get a huge upgrade given that Game Pass now has over 100 titles, including Red Dead Redemption 2 and No Man’s Sky.
Stay tuned for more
This is far from the last that we’ll hear from Microsoft on the Xbox Series X. Tomorrow, Sony will be talking about the PlayStation 5, and we’re sure that Microsoft will have a response to whatever Sony announces. We still don’t know pricing yet, for either console, so hopefully we find that out soon. Microsoft only has a few months left before it’s time to launch the Series X, so here’s to hoping we find out sooner, rather than later.
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