Microsoft just released finalized next-gen Xbox specs, and we've updated our Series S vs Series X list for a side-by-side look at what's to come.
Microsoft's next-gen Xbox Series S and Series X duo are an exciting evolution for the brand. The consoles feature widespread compatibility and will play games across four generations of hardware--Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series. Any game you put into either console will be boosted natively and enjoy increased performance. The Outer Worlds, for example, has a 77% reduction in load times on Series S/X without optimizations.
For the first time ever games consoles are being built from the ground up with parts that synergize. There's no mixing and matching here like with previous gens. The Xbox Series S/X's custom 7nm+ SoC was created specifically to complement the 16GB GDDR6 RAM pool and ultra-fast PCIe 4.0 SSD.
Everything within the Series X has been tweaked and optimized to complement one another; the SSD feeds RAM at ultra-fast speeds via efficient hardware and architectural pipelines, the RAM supercharges data and assets over to the 8-core Zen 2 CPU for processing, and the powerful 12TFLOP Navi RDNA 2.0 GPU renders the images in up to 8K resolution with HDR.
The Series S works in a similar fashion, but has a max resolution of upscaled 4K and won't support the same kind of performance due to the hardware spec discrepancy.
Read Also: Xbox Series X SSD is revolutionary, changes Xbox gaming forever
The real exciting potential lies with games that are optimized for next-gen.
The Series X and Series have two ways to boost games. One is much more effective than the other, but it depends on the console. The Series S targets 1440p with a 4TFLOP GPU, and the Series X targets 4K 60FPS with its 12TFLOP GPU.
- Native boosts - The consoles will automatically boost perf of any game played on it. Improvements include tightened frame rates, upscaled resolution, faster load times, and improved anti-aliasing.
- Enhancement updates - These are manually issued out by developers. Games are fully optimized for the Series S/X and harness the full brunt of each console's power, delivering perf like 4K 60FPS (Series X), ultra-fast load times in the 1-5 second range, ray tracing, variable refresh rates to game at up to 120Hz, and massively boosted in-game visuals/effects.
Examples of optimized Xbox Series X perf are Gears of War 5, which runs at Ultra-equivalent PC settings that rival an RTX 2080.
The Xbox Series X (left) and the Series S (right).
There's lots of tricks this time around, including:
- Velocity Architecture - Unifies hardware and software on an integral level to massively optimize data flow, which lies at the heart of any console.
- Sampler Feedback Streaming - Gives developers much more granular control over how assets, textures, and data are loaded into the GPU from system memory. Devs can eliminate waste and make data streaming more efficient.
- DirectStorage API - Reduces CPU overhead by working with hardware-based decompression system and directly synergizes with PCIe 4.0 SSD to boost speed/efficiency with new DirectX 12 API.
The Xbox Series S and X consoles are due out November 10, 2020 for $299 and $499 respectively.