Microsoft has just officially unveiled the full specifications of it’s upcoming next-gen console, the Xbox Series X.
Considering the fact that there will be no E3 this summer, it seems Microsoft is now elected to release most of the Xbox Series X info online in the meantime, understandably so. The software giant has now followed up an earlier post about services and it’s mind blowing 12 teraflops figure with some actual hardware specifications for the Xbox Series X console on Monday by releasing three articles looking at the upcoming console’s specs, its controller and reducing system latency. Microsoft also went further by also releasing a pair of new tech demo videos that showcase what some of that speed will mean for the next-generation console.
What are the Xbox Series X specs?
First off, in terms of console specs, the Xbox Series X will be using a custom AMD Zen 2 CPU with eight cores clocked at 3.8GHz each, a custom AMD RDNA 2 GPU with 12 teraflops and 52 compute units clocked at 1.825GHz each. This is all based on a 7nm process and includes 16GB of GDDR6 RAM with a 1TB custom NVME SSD storage drive. Microsoft is also using two mainboards on this Xbox Series X compact design, and the entire unit is cooled through air being pulled in from the bottom and pushed out at the top via a 130mm fan.
Furthermore, Microsoft will be using the overall 16GB of memory in two ways: there’s 10GB for fast GPU optimal memory, 3.5GB for standard memory, and 2.5GB reserved by the OS. All of this power will include the ability to expand storage through 1TB expansion cards at the rear of the console, with USB 3.2 external HDD support and a 4K Blu-ray drive. The next-gen Xbox will also support 8K gaming and frame rates of up to 120fps in games. Microsoft 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. “The team has also been working with the industry’s leading TV manufacturers for the past two years to ensure the display ecosystem is ready for the features coming with Xbox Series X,” explains Microsoft’s Will Tuttle.
What are the consoles load times looking like?
Microsoft then went on to demonstrate the Xbox Series X’s load times. In one video, Microsoft shows off shortened load times enabled by the Xbox Series X’s standard solid-state storage. A side-by-side load of State of Decay 2 illustrates that on an Xbox One X, it takes about 52 seconds to load the open-world game from its main menu. On Xbox Series X, that load time is slashed to about 10 seconds.
What is Xbox’s new Velocity Architecture?
Another feature talked about prominently on Monday is the Xbox Series X’s SSD drive. New to the system is the Xbox Velocity Architecture. Which will let developers make use of up to 100GB of game assets instantaneously. In simple terms, they describe it as the “combination of custom hardware and deep software integration”. That will “enable richer and more dynamic living worlds” and will “effectively eliminates loading times. And makes fast travel systems just that: fast”. The result of which, will be seen in large open-world games. Where developers can use this system to create high fidelity environments that load dynamically using the processing power and SSD of the Xbox Series X.
This new SSD support will also allow Xbox Series X owners to resume multiple games instantly. And even resume titles after the Series X is rebooted for a system update. Game states will be saved directly to the system’s SSD, so you can resume days or even weeks later. Microsoft is demonstrating this quick resume feature, using what looks like the existing dashboard for the Xbox One.
What about the new controller?
As for the new Xbox controller, it’s now USB-C, uses AA batteries, and supports Bluetooth Low Energy. It also will be receiving two upgrades over the previous version. Although it pretty much looks the same. The first change, is an improved Dpad. Which was generally one of the weakest aspects of the controller. The second is the addition of a Share button. That replaces the need to enter the system’s menu to capture and share content.
Microsoft also demonstrated some ray tracing aspects of the Xbox Series X. For those unfamiliar with ray tracing. It will basically enable more realistic lighting changes to games, with improved shadows and cinematic effects. Microsoft incredibly showed the stunning difference their new console will bring trough a video tutorial on Minecraft. Which isn’t a game that has incredible graphics to begin with. You can check out the massive difference in the gameplay demo below:
Another detail Microsoft mentioned was the actual dimensions of the Xbox Series X. The console will measure 151mm x 151mm x 301mm. Yesterday’s spec unveiling comes ahead of Microsoft’s plans to fully detail the console to developers later this week. Microsoft is also planning to unveil more details about the games we’ll see for the Xbox Series X in June.
As of now, Xbox Series X will launch this holiday season.
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