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Xbox Series X | S


djbhammer
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Here at Xbox, we’re building the future of gaming by putting players first, ensuring that you are at the center and in control of your gaming experience. Whether you’re exploring an expansive library of Xbox Game Pass titles with more than 10 million of your fellow gamers or taking your gaming on the go with Project xCloud, it’s clear that the future of gaming is brighter than ever.  

Nowhere is that more evident than with Xbox Series X, our fastest, most powerful console ever. Not only will Xbox Series X set a new bar for performance, speed and compatibility, it will empower the world’s greatest developers to create games that launch us into the future of gaming. Putting players first also means introducing a host of new features and technologies to improve their experience. 

Last week, we took a look at Smart Delivery. Today, we’ll be diving into what it means when a game is Optimized for Xbox Series X.

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Optimized for Xbox Series X is the indicator for games that take advantage of the full power of Xbox Series X. Since Xbox Series X offers developers unparalleled power and speed, this empowers them to create the experiences they want and embrace a range of features and capabilities based on what is best for their individual titles. When you hear a game has been Optimized for Xbox Series X, you’ll know that the developer has either natively designed or fully rebuilt their game to take full advantage of the unique capabilities of our most powerful console ever.

 

Games featuring the Optimized for Xbox Series X badge can showcase anything from virtually eliminating load times via the Xbox Velocity Architecture, heightened visuals and hardware-accelerated DirectX raytracing powered by our custom, next generation GPU, to steadier and often higher framerates up to 120fps. Titles displaying the Optimized for Xbox Series X badge can include:

Brand new games built natively for the Xbox Series X such as Halo Infinite.

Previously released titles in which a developer has enhanced their title using the Xbox Series X development environment to dramatically leverage the power and features Xbox Series X has to offer, like Gears 5.

 

Let’s take a closer look at what you’ll be getting when you’re playing a game that’s been Optimized for Xbox Series X:

 

Groundbreaking Visual Fidelity Immerses You in Your Games

 

Powered by DirectX 12 Ultimate and with support for hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing—a first for consoles—select games will produce more dynamic, realistic environments.

DirectX Raytracing means that you’ll see true-to-life lighting,  accurate reflections and hear 3D spatially accurate acoustics in real time as you explore the game world. Ultimately, DirectX Raytracing enables developers to create more physically accurate worlds.  To give a better feel for what this may look like in practice, we asked Manuel Fernández, Co-founder and Programmer from Out of the Blue to share what they’re most excited about for leveraging DirectX Raytracing in Call of the Sea:

“In Call of the Sea, the island has a great importance as we tell the story as a dialogue between the player and their environment. Thanks to the power of Xbox Series X and DirectX Raytracing, we will have the chance to make the island even more present, almost come to life. Players will have the opportunity to enjoy the island’s stunning environments in beautiful 4K, allowing for a greater immersion and an overall better experience.” – Manuel Fernández, Out of the Blue

 

Next Generation Framerates Offer the Pinnacle of Precision

 

Games that have been Optimized for Xbox Series X use the power of the new console to deliver higher, steadier framerates, with a performance target of 60 frames per second at 4K resolution. Some games will even be able to support framerates up to 120 fps or variable refresh rates, allowing developers to offer players heightened realism and more precise controls for fast-paced action. We also talked to Technical Director at Codemasters David Springate about optimizing DiRT 5 for Xbox Series X, to give you a better feel for how increased framerates could improve next gen games:

“DIRT 5 is a fast, action-packed amplified off-road racing game and being able to play it with 120fps options on Xbox Series X is incredible. The power of Series X means that the game looks stunning at 60fps, and we’re also able to offer amazingly smooth, responsive gameplay at 120fps while still looking gorgeous. Racing fans know frame rate is king and DIRT 5 will deliver on this. Players will experience the strongest sense of speed and responsiveness at the highest frame rate. It’s such a great, smooth experience – I hadn’t experienced another racer like it.” – David Springate, Codemasters

 

Faster Load Times Will Get You Gaming More Quickly than Ever

 

Optimized for Xbox Series X isn’t just about gorgeous visuals and better framerates. It’s also about virtually eliminating in-game load times thanks to our Xbox Velocity Architecture technology. XVA combines a custom solid-state drive, custom hardware and integrated software to greatly decrease load times both in and out of games, meaning gamers will be able to spend more time playing and less time waiting. As an example, for titles that have large, open-world environments, these experiences will feel even more dynamic, as developers will be able to leverage the massive increase in processing power and the ability to stream assets in extremely quickly to not break immersion. Developers will also be able to effectively eliminate loading times between levels and create fast travel systems that are just that: fast. We talked with Mike Rayner, Technical Director at The Coalition to hear what he’s most excited about for leveraging the XVA for Gears 5 and here’s what he had to say:

“As a game developer one of the most exciting improvements that far exceeds expectations is the massive I/O improvements on Xbox Series X. With the Xbox Series X, out of gate we reduced our load-times by more than 4x without any code changes. With the new DirectStorage APIs and new hardware decompression we can further improve I/O performance and reduce CPU overhead both of which are essential to achieve fast loading.  As we look to the future, the Xbox Series X’s Sampler Feedback for Streaming (SFS) is a game changer for how we think about world streaming and visual level of detail.” – Mike Rayner, The Coalition

 

Wondering which games are Optimized for Xbox Series X? Below you’ll find a list of titles confirmed to be Optimized for Xbox Series X to date. As this list grows in the weeks and months leading up to Xbox Series X launch, we’ll keep it updated to reflect any additions. 

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Bright Memory Infinite

Call of the Sea 

Chivalry 2

Chorus 

Cyberpunk 2077

Destiny 2 

DiRT 5 

FIFA 21

Gears 5

Halo Infinite

Hitman 3

Madden NFL 21

Marvel’s Avengers

Outriders

Scarlet Nexus 

Scorn

Second Extinction 

The Ascent 

The Medium

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 

Yakuza: Like a Dragon 

 

We hope this gave you a better idea of what it means when you purchase a game that’s been Optimized for Xbox Series X, which ensure that the player is at the center of the gaming experience. We’ll be sharing more on Optimized for Xbox Series X and adding titles to the list above in the coming months. 

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I don’t think they really needed to reassure everyone that they’re going to have some games actually designed for the Series X. They’re really not taking any chances on a single part of the console message, are they?

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I like it. Shortened development time for nextgen games by not working on nextgen games. Just upres the existing stuff.

 

i worry though, without “exclusives” will they muddy the water and make it look like ANOTHER mid-gen update, by accident?

 

an XboxoneX X, if you will. Without the clear delineation between gens?

 

i get “it plays your old games better“, but where’s the “you can’t play this on your old console”? Is this the other side of the “backwards compatibility is king” coin?

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There was a big discussion after the Game Awards reveal about the name and whether the general public will "get" it, the consensus seemed to be that it will be obvious that this is the new xbox just like everyone knows which is the newest iphone.

 

The "you can't play this on your old console" bit, maybe eventually there'll be an "Only For Series X" badge on software. How different will the boxes be?

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48 minutes ago, wretcherd said:

There was a big discussion after the Game Awards reveal about the name and whether the general public will "get" it, the consensus seemed to be that it will be obvious that this is the new xbox just like everyone knows which is the newest iphone.

 

The "you can't play this on your old console" bit, maybe eventually there'll be an "Only For Series X" badge on software. How different will the boxes be?

 

Let's be honest, by the time there are no Xbox One games being made boxes will be as quaint as Walkmans. Our Game on the high street went just before Lockdown and most of the rest of them won't be far behind. As it stands now my only option to buy a physical game is from CEX or buy one from Amazon, where I could also buy a download. And I live in a city.

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6 minutes ago, The Boatman said:

Have they said whether there will be different box designs for physical versions of (‘optimized for’) Xbox Series X games?

 

That would probably go against the whole smart delivery thing. I imagine there will be boxes for "Xbox" games, with "Optimised for Series X" slapped underneath.

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22 minutes ago, Sarlaccfood said:



How long are you expecting MS to support the One for!?

 

I think the big Xbox games in 2022 will be Series X only. 

 

I will be absolutely amazed, AMAZED, if Game exists in 2022. I give them 50/50 to make 2021.

 

I don't know anyone in my circle of friends who has bought a disc game in the last two+ years outside of dirt cheap CEX stuff. And they are PS4 only people since most Xbox people I know just stick to Game Pass for older stuff.

 

I have bought more discs than anyone else I know, and all of them are 360 games I picked up for £2. 

 

Any Xbox I buy in the future will have a drive exclusively for those 360 games.

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31 minutes ago, cultofweaver said:

 

I think the big Xbox games in 2022 will be Series X only. 

 

I will be absolutely amazed, AMAZED, if Game exists in 2022. I give them 50/50 to make 2021.

 

I don't know anyone in my circle of friends who has bought a disc game in the last two+ years outside of dirt cheap CEX stuff. And they are PS4 only people since most Xbox people I know just stick to Game Pass for older stuff.

 

I have bought more discs than anyone else I know, and all of them are 360 games I picked up for £2. 

 

Any Xbox I buy in the future will have a drive exclusively for those 360 games.


That’s all anecdotal though and in a limited demographic. You’re forgetting supermarkets in the U.K. and places in North America like Best Buy, Target etc. 

 

Physical sales are a big chunk of the market and whilst they’re going down, they’ll still be around for another generation probably.

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I still buy occasional disc games.  Mainly digital, but rarely (ever?) Full price.  I would maybe go for more digital games if the international stores were still available easily and the pound was worth a bit more. On top of that, part of me feels that the 15 years I've been amassing games on my Live account means I've got a lot invested there and it could all be at risk if banning people buying from Argentina's marketplace becomes a thing.

 

As a result, I'm about to order Cyberpunk for £43, it's £60 on the dashboard. I'm OK with taking the inconvenience of occasionally swapping a disc in and out.  

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Eurogamer are reporting that the Series S reveal was originally scheduled for this month, but has been pushed back to August. At any rate, it’s probably not far away:

 

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2020-06-29-microsoft-will-close-out-june-without-a-big-xbox-20-20-moment
 

I can’t be bothered to find the relevant articles but the rumours are crystallising around the same CPU at the same speed as the Series X, the same SSD, but about half the RAM and one quarter the GPU power to do one quarter the resolution. Almost exactly a Series X for 1080p TVs.

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12 minutes ago, Alex W. said:

Eurogamer are reporting that the Series S reveal was originally scheduled for this month, but has been pushed back to August. At any rate, it’s probably not far away:

 

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2020-06-29-microsoft-will-close-out-june-without-a-big-xbox-20-20-moment
 

I can’t be bothered to find the relevant articles but the rumours are crystallising around the same CPU at the same speed as the Series X, the same SSD, but about half the RAM and one quarter the GPU power to do one quarter the resolution. Almost exactly a Series X for 1080p TVs.

 

I'm not sure how I feel about a next gen xbox that does 1080 only.    I wonder if they'll push to get it doing 1440p checkerboarded up to 4K like the Ps4Pro does?   That would make more sense to me from a marketing point of view.   One does proper 4K (most of the time).  The other does FauxK and is much cheaper.  Maybe

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I don't really understand the point of a 1440p box. It surely wouldn't be enough less of a machine required for that to be worthwhile. A 1080p box does make sense: there's loads to be said for a box putting out HDR, graphically complex games at a resolution most people couldn't tell apart at their viewing distances. 1080 scales perfectly onto a 4k screen etc. If you're going to have a cut-price machine, make it cheaper.

 

Or it might anti-alias and output a 4k image even if its 1080p graphics.

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11 minutes ago, Uncle Mike said:

I don't really understand the point of a 1440p box. It surely wouldn't be enough less of a machine required for that to be worthwhile. A 1080p box does make sense: there's loads to be said for a box putting out HDR, graphically games at a resolution most people couldn't tell apart at their viewing distances. 1080 scales perfectly onto a 4k screen etc. If you're going to have a cut-price machine, make it cheaper.

 

I think the 1440p talk is more of a case of running dynamic resolution.  Busy scenes dropping down to 1080p.  Smaller indie titles and  BC could probably run native 4k.

 

51 minutes ago, Alex W. said:

Checkerboarding that to 4K could be good enough for most people without sacrificing their performance down the road because Series X will be there

 

If the XSX is using checkerboarding or similar to achieve 4k then the S will be using it to achive 1080p.  If raytraced reflections are handled in a similar way to GT7, the relative performance of Lockhart to PS5 would mean 480p reflections.

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I do wonder if MS’s adherence to giving everybody the means to play everything will result in the Series X console never actually being pushed to its absolute limits. 
 

I mean, at least with Sony the only decision you have to make is whether to keep the disc player in there or bite the bullet and go digital. Either way at the end of itks life you’re going to have seen that machine thrashed within an inch of its life as devs crunch away and milk those Playstation udders as much as they can possibly be milked.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, JoeK said:

I do wonder if MS’s adherence to giving everybody the means to play everything will result in the Series X console never actually being pushed to its absolute limits.

3rd party developers can push as much as they want though.

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You lot seem to be putting a lot of thought into this “1080p Xbox” when the important bit is that it’s a cheap Xbox, for people who don’t care about how many peas their console has inside it. A next gen experience in terms of load times, system functions (like multiple game resume), etc, but at a very affordable price point.

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8 hours ago, Hitcher said:

3rd party developers can push as much as they want though.

 

They’re still going to have to make the game run on the base units aren’t they? Or is that just a MS Studio thing now?
 

8 hours ago, Boozy The Clown said:

Do games not push PCs to their limits ? 


Nope, not really. At least, I can’t think of much that has pushed those limits since Crysis!

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