Microsoft Unveils Xbox Series X Specs And Shares Some Cool Details

Microsoft Unveils Xbox Series X Specs And Shares Some Cool Details

Did you know the Xbox Series X runs on a custom next-generation processor with four times the power of the Xbox One? How about the fact that it can save and quick resume from multiple games at once? Well now we know those things, along with the rest of the specs and details Microsoft shared about the Xbox Series X this morning.

In a post on Xbox Wire titled “What You Can Expect From the Next Generation of Gaming,” Xbox head Phil Spencer lays out details on Microsoft’s upcoming vertical black box. First, he talks hardware, including a custom processor leveraging AMD’s latest Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures. The Xbox Series X features a GPU capable of 12 teraflops of performance, twice that of an Xbox One X and eight times the original Xbox One. As mentioned during the system’s announcement, the console will also support up to 120 frames per second, so investing in a faster television or monitor might be worthwhile. And in case anyone was worried about raytracing, the Series X supports DirectX raytracing, so the console won’t be missing out on that video buzzword.


The coolest new feature revealed is Quick Resume, which allows players to suspend multiple games at once, resuming on-the-fly with no loading screens. I for one can’t wait to realise I put a game on pause weeks ago and never got back to it.

Then there is Smart Delivery, which means that no matter which version of the Xbox you’re playing on, Microsoft will make sure you’ve got the best version of the game for your console. I suppose things might get a little confusing, what with multiple hardware generations playing the same games. The Xbox Series X is backwards compatible with the Xbox One, the Xbox 360, and the original Xbox games the Xbox One is backwards compatible with. I’m already confused. Smart Delivery sounds like a godsend. Or just common sense.

The Series X uses something called Dynamic Latency Input to ensure fast and responsive wireless controller response. Microsoft has also worked with TV makers and the HDMI forum to harness features like variable refresh rate, syncing TV and gameplay frame rates to avoid jaggies and screen tearing.

Check out the post on Xbox Wire for more information on what the Xbox Series X is bringing to the living room this holiday season.

Correction: 2/24/2020, 11 a.m. ET: A previous version of the headline had an extraneous word in name of Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox console. It has since been removed. 


  • so the GPU will definitely be blown away by the next generation of NVIDA cards.

    interesting, never really followed console development before, I wonder if this is a trend

    • Not sure if that is some sort of NVIDIA vs AMD deal… It’s completely irrelevant if it is.

      Because consoles are pretty much always going to be less powerful than the latest PC hardware regardless of what brand of GPU is in the thing. That’s the nature of technology always moving forward and not upgrading consoles as you can PCs… Unless you want every console you buy to cost thousands of dollars.

      The major benefit of consoles is that developers only really have to develop for a very specific set of hardware, meaning they can optimise and focus games quite specifically and get some astounding results with less power.

      Developers like Naughty Dog, Guerilla Games and Rockstar have done absolutely phenomenal things with consoles that may as well be toasters when compared to even remotely decent PC hardware, let alone top-tier stuff.

    • Pretty much any newly-released console you buy will invariably be previous-gen hardware compared to pc. Its how they keep the costs down. Its why if you want decent graphics you go for the PC version of a game. They make the game for the console, and then scale up the graphical capabilities for the PC. Sadly they remain limited in what they can do with the game engine though, which is what holds game intricacy back (ram/cpu are the gating factor for game engines, can only handle so much complexity before they start struggling. Graphics you can develop tricks to streamline processes which can get you some extra performance out of, which is why graphics generally continue to improve over the console generation. Doesn’t work as well with the game engine)

      • I think it’s a LITTLE bit of an overstretch to say ‘if you want decent graphics you go for the PC version’. I think you meant, if you want the absolute BEST graphics you go for the PC version. You can’t look at something like Red Dead 2 on an Xbox One X and say, geez those graphics are rough.

        It’s true consoles will never match PC for speed and graphics, but that’s due to the nature of the beast. You buy a console knowing it’ll run the best it can (which admittedly sometimes isn’t that great) and usually just work out of the box. If you wanna tweak and upgrade (which can cost a lot more money in the long run and is more work) you go a PC and be happy knowing you’re looking at a game playing and feeling the best it can possibly be.

        In the end, I can never understand the PC vs Console vitriol (not that I am saying anything like that has happened here) as, to me, I prefer console as I don’t have the time to ‘tweak’ but admire those who want to.

  • Sony just revealed an 800 US price. Ouch. If MS can come in under that, around 5 to 600 they’ll effectively wreck Sony out of the gate. 800 US for a console will end up around 13 to 1400 at least likely… yeesh.

    • Reminds me of the 360 vs PS3 days. Significant price difference there, too.
      I’m assuming that Sony is banking that it’s worth it to take an early win on being considered ‘the default for cross-platform titles’ again.

      • My apologies, they just walked that back stating it was just rumour and Sony didn’t announce it. Fuck reading shit at 6am after getting to bed at 2.

      • Absolutely nothing confirmed. What is confirmed is that the PS5 costs Sony $450 plus US dollars to make. So if they charged $500 US for the console that’s approx $750 or more AU on current exchange rates. The only way its less than that is if Sony take a loss on the sale of every console and thats not out of the question but honestly, how much loss will they be willing to take??

        • I’m expecting a ballpark $500 US price for the PS5 myself, thats the magic point it seems for consumers. At $450 production costs, plus shipping, etc, its also their initial break even point as well, more or less. When you figure out retail profit margins, its probably going to mean a loss for Sony. Its called a loss leader, and they did that with the PS3 to the tune of nearly $250 per unit. A lot of that (I think) was because of the blu ray player.

          But that wont mean it stays a loss. Production costs inevitably drop, and as they do Sony makes more profit from those wholesale costs. The blu ray player in the PS3 quickly dropped in cost for example, meaning the initial cost dropped as well.

          They wont sell 100% of the consoles sales at launch (see below), there are years of sales in those machines, and the core parts wont really change. The costs will though.

          It’ll be a processor here and there, a hard drive, maybe a GPU tweak and thats really it. And smaller components for slimline versions. But generally the production cost will fall over time.

          When you look at the PS4 sales over time (source: it should show it clearer. Roughly 10% of the total sales at/near launch, with growth and spikes after that before it reduced to just 10% of the total last year. Still a good sales number though, even nearing the end of its life.

          If they were making a loss at launch, by the time the sales spike came in 2017 (was that the pro?) the production costs would have dropped so they recouped those losses quite comfortably. So they could absorb the launch losses knowing future sales would cover them. Its a long view.

          Having said that, mobile phones have shown that the consumer will accept most price increases pretty readily, and what seems expensive will become the norm. So we could see $600 or more.

          • yeah good points. Agree on most of it as well.

            I dont mind paying 750ish AU for a new console if they are as powerful as im expecting. Heck its a 6 year purchase these days. But people cant ask for more powerful hardware and not expect it to cost a lot more.

          • You’re right but tech being more expensive can be a grey area. I dont know what the equivalent GPU card would have been in 2014, but the PS4 had a 1.8 teraflop GPU in it. I think the PS4 and Xbone had more or less the same specs. A RX 570 Radeon GPU today is nearly 3x what that launch PS4 was doing (bit over 5 teraflops), and is under $200 retail. It would have been top end in 2014.

            The tech has moved a lot in that time, but the relevant costs have dropped along the way. That was my point – costs drop over time, and what was once high end is now middle of the road, or bottom of the tree.

            They more likely work to a price point, and that doesnt need to change over generations. There are occasionally exceptions, like the blu ray in the PS3, but they are usually justifiable. Thats not really the case here, its mostly the same setup just updated. CPU, GPU, RAM, storage.

            If they’re putting a 12 teraflop GPU in the new Xbox though, thats fairly top end. And 6.67x faster than the PS4 at launch so what you say – its equivalently more powerful so should cost more. An RX 5700 Radeon costs around $600 to $650 retail (source: and puts out that sort of speed. And isnt a bad chipset. They wont pay that per chip, but its one of the higher end Radeon chips. So will definitely be relevant for a good year or 4.

            I’m also comfortable with $750 by the way, for similar reasons. And as I thought we were a little short changed with the GPU of the XBone and PS4, its nice to see a big jump there.

          • Definitely short changed in the last generation! Though, the xbox x made up for it. That consoles is pretty darn sweet

          • It did feel like the X and the PS Pro were the consoles that *should* have always been released, didn’t it.

    • Microsoft has already confirmed that there will be no exclusive titles released at launch which is disapointing (Halo Infinite would’ve been the perfect launch title imo). Here’s hoping that all the new studio’s they bought over the past few years can produce some worthy exclusives over time.

      • Nah man, it will release with the new xbox on launch day. It’s just not “exclusive” becuase it will be avaible on pc as well. They have a few exclusive games on the new xbox but all will be on Windows 10 as well making them not exclusive

      • Infinite is there basically at launch isn’t it? i think they just meant no games that will only work on the new consoles, they’ll be crossgen.

        • Yea I just saw the news articles that popped up earlier today, the fact that it cross-gen is kind of disapointing too. Was hoping they would push the game to it’s graphical limits, but it will obviously be held back graphically to make it run on last gen hardware.

          • The whole “Smart Delivery” thing is supposed to be for this. The idea being that the Series X version will push the game to graphical limits that it won’t be able to hit on even the One X, but you can play the game on both.

            Of course, that’s just what it’s supposed to do…

          • I guess part of the complaint is that graphical fidelity is only one of the things new generations bring.

            Take Assassin’s Creed 4 as a previous example of cross-gen games. It looked a lot better on the new consoles and PC, with undergrowth subtly shifting as you crawled through it. But the game simulation was still something that you could fit into a system with 256 MB of RAM. You never see the large crowds from subsequent AC games that cut the cord. The world geometry that you can actually interact with is the same as the previous gen versions of the game, etc.

  • As someone who got a 2080Ti on the weekend, I can assure you that raytracing is *not* a buzzword.

    Wolfenstein Youngblood is genuinely the most visually impressive video game I’ve ever seen because of it.

    • What does it improve? Everything I’ve ever seen out of raytracing just makes the game so visually busy it’s impossible to actually see anything.

      I’m sure there are good ways to implement it, I just haven’t seen one yet.

      • The only games that really do Ray Tracing right at this time is Control & Wolfenstein Youngblood. The best explanation I’ve seen of the benefits of Ray Tracing to date is the excellent Digital Foundry video “Control PC: Ray Tracing’s Killer App?”Just google search the quoted title and it will be the first video that pops up, last time I posted links here my comments got deleted. Also check out their other video “Wolfenstein Youngblood – Ray Tracing/VRS/DLSS in id Tech 6 – A Next-Gen Features Showcase?” for another great analysis of Ray Tracing, but also the improvements seen with DLSS.

      • It essentially makes like a lot more realistic looking mainly in reflections.

        It looks amazing but boy does it come at a performance cost.

      • It improves the lighting in games, which is a lot of why games look like… well, video games.

        Raytracing simulates realistic lighting physics, which is why it’s relatively computationally heavy, and was, for a long time, a holy grail for realtime graphics. Pretty much any CGI movie you’ve ever seen uses raytracing, which is why even the original Toy Story holds up better, visually, than a modern video game.

        The end result is that you get absolutely scene-accurate reflections for, essentially, free, instead of having to do tricks like screen-space reflections and cube mapping, both of which have weird artifacts that never look right.

        Beyond that, things like coloured “bounce” lighting, where light is coloured by the objects it bounces off then reflected by a different object become available, as do realistic shadows (as you no longer need to do shadow maps or shadow cascades).

        The end result is a game that looks much more realistic in terms of the way lighting behaves in a scene. Right now, of course, most games that do raytracing are still being built with traditional lighting systems in mind, but once it becomes more commonplace, and developers get better at implementing it, we’ll start to see some of the most visually stunning games ever created.

        tl;dr: the future will be raytraced and it will be glorious.

        • I’m sure it will look good at some point. But so far everything I’ve seen looks a bit like shit. Just like when HDR started happening in games.

          You’d walk outside and be blinded by a white screen for a few seconds and if you stood on the theshhold you could move the camera to make it go white then pitch black every second. Oh and looking at the horizon it’d look normal, but move the view 1 degree above the horizon and the lighting would dramatically change.

          I’m sure it’ll get better.

          • One thing that holds it back a little right now (and this is really obvious when you play Wolfenstein Youngblood) is that assets need to designed around being lit that way. Right now, every game that supports DXR/RTX has to also support traditional lighting methods, and developers are always going to create the assets with that lowest common denominator in mind.

            In a few years when games become raytracing-only, this problem will solve itself and games will look amazing.

      • Youngblood runs at 4K/60 because it has dynamic resolution scaling.

        I can get Metro Exodus up to 4K/60 as well, but the lack of DRS means it doesn’t stay there unless I scale back some visual settings.

    • Have had a 2080 Ti since launch, its very occasional that I notice a specific RT specific effect and go ‘wow’.

      Honestly, atm, its really overrated.

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