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New details on Xbox Series X – Full Specs, Controller Info, Demo Videos

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Microsoft has announced new details on the Xbox Series X, including providing the full specs, new info on the controller, and demo videos of some of the new features in a series of blog posts on the Xbox Wire. You can read the full details HERE.

Tech Specs

Following the AMD presentation, Technical Fellow Andrew Goossen took the reins to dive deep into the technological bells and whistles that will be powering Xbox Series X. We’ve listed the full system specs below, with handy links out to our glossary for definitions on what many of these terms mean:

CPU8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.66 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
GPU12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU
Die Size360.45 mm2
Process7nm Enhanced
Memory16 GB GDDR6 w/ 320mb bus
Memory Bandwidth10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s
Internal Storage1 TB Custom NVME SSD
I/O Throughput2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed, with custom hardware decompression block)
Expandable Storage1 TB Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)
External StorageUSB 3.2 External HDD Support
Optical Drive4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
Performance Target4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS

Xbox Series X Overview

DirectML – Xbox Series X supports Machine Learning for games with DirectML, a component of DirectX. DirectML leverages unprecedented hardware performance in a console, benefiting from over 24 TFLOPS of 16-bit float performance and over 97 TOPS (trillion operations per second) of 4-bit integer performance on Xbox Series X. Machine Learning can improve a wide range of areas, such as making NPCs much smarter, providing vastly more lifelike animation, and greatly improving visual quality.

DirectStorage – DirectStorage is an all new I/O system designed specifically for gaming to unleash the full performance of the SSD and hardware decompression. It is one of the components that comprise the Xbox Velocity Architecture. Modern games perform asset streaming in the background to continuously load the next parts of the world while you play, and DirectStorage can reduce the CPU overhead for these I/O operations from multiple cores to taking just a small fraction of a single core; thereby freeing considerable CPU power for the game to spend on areas like better physics or more NPCs in a scene. This newest member of the DirectX family is being introduced with Xbox Series X and we plan to bring it to Windows as well.

Dynamic Latency Input (DLI) –Another innovation we are making to reduce latency for Xbox Series X is Dynamic Latency Input (DLI). With DLI, developers can more accurately synchronize the player’s input with the game’s simulation and render loop, even further reducing input latency while playing the game.

GPU Work Creation – Xbox Series X adds hardware, firmware and shader compiler support for GPU work creation that provides powerful capabilities for the GPU to efficiently handle new workloads without any CPU assistance. This provides more flexibility and performance for developers to deliver their graphics visions.

Hardware Accelerated DirectX Raytracing (DXR) – From improved lighting, shadows and reflections as well as more realistic acoustics and spatial audio, raytracing enables developers to create more physically accurate worlds. For the very first time in a game console, Xbox Series X includes support for high performance, hardware accelerated raytracing. Xbox Series X uses a custom-designed GPU leveraging the latest innovation from our partners at AMD and built in collaboration with the same team who developed DirectX Raytracing. Developers will be able to deliver incredibly immersive visual and audio experiences using the same techniques on PC and beyond.

Hardware Decompression – Hardware decompression is a dedicated hardware component introduced with Xbox Series X to allow games to consume as little space as possible on the SSD while eliminating all CPU overhead typically associated with run-time decompression. It reduces the software overhead of decompression when operating at full SSD performance from more than three CPU cores to zero – thereby freeing considerable CPU power for the game to spend on areas like better gameplay and improved framerates. Hardware decompression is one of the components of the Xbox Velocity Architecture.

Intelligent Delivery – Microsoft’s developer facing technology to reduce the size of game installs. Intelligent Delivery empowers developers to only install the pieces of the game you need, thereby minimizing the amount of content that needs to be installed or downloaded to the SSD.

Latency – Latency refers to responsiveness of the console and controller, including the time it takes for your input to be registered by your console and then displayed on your screen. Reducing latency results in a more connected and immersive experience. Xbox Series X will be our most responsive console ever featuring ultra-low latency with advanced technology that minimizes latency at every stage of the gaming pipeline so that you instantly see the impact of your actions on the screen.

Mesh Shading – Mesh shading will enable developers to dramatically improve the performance and image quality when rendering a substantial number of complex objects in a scene. As an example, mesh shaders could enable the player to experience asteroid belts and fields of flowers in more pristine detail without seeing a loss in performance.

Native Resolution – Native Resolution is an Xbox Series X backwards compatibility enhancement for select Xbox One games that allows them to render at native 4K even if they weren’t originally designed for 4K.

Optimized for Xbox Series X – Games built using the Xbox Series X development kit and designed to take advantage of the unique capabilities of the Xbox Series X. These include new titles built natively using the Xbox Series X development environment as well as previously released titles that have been rebuilt specifically for Xbox Series X. They will showcase unparalleled load-times, visuals, responsiveness and framerates up to 120 fps.

Parallel Cooling Architecture – Parallel Cooling Architecture is the name of the innovative system design used to cool Xbox Series X. Building a console that delivers four times the processing power of Xbox One X in the most quiet and efficient way – something that is critically important with all the extra power of our next generation console – led to its unique vertical design.

Project Acoustics – Incubated over a decade by Microsoft Research, Project Acoustics accurately models sound propagation physics in mixed reality and games, employed by many AAA experiences today. It is unique in simulating wave effects like diffraction in complex scene geometries without straining CPU, enabling a much more immersive and lifelike auditory experience. Plug-in support for both the Unity and Unreal game engines empower the sound designer with expressive controls to mold reality. Developers will be able to easily leverage Project Acoustics with Xbox Series X through the addition of a new custom audio hardware block.

Quick Resume – A new feature powered by the technical capabilities and the innovative Xbox Velocity Architecture in Xbox Series X, Quick Resume enables players to seamlessly switch between multiple titles and resume instantly from where you last left off.

RDNA 2 – The custom designed processor in the Xbox Series X leverages RDNA 2, the latest next generation graphics architecture from our partners at AMD. RDNA 2 provides a significant advancement in performance and efficiency as well as next generation graphics features such as hardware accelerated raytracing and variable rate shading.

Sampler Feedback Streaming (SFS) – A component of the Xbox Velocity Architecture, SFS is a feature of the Xbox Series X hardware that allows games to load into memory, with fine granularity, only the portions of textures that the GPU needs for a scene, as it needs it. This enables far better memory utilization for textures, which is important given that every 4K texture consumes 8MB of memory. Because it avoids the wastage of loading into memory the portions of textures that are never needed, it is an effective 2x or 3x (or higher) multiplier on both amount of physical memory and SSD performance.

SDR to HDR Conversion – With Xbox Series X, existing Xbox games, including recent titles within the [email protected] program, that don’t already have native HDR support will get the next-gen treatment. Xbox Series X is able to leverage an innovative HDR reconstruction technique to enhance existing SDR games with no work from developers and no impact to available CPU, GPU or memory resources.

Smart Delivery – Smart Delivery is a new technology introduced with Xbox Series X that will ensure you always play the best version of the games you own for your console, across generations. All Xbox Game Studios titles that are optimized for Xbox Series X, including “Halo Infinite” will support Smart Delivery, providing the best available version for whichever console you choose to play on. For example, this means if you purchase the Xbox One version of a supported title, we will identify and deliver the best version of it to your Xbox One, as usual. If you decide to jump into the next generation with Xbox Series X, we will automatically provide the Xbox Series X optimized version of the game at no additional cost if and when it becomes available. Smart Delivery is available to all Xbox developers.

Spatial Audio – Spatial Audio delivers deeply immersive audio which enables the player to more accurately pinpoint objects in a 3D play space. With full support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Windows Sonic, Xbox Series X has custom audio hardware to offload audio processing from the CPU, dramatically improving the accessibility, quality and performance of these immersive experiences.

TFLOPS (Teraflops) – TFLOPS (or “teraflops”) stands for Trillion Floating-point Operations Per Second and is a measure of raw mathematical performance of a GPU. While Xbox Series X delivers 12 TFLOPS of 32-bit float performance, two times that of the Xbox One X, the architectural efficiency improvements brought by AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture plus our next generation features such as Variable Rate Shading (VRS) and hardware accelerated DirectX Raytracing means that Xbox Series X will deliver well over twice the effective graphics performance of Xbox One X for games.

Variable Rate Shading (VRS) – Variable Rate Shading increases GPU efficiency by concentrating shader work where it’s most needed and reducing shader work in areas where it won’t be noticeable. With minimal developer effort, VRS significantly improves GPU performance resulting in more stable and higher resolutions and frame rates with no perceptible loss in visual quality.

Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) – Variable Refresh Rate is a new addition to HDMI 2.1 which enables capable displays to refreshed as fast as the console can render images, thereby eliminating tearing, increasing smoothness, and reducing latency. We have been working with the industry’s leading TV manufacturers to ensure the display ecosystem is ready for the features we are bringing with Xbox Series X.

Xbox Series X Storage Expansion Card –  Built in partnership with Seagate, this 1 TB custom storage solution expands storage capacity of Xbox Series X with the full speed and performance of the Xbox Velocity Architecture Previous generation Xbox titles can still be played directly from external USB 3.2 hard drives. However, to receive all the benefits of the Xbox Velocity Architecture and optimal performance, Xbox Series X, optimized games should be played from the internal SSD or Xbox Series X Storage Expansion Card.

Xbox Velocity Architecture – The Xbox Velocity Architecture is the new architecture we’ve created for the Xbox Series X to unlock new capabilities never-before seen in console development. It consists of four components: our custom NVMe SSD, a dedicated hardware decompression block, the all new DirectStorage API, and Sampler Feedback Streaming (SFS). This combination of custom hardware and deep software integration allows developers to radically improve asset streaming and effectively multiply available memory. It will enable richer and more dynamic living worlds unlike anything ever seen before. It also effectively eliminates loading times, and makes fast travel systems just that: fast.

Xbox Wireless Protocol – One of the first points to reduce latency is within the communication between your controller and your console. By bringing our existing high-bandwidth, low-latency wireless protocol on the Xbox One family of devices to Xbox Series X, we’re able to not only reduce latency in your gaming experience but also ensure all of your existing Xbox One gaming accessories will be compatible with Xbox Series X.  

Zen 2 – The custom designed processor in the Xbox Series X leverages AMD’s latest Zen 2 CPU architecture. Zen 2 provides a significant advancement in CPU performance delivering more than 4 times the performance of an Xbox One X.

120 FPS – With support for up to 120 frames per second (FPS), Xbox Series X allows developers to exceed the more traditional 60 FPS in favor of heightened realism and more precise controls for fast-paced action.

Xbox Series X Demo Videos

SOURCE: Xbox Wire

Consoles

Twitch bot checks PS5 and Xbox Series X stocks live

A twitch bot will check to see if you can find a console nearby.

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Ever since they launched, Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X have been a hot commodity that not everyone is able to get. Luckily a Twitch bot is checking if you can purchase a console before Christmas time.

This year has been hectic enough as it is, but the arrival of the latest next-gen consoles have created a huge rush. Many who had hoped to get the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X during the first few weeks of their respective launches, ended up going home empty handed.

Many retailers have been running out of stock almost immediately and with the imminent Christmas season on people’s minds, the demand for units is extremely high. If you want the consoles then you have to keep checking their availability.

Thanks to one Twitch bot, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. It will browse through many different sites to keep check when either of the two consoles is in stock so that you don’t have to.

This channel is run by Cam Ritz. Simply head over there and watch the bot work live. You can check when the latest hit was and enter the !local command to see if you can find the consoles from any store within your vicinity.

Ritz has stated that the the bot has helped viewers secure consoles through a few different retailers such as GameStop and Sam’s Club. Don’t get your hopes up too much though, as the stream will mainly show you “OUT OF STOCK” in glaring red.

Due to the rather unpredictable nature of the way retailers are stocking up on the consoles, there is no sure way to get yourself a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X before Christmas time. However, checking in with this stream daily will greatly increase your chances of finding one soon.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Black Ops Cold War dev responds to Xbox Series X bricking issues

Black Ops Cold War is crashing the Xbox Series X, which could lead to the console being permanently broken. A Treyarch dev has responded.

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Xbox Series X users reported that the game-breaking bugs in Black Ops Cold War have completely broken their console.

Black Ops Cold War has had a rocky start with the new generation of consoles. The Dualshock controller would disconnect and freeze up the system and the PS5 could accidentally run Cold War’s PS4 edition as default.

Now, Xbox Series X users are reporting game-breaking bugs and crashes. These crashes are reported to have eventually ‘bricked’ the console.

Reddit user ‘Junesfoshiz‘ posted a “word of caution” to Xbox Series X Users, saying that they had experienced several crashes on their Series X over the weekend. It wasn’t much of a problem at first, but “when it happened this morning it was for good. Xbox will not boot back up.”

‘Junesfoshiz’ said that if you’re experiencing these crashes on the Series X, it might be worth leaving Cold War alone until the issue is resolved.

In the meantime, a Treyarch dev has responded to these issues.

Treyarch response

Community Manager Josh ‘FoxhoundFPS‘ Torres responded to the Reddit post. “Generally speaking, we’re investigating all crashes and across the game,” he said.

The Xbox Series X crashing issue is high up on Treyarch’s agenda, with it being at the top of the official Trello Board of known bugs and issues. Developers are currently working on a fix.

“My immediate recommendations are to make sure that you’re using the correct version for your platform,” FoxhoundFPS continued, confirming that next-gen consoles accidentally running the previous generation edition is not exclusive to PlayStation.

On top of losing out on faster load times, more detailed textures, and Ray Tracing, playing the previous generation’s edition could cause the game to repeatedly crash and break your console.

Speaking of Ray Tracing, he said that “players have also shared that disabling Ray Tracing on XSX has helped.” Temporarily losing out on this next-gen feature is worth it if it could save your console. You can follow all of Black Ops: Cold War’s known issues by keeping an eye on Charlie Intel’s known issues board.

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News

Steam adds support for PS5 DualSense controller

Steam users can now use the new PS5 DualSense controller while playing their favorite games on the platform.

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The PS5’s DualSense controller is the most talked about feature of the next-gen console. Steam has taken note of this and has announced its plans to support it.

Sony’s PlayStation 5 has arrived, and it’s in such high demand that you’ll be lucky to get one. This next-gen console comes with many impressive features such as 4K video, 60 FPS, Ray tracing, and exclusive titles that have won over players.

The most popular feature is the DualSense controller, which gives haptic feedback while you’re playing. This lets you experience every impact, recoil, and rumble like never before. Now, Valve has officially stated that Steam will offer support to this controller.

Steam’s Latest Update

Steam’s latest client beta update has made the platform compatible with the new controller. You can connect it through Bluetooth or with a USB-C cable. The following changes have been made to the Steam Input API:

  • Implemented rumble over Bluetooth for the PS5 controller
  • Reduced rumble intensity for the PS5 controller
  • Allow external audio based haptics while rumble is enabled on the PS5 DualSense controller

Steam will recognize the controller and show the correct button prompts while also gaining access to the LED, trackpad, rumble, and gyro features. Players will now get to use the PS5 controller with games that require the Steam Input API.

So far, Valve’s hasn’t announced any plans for the DualSense’s adaptive triggers, but they will release the support after beta testing is done.

How To Access The Steam Beta Client

You can test out this new feature by heading over to the Steam client beta. Here is how you use it:

  1. Open the Steam Menu
  2. Enter “Settings” and then open up “Account”
  3. Click “Change” under Beta Participation
  4. Select the PS4 controller (it’s actually the DualSense controller for PS5)

The option will be renamed to “PS5 controller” once Valve makes a profile for it.

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