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.
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:
|CPU||8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.66 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU|
|GPU||12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU|
|Die Size||360.45 mm2|
|Memory||16 GB GDDR6 w/ 320mb bus|
|Memory Bandwidth||10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s|
|Internal Storage||1 TB Custom NVME SSD|
|I/O Throughput||2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed, with custom hardware decompression block)|
|Expandable Storage||1 TB Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)|
|External Storage||USB 3.2 External HDD Support|
|Optical Drive||4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive|
|Performance Target||4K @ 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
PlayStation Plus games lineup: All PS Plus Extra & Premium titles
Sony have revealed the lineup of games that will be available with the new and improved version of PlayStation Plus.
The PlayStation Plus subscription service will undergo various changes, and here’s a list of PS Plus games you can expect to have access to following the overhaul.
Throughout the months of May and June, Sony will be rolling out a revamped version of PlayStation Plus. The core concept for the service will remain unchanged but Sony are introducing subscription tiers to PS Plus.
This means the massive catalog of games available to PS Plus subscribers will depend on which of the three options you select. We’ll go through the different tier options below, and detail all the PS Plus games that will be available at launch.
PlayStation Plus changes & tiers explained
PlayStation Plus has always offered an all-encompassing service to those who subscribe. That’s all going to change as players will soon have the chance to choose between three different tiers. Essentially, you’ll be able to choose the tier that best suits your needs.
PlayStation Plus Essential is the lowest tier on offer and it is the option that is comparable to the current service. If you’re happy with your current PS Plus subscription and are not interested in new features, Essential is the way to go.
If you’re looking for more content like a massive library of games, then you’ll want to look into the Extra and Premium tiers. Extra will grant you access to a catalog of PS4 and PS5 games, while Premium will also add PS3, PS2, PSP, and PlayStation libraries to the mix.
To find out which tier is right for you and how much each tier costs per month you can visit the PlayStation blog that details the changes coming to PS Plus in the summer of 2022.
All PS Plus games list: Premium & Extra catalog
While the focus is definitely on PlayStation games whose studios are affiliated with Sony like God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and Uncharted, you’ll also be pleasantly surprised to see third-party titles available via PS Plus.
Games like Mortal Kombat 11, NBA 2K22, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla are not out of reach for players who opt for PlayStation Plus’ Extra or Premium tiers. You’ll be able to access this incredible library of games seen below for a monthly fee.
PlayStation Plus Premium Games
- Ape Escape | Japan Studio, Original Playstation
- Hot Shots Golf | Japan Studio, Original Playstation
- I.Q. Intelligent Qube | Japan Studio, Original PlayStation
- Jumping Flash! | Japan Studio, Original PlayStation
- Syphon Filter | Bend Studio, Original PlayStation
- Super Stardust Portable | Housemarque, PSP
Third Party Partners
- Mr. Driller | Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc., Original PlayStation
- Tekken 2 | Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc., Original PlayStation
- Worms World Party | Team 17, Original PlayStation
- Worms Armageddon | Team17, Original PlayStation
PlayStation Studios (remasters)
- Ape Escape 2 | Japan Studio, PS4
- Arc The Lad: Twilight of the Spirits | Japan Studio, PS4
- Dark Cloud | Japan Studio, PS4
- Dark Cloud 2 | Japan Studio, PS4
- FantaVision | SIE, PS4
- Hot Shots Tennis | Japan Studio, PS4
- Jak II | Naughty Dog, PS4
- Jak 3| Naughty Dog, PS4
- Jak X: Combat Racing | Naughty Dog, PS4
- Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy | Naughty Dog, PS4
- Rogue Galaxy | Japan Studio, PS4
- Siren | Japan Studio, PS4
- Wild Arms 3 | SIE, PS4
Third Party Partners (remasters)
- Baja: Edge of Control HD | THQ Nordic, PS4
- Bioshock Remastered | 2K Games, PS4
- Borderlands The Handsome Collection | 2K Games, PS4
- Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition | Gearbox Publishing, PS4
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning | THQ Nordic, PS4
- Lego Harry Potter Collection | WB Games, PS4
PlayStation Plus Extra and PlayStation Plus Premium Games
While the Sony blog wasn’t clear on the fact, it seems that games with asterisks beside their names will only be available to PlayStation Premium members, which is the highest tier available. We’ll update this section with official confirmation once we know more about the situation.
- Alienation | Housemarque, PS4
- Bloodborne | FromSoftware, PS4
- Concrete Genie | Pixelopus, PS4
- Days Gone | Bend Studio, PS4
- Dead Nation Apocalypse Edition | Housemarque, PS4
- Death Stranding and Death Stranding Director’s Cut | Kojima Productions, PS4/PS5
- Demon’s Souls | Bluepoint Games, PS5
- Destruction AllStars | Lucid Games, PS5
- Everybody’s Golf | Japan Studio, PS4
- Ghost Of Tsushima Director’s Cut | Sucker Punch, PS4/ PS5
- God of War | Santa Monica Studio, PS4
- Gravity Rush 2 | Japan Studio, PS4
- Gravity Rush Remastered | Japan Studio, PS4
- Horizon Zero Dawn | Guerrilla Games, PS4
- Infamous First Light | Sucker Punch, PS4
- Infamous Second Son | Sucker Punch, PS4
- Knack | Japan Studio, PS4
- LittleBigPlanet 3 | Sumo Digital, PS4
- LocoRoco Remastered | Japan Studio, PS4
- LocoRoco 2 Remastered | Japan Studio, PS4
- Marvel’s Spider-Man | Insomniac Games, PS4
- Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales | Insomniac Games, PS4/PS5
- Matterfall |Housemarque, PS4
- MediEvil | Other Ocean, PS4
- Patapon Remastered | Japan Studio, PS4
- Patapon 2 Remastered | Japan Studio, PS4
- Resogun | Housemarque, PS4
- Returnal | Housemarque, PS5
- Shadow of the Colossus | Japan Studio, PS4
- Tearaway Unfolded |Media Molecule, PS4
- The Last Guardian | Japan Studio, PS4
- The Last of Us Remastered | Naughty Dog, PS4
- The Last of Us: Left Behind | Naughty Dog, PS4
- Until Dawn | Supermassive Games, PS4
- Uncharted The Nathan Drake Collection |Naughty Dog, PS4
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End | Naughty Dog, PS4
- Uncharted: The Lost Legacy | Naughty Dog, PS4
- WipEout Omega Collection | Clever Beans & Creative Vault Studios, PS4
- Ashen | Annapurna Interactive, PS4
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla*** | Ubisoft, PS4/PS5
- Celeste | Maddy Makes Games, PS4
- Cities: Skylines | Paradox Interactive, PS4
- Control: Ultimate Edition | 505 Games, PS4/PS5
- Dead Cells| Motion Twin, PS4
- Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition | Square Enix Co. LTD, PS4
- Hollow Knight | Team Cherry, PS4
- Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy | Square Enix Co. LTD., PS4/PS5
- Mortal Kombat 11 | WB Games, PS4/PS5
- Narutoshippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 | Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc., PS4
- NBA 2K22 | 2K Games, PS4/PS5
- Outer Wilds | Annapurna Interactive, PS4
- Red Dead Redemption 2 | Rockstar Games, PS4
- Resident Evil | Capcom Co., Ltd, PS4
- Soulcalibur VI | Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc., PS4
- The Artful Escape | Annapurna Interactive, PS4/PS5
- The Crew 2*** | Ubisoft, PS4
While these are the titles expected to be available when the new version of PlayStation Plus launches, don’t be surprised to see this extensive catalog updated with brand-new games as months go by.
Keep an eye out for the new iteration of PS Plus to launch on June 13 in NA, and June 23 in Europe.
For more gaming news, check out how Elden Ring dethroned Vanguard as the best-selling game of the last year.
Image Credits: Ubisoft / Sony / Insomniac Games / Rockstar Games / Santa Monica Studio / WB Games / Sucker Punch / Kojima Productions / Housemarque
Is 120FPS returning to Warzone on Xbox? Raven still “investigating” issue
Xbox Series consoles can no longer run Warzone at 120FPS, and Raven Software have confirmed they’re still investigating the issue.
Xbox Series consoles no longer support 120FPS on Warzone following December’s Season 1 update, locking the game at 60FPS. Players have been desperate for it to return, and Raven Software reaffirmed that they “absolutely want” to bring 120 FPS back to Xbox, but it’s still being investigated.
While Warzone Pacific brought a brand-new map and has continued to bring a number of major quality of life updates, console players have been suffering from stuttering and textures failing to load. While PlayStation 5 players can enjoy the game at 120FPS, Xbox Series players lost the ability when Pacific Season 1 launched and have been stuck playing at 60FPS.
In a pre-Warzone Season 3 interview with CharlieIntel, Raven Software’s Senior Creative Director Ted Timmins reaffirmed that they “absolutely want” to bring 120 FPS back to Xbox Series consoles, but they don’t have an immediate update.
Will 120FPS come back to Warzone on Xbox Series X?
Xbox Series X|S players immediately noticed that their consoles no longer had 120Hz support after the Season 1 update on December 8, 2021. Raven’s Ted Timmins confirmed they were aware on December 12 and were looking into the issue.
Speaking to CharlieIntel ahead of Warzone Season 3, Timmins confirmed there is “no immediate update” on Xbox receiving 120Hz support again, and said it’s a “very complex” issue that’s “still being investigated.”
While there is no timeline confirmed yet for a fix for the update, Timmins mentioned they hope to get the fix out as soon as possible.
- Read more: All Caldera map changes in Warzone Season 3
Timmins also confirmed that the team is “working as hard as they can” to resolve other console performance issues. While things are looking positive, they are grateful to see the videos and screenshots that the community sends in.
Image Credit: Activision / Microsoft
How to watch PlayStation’s March 9 State of Play: Stream, start time, what to expect
Here’s everything you need to know about PlayStation’s March State of Play, which gives updates on Japanese-developed games and more.
PlayStation will be broadcasting their State of Play on March 9, which has a special focus on Japanese-developed PS4 and PS5 games. Here’s how to watch the stream, what time it starts, and what you can expect to see.
2022 has already been a huge year for gaming with Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Horizon Forbidden West, and Elden Ring all releasing across January and February. But there will be even more to look forward to as the year goes on, and PlayStation will be revealing what they have in store for the rest of 2022 and beyond.
Here’s how to watch PlayStation’s State of Play stream, including the start time and what you can expect to see.
PlayStation State of Play stream & start time
March 2022’s State of Play will kick off on March 9 at 2 PM PT / 5 PM ET / 10 PM GMT and will run for around 20 minutes.
We’ve embedded the stream above, where you can set a reminder through your YouTube account.
What to expect in PlayStation’s State of Play stream
Sony revealed that State of Play will showcase “new reveals and eye-catching updates for PS5 and PS4 titles,” with a “special focus on highlighting great games coming from some of our beloved Japanese publishers.”
- Read more: How to fix PC screen tearing in WWE 2K22
It’s possible that we’ll finally see Final Fantasy XVI which was confirmed to be revealed in spring 2022, but we’ll need to wait and see for ourselves. PlayStation also said that we can expect “a few updates from other developers located around the world, too.”
But they did confirm that we won’t get any updates on the PlayStation VR2 or its games, so we can expect more news later in the year.
For more on PlayStation, you can check out how to link your PlayStation and Discord accounts together.
Image Credit: Sony / Square Enix
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