Xbox Series X Specs Further Detailed: Smart Delivery, Backwards Compatibility

Coming this holiday season.

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Ahead of an official price and release date reveal, Microsoft recently announced new details in regards to its upcoming next-gen console, the Xbox Series X. In a blog post, Xbox head Phil Spencer focuses on a handful of key areas: hardware power, variable-rate shading and ray-tracing, an improved quick resume function, and a brand-new feature Microsoft is calling "smart delivery."

The hardware will boast 12 TFLOPS of GPU power, which Microsoft notes is twice that of Xbox One X, based on an AMD Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architecture. A Variable Rate Shading technique allows the GPU to prioritize individual effects on specific game objects rather than focus on the entire screen. It will also sport hardware-based DirectX ray-tracing. The post also confirms SSD storage and 120 FPS support.

As for what all that power will go towards, Microsoft shared some end-user features too. The Quick Resume feature promises to be faster without waiting through loading screens, and now it can be used with multiple games at once. Xbox Series X will be backwards compatible with all previous generations of Xbox games and accessories. A new "Smart Delivery"' feature is essentially cross-buy, letting you purchase a game once and play it on whatever is the best hardware available. Microsoft says that developers and publishers will be able to choose to use the feature on games that release first on Xbox One and then later come to Xbox Series X.

Finally, Microsoft is continuing to promote its Game Pass subscription service, noting that it will carry forward into the next-generation and continue including first-party games. This notably includes Halo Infinite at launch.

The Xbox Series X is Microsoft's first volley into the next generation, as the company has noted that it's switching to just Xbox for its branding going forward. That means we may see multiple hardware revisions within the Xbox family, similar to a smartphone model. We don't know a price or release date yet, but Microsoft may reveal those at its E3 2020 presentation. For more details, check out everything we know about Xbox Series X.

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