Xbox Series X boasts 12 teraflop power, 4-generation compatibility

Xbox has revealed some more of its target specifications for the Xbox Series X. © Microsoft / Xbox Game Studios

WASHINGTON: The Xbox Series X console will provide 12 TFLOPS of graphical performance, double that of the existing Xbox One X, and in excess of Google Stadia.

Microsoft has drip-fed another batch of information about late 2020’s Xbox Series X console platform.

With 12 teraflops of GPU performance, the Series X is to be more powerful than the PlayStation 4 Pro (4.2 TF), Xbox One X (6 TF) and Google’s cloud gaming platform Stadia (10.2 TF at launch in November 2019).

It’s also going to offer backwards compatibility with games from the original Xbox generation, the Xbox 360, and the Xbox One era, offering “steadier framerates, faster load times and improved resolution and visual fidelity” straight off the bat, per Xbox divisional head Phil Spencer.

Xbox confirmed that the Series X will introduce its own spin on cross-buy, called Smart Delivery.

It means that players can buy a game once and play it on Xbox One or Series X regardless, just as they would with the Xbox One and its more powerful mid-cycle edition, the Xbox One X.

Smart Delivery will apply to all releases from Xbox Game Studios, and other developers will be able to opt-in. September’s “Cyberpunk 2077,” for example, has made a commitment to do so.

Xbox One controllers and accessories will also carry over to Series X.

Other features named in the announcement included proprietary technologies such as Variable Rate Shading, DirectX Raytracing, and Dynamic Latency Input.

That’s significant, given speculation that the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will be largely similar under the hood; specific implementations of hardware standards will help differentiate them.

Similarly, while the Xbox Series X will conform to an HDMI 2.1 display output standard, Xbox has been working with select TV manufacturers on the development of an Audio Low Latency Mode and Variable Refresh Rate capability.

Xbox also confirmed that the Series X contains a Solid State Drive for speedy loading – something PlayStation executives had also prioritiSed – and, through a Quick Resume feature, will let players return to multiple games from where they left off without having to wait through long loading screens.

At a May 2019 investors meeting, Sony said that the PlayStation 5 would support ray tracing technology, backwards compatibility, 3D audio and 8K graphical resolutions.

Both Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation will be entering a market where the portable Nintendo Switch is now well established, and Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now among cloud gaming services have begun competing for player custom and loyalty.

At this point, neither of the two console manufacturers has outlined price, date, launch library or release scheduling plans, though Sony’s Chief Financial Officer proposed that the PS5’s selling price was partly contingent on the XSX’s own tag.