Microsoft details Xbox Series X specs

Mike Wheatley

Microsoft has revealed some of the specifications of its next-generation Xbox Series X console, which is launching later this year.


Among the highlights revealed in a media briefing Monday were the fact the Xbox Series X will come with a massive 12 teraflops of GPU performance, which is double what’s available on the Xbox One X and eight-times faster than the original Xbox One.

“Xbox Series X delivers a true generational leap in processing and graphics power with cutting edge techniques resulting in higher framerates, larger, more sophisticated game worlds, and an immersive experience unlike anything seen in console gaming,” said Xbox chief Phil Spencer.

Microsoft also talked about the hardware Direct ray tracing and variable rate shading capabilities of the Xbox Series X.

“Rather than spending GPU cycles uniformly to every single pixel on the screen, [developers] can prioritize individual effects on specific game characters or important environmental objects,” Spencer explained. “This technique results in more stable frame rates and higher resolution, with no impact on the final image quality.”

The console will be powered by a customised central processing unit that’s based on AMD’s Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA 2 architecture. There’s also an NVMe solid strate drive which Spencer said should improve load times and almost “every aspect of playing games” on the console. In addition, the Xbox Series X will support 8K resolution gaming and frame rates of up to 120 frames per second. HDMI 2.1 features supported at launch include Auto Low Latency Mode and Variable Refresh Rate, which should help to reduce input lag and smooth out graphics for players who play games on their TVs.

Spencer also talked about a new “quick resume” feature that will allow players to resume multiple games from a suspended state. This feature is available on the Xbox One, although it’s limited to saving the progress of just one game.

Last but not least, Microsoft promised full backward compatibility with the Xbox Series X, which means it will be able to play original Xbox and Xbox 360 games.

The company has promised to share even more details of the Xbox Series X in the coming months. Key dates to look for more information include Microsoft’s Game Developers Conference which takes place next month, and the E3 event in June. Details we’re still waiting to hear about include an exact release date, pricing and launch titles.