KEY POINTS

  • The Xbox Series X will feature a 12 teraflop GPU and raytracing for greater processing and graphical power
  • It will be backwards compatible with Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games at launch
  • Smart Delivery will mean select cross-gen games on Xbox One and Series X will only need to be purchased once

Xbox head Phil Spencer shared the official specs of the Xbox Series X in a blog post Monday, offering insight into the power the new console will pack and the vast library of games available to enjoy at launch thanks to backwards compatibility.

Spencer’s post confirmed that the Xbox Series X will be the most powerful system Microsoft has ever released. The console will use the AMD’s Zen 2 processor and RDNA 2 GPU to deliver 12 teraflops of GPU performance.

“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,” Spencer said in the post.

Variable rate shading, or VRS, and DirectX raytracing will provide a significant bump to the console’s graphical power, as well.

Nvidia describes VRS as “a Turing feature that increases rendering performance and quality by varying the shading rate for different regions of the frame.” This will allow the GPU to prioritize effects on specific environments and characters on the screen, resulting in a more stable frame rate and better resolution.

Raytracing will provide “true-to-life lighting, accurate reflections and realistic acoustics” for “more dynamic and realistic environments” while supporting 120 frames per second refresh rate.

The new solid state drive provides overall faster performance in games. Developers will be able to develop larger and more varied game worlds that can load faster than the Xbox One or PlayStation 4. The speed is also reflected in the new Quick Resume feature that allows players to “continue multiple games from a suspended state almost instantly.”

As for the games, the Xbox Series X will be a backwards compatible system at launch and support games going back to the original Xbox. This means gamers will be able to enjoy four generations of games on the new system between the Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X libraries.

Newer Xbox games will also take advantage of Smart Delivery. It is described as tech that “empowers you to buy a game once and know that – whether you are playing it on Xbox One or Xbox Series X – you are getting the right version of that game on whatever Xbox you’re playing on.” All exclusive Xbox Game Studios games will be available with Smart Delivery while third-party developers and publishers “can choose to use it for titles that will be release on Xbox One first and come to the Xbox Series X later.”