Playing Xbox Series X games on PC? Here’s what you’ll need

Xbox Series X
(Image credit: Xbox)

One of the major questions surrounding the PS5 and Xbox Series X is just how powerful the consoles really are and what would it take to make an equivalent gaming PC. But the minimum and recommended specs for the upcoming multi-platform game The Medium gives us a proper insight what the performance of the Xbox Series X might be equivalent to.

Before we dive into it, let’s recap on what The Medium is. Set in late 80s Poland, the game follows the story of a medium called Maria, who is able to access the “spirit realm” and is haunted by visions linked to a mystery at an old resort in Krakow. At Microsoft’s Xbox 20/20 games event, we saw how The Medium will render two complete game worlds at once as players control Maria in both the real world and through the spirit realm. 

The game looks very atmospheric and rather attractive, and its unique dual-reality gameplay makes it seem like a proper next-generation title. This does appear to have a bit of a caveat, as The Medium will run at 4K resolution and 30 frames per second on Xbox Series X, rather than a smoother 60 fps.

Running games at 4K and 30 fps is something well-specced gaming PCs can do at the moment, depending on the graphics card the computer comes with. And a decent gaming PC looks like it’ll run The Medium reasonably well. 

The minimum spec for the game, as listed on Steam, requires an Intel Core i5-6600 / AMD Ryzen 5 2500X CPU, 8GB of RAM, and for running at 1080p, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB / AMD Radeon R9 390X with 4GB of video memory. That’s not a particularly demanding specification, and with a bit of shopping around you could build such a PC for under $1,000.  

But that spec is for running the game at FHD rather than 4K, which the Xbox Series X will do by default. 

So to hit the 4K recommended spec, an Intel Core i5-9600 / AMD Ryzen 7 3700X CPU will be needed alongside 16GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 / Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card. This specification is a pretty powerful one, and such a machine will be a lot more expensive than a $400 to $500 console. The GeForce RTX 2070 retails for north of $500 by itself. 

Xbox Series X vs PC

But the recommended spec gives us an indication that the 12 teraflops of the Xbox Series X could be the equivalent to a pretty powerful PC. 

However, before you start doing calculations to work out the overall teraflops of a well-specced PC and then yell at us in the comments about how much better PCs are than games consoles, there is one big factor to consider. 

There’s a good chance the recommended 4K PC spec for The Medium will deliver performance that sits somewhere between 30fps and 60fps at 4K. And more graphics effects could be applied to the game on the PC than on the next-generation console; such is the customizable nature of PC gaming. 

The Xbox Series X will deliver a lot of performance for a price tag that might be below $400. And if it does indeed deliver ray tracing in a suite of games, then it could offer graphics that require pretty expensive graphics cards in gaming PCs. 

However, The Medium’s system requirements also show that if you’re a dedicated PC gamer and have a one of the best gaming PCs, then you’re in a good position for next-generation gaming. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.