Microsoft has shown off how its Quick Resume feature on the Xbox Series S will work, and it’s looking like game over for long loading times. And thanks to smaller game downloads, the Series S looks like it'll have one big advantage over its more premium sibling.
Quick Resume, which is also coming to the Xbox Series X, will allow next-gen Xbox users to jump between multiple games in mere seconds. Microsoft's video of Quick Resume in action really highlights how the days of waiting literal minutes for games to load up, even on the powerful Xbox One X, might be a thing of the past.
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The video showed how the Xbox Series S, which will use a 512GB SSD, allows for people to jump from titles like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order into games like Minecraft Dungeons, Skate 3, and Black. If this was all done in real-time, then it looks like there’ll only be the briefest of pauses when jumping between games to resume from the point where you last left them.
The PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch all let you suspend and resume a game while a system is in rest mode. But the next-gen Xbox consoles look to extend this even further and across multiple games.
Getting smarter with storage
Quick Resume is all well and good, but you need to have a good selection of games to jump between. Given the size of modern games, the 512GB SSD of the $299 Xbox Series S might seem a little bit measly.
But Xbox director of program management Jason Ronald told GameSpot that by having the Xbox Series S target gaming at 1440p resolution, rather than the 4K of the Xbox Series X, install sizes of the games can be made a lot smaller and thus take up less storage space.
"When you look at the size of a normal game package, the largest percentage of content that gets installed on local storage is actually texture data. So by targeting 1440p that allows developers to not ship their highest MIP levels, which are the largest assets," Ronald told GameSpot. "As we look across the data that we have from the current generation, we believe the games on Xbox Series S, on average, will be about 30% smaller than Xbox Series X, because they don't have to install those extra assets."
In short, that means the Xbox Series S will be able to deliver the advantages of Quick Resume and fast loading thanks to its SSD, but also won’t be bogged down by large game downloads and install sizes. Given the Xbox Series S is an all-digital console, this approach will hopefully negate the fact it has a relatively small amount of storage space for 2020 standards.
We’ll see how the Xbox Series S measures up among the Xbox Series X and the PS5 in November; the Xbox consoles are set to launch November 10, with the PS5 and its Digital Edition launching November 12. Pre-orders for the PS5 are live, but you might struggle to secure a console.