While Sony stays silent on the PS5, Microsoft continues to release gobs of information on its upcoming Xbox Series X console. The company just posted a series of deep dives on the console's full specs, controller and feature set, as well as a series of videos that shows just how fast you'll be able to load and switch between games.
Let's start with the specs, which were revealed in a mega-blog post on the Xbox Wire. We now have a fuller picture of exactly what will power the Xbox Series X, including an 8-core, 3.8-GHz AMD Zen 2 processor, a 12-teraflop AMD RDNA 2 GPU, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB NVMe SSD. The console will also have a 4K Blu-ray drive, and a 1TB expansion card for expandable storage.
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If you're wondering what all these fancy numbers mean for you, know that the Series X' key performance target will be delivering games in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second -- something typically only possible with a really expensive and powerful gaming PC. The console will technically be able to muster resolutions of up to 8K and frame rates as high as 120 fps, but 4K/60 fps seems to be the sweet spot Microsoft is going after.
The blog post also highlights how some of the Series X's key features will make your games look better than ever. A pair of Minecraft screenshots show just how big an impact the console's ray tracing capabilities will have, as the image with ray tracing enabled makes Microsoft's pixelated building game look much more immersive and lifelike thanks to the dynamic lighting made possible by the technology.
We also got a look at just how much better Microsoft's recent hit Gears 5 will look on Xbox Series X. A comparison screenshot reveals much cleaner, detailed textures when compared to the game running on Xbox One X, and developer The Coalition notes that the game runs better on Xbox Series X than even the highest PC settings allow.
Let's talk about those load times
Fancy specs and features are cool and all, but the real magic is seeing how they'll actually benefit players. To demonstrate that, Microsoft dropped a series of videos to show how features like SSD loading and Quick Resume will make loading and switching out of games happen in an instant.
The above video demonstrates just how faster a game like The Division 2 will load on an Xbox Series X compared to an Xbox One X. In it, we see the game load in about 9 seconds on a Series X, compared to around a minute on the Xbox One X. This shows just how big an impact the console's 1TB SSD will have on everyday use, and is a feature the PS5 is also targeting with its own SSD.
We also got a glimpse at the Series X's Quick Resume feature, which lets you suspend and bounce between multiple games without having to close any of them. In the video, you can see the player jumping between titles such as Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Forza Motorsport 7 and The Cave, picking up where they left off in each title with minimal wait times in between.
The new Xbox Series X controller
Microsoft also published a separate blog post diving deep on the new Xbox Wireless Controller that will accompany the Xbox Series X. New images give a better look at the controller's new dedicated Share button, as well as the new D-pad that takes some cues from the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 with its rounded design built for accuracy.
Other new touches include tactile dots on the triggers and bumpers for better grip, as well as a matte finish on the D-pad, bumpers and triggers for a smoother feel. The new controller will connect via USB-C, and will also work with Xbox One, PC, iOS and Android.
With its full specs and feature set revealed, the Xbox Series X looks more promising than ever. The images of enhanced and ray-traced games look great, the loading times seem insanely good, and the new controller has some neat extra touches. Now it's Sony's turn to respond -- assuming both consoles don't get delayed into 2021.