Last month, Microsoft presented their next generation console at The Game Awards. The Xbox Series X seems to be a more cubical version of the compact Corsair One gaming desktop, but the design of the console is not the sole resemblance with more traditional computer hardware. It is time to take a closer look at the next generation of console hardware.
The Xbox Series X offer gamers a closer look at the next generation of games and console hardware. The console will be released later this year and features a vertical tower design for better cooling performance. The Xbox Series X is larger than the current generation Xbox One X, which means that the internal hardware is more powerful.
Better theoretical performance
As a result, the Xbox Series X may offer better performance in terms of games. The console will feature four times the processing power and double the graphical power of the Xbox One X, the most powerful console of this generation. This means that the Xbox Series X has an estimated 12 teraflops of graphical performance.
Teraflops serve as a decent measure of theoretical performance. This kind of console hardware is unseen before and puts the Xbox Series X at the top of the chart with some of the fastest graphics cards available to consumers. As a reference, the Nvidia RTX 2080 delivers about 10 teraflops of graphical processing power.
Custom-designed console hardware
The current generation of consoles focused on better graphical performance. The developers updated the graphics cards of the consoles, but they created a bottleneck in the latest versions of their consoles. The processors in both consoles feature eight cores with low clock frequencies. As a result, the framerate had to be reduced in more demanding games.
Microsoft has already confirmed that the Xbox Series X uses a faster clocked custom-designed eight core processor. This design decision may result in hardware that is comparable to the current generation of processors in desktops. The larger tower design of the Xbox Series X confirms the increase in processing powerful.
It seems that Microsoft is trying to improve the performance of the next generation console by increasing the clock speeds of both the processor and graphics card. This generates more heat, but, at the same time, makes it possible to use smaller hardware components and add a larger cooling solution.
Advanced real-time technologies
The Xbox Series X is able to deliver games at a native resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels at 60 frames per second. The console hardware supports even higher resolutions of 7690 by 4320 pixels and framerates of 120 frames per second at a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels. The support for higher resolutions is remarkable, but the next generation of consoles feature even more advanced technologies at a hardware level.
The most recent graphics cards in desktops and laptops support hardware-accelerated ray tracing, a complex rendering technique for generating an image with even more realistic lightning effects. Real-time ray tracing requires advanced hardware components. The Xbox Series X will feature dedicated hardware designed to deliver the required computing power to support this technology.
Non-traditional computer hardware
The Xbox Series X will further increase the memory bandwidth of the console hardware to deliver the performance required to implement these advanced technologies. The device features a total of 16 GB of GDDR6 system memory. The Xbox One X, as a reference, has a total of 12 GB of slower GDDR5 system memory.
Seen the Xbox Series X uses a custom system-on-chip, it may be designed to use non-traditional computer hardware. The Xbox Series X could use the memory modules seen in graphics cards as super-fast system memory instead of the more traditional DDR modules seen in desktops or laptops.
A solid state drive and additional system memory
The internal hard disk drive has also been replaced by a faster NVMe solid state drive. This results in better read and write speeds and noticeable reduced loading times. A solid state drive has a lot more benefits. They are more expensive than traditional hard disc drives, but also faster, smaller, more power-efficient and less prone to damage.
The decision to change the more traditional hard disk drive into a faster solid state drive further improves the performance of the system. This faster storage may serve as additional system memory. The question remains whether or not the console will feature enough storage space to counter the larger games.
Better for developers
The Xbox Series X is an impressively powerful small form factor system with both processing and graphical power that in theory rivals a decent computer. The developers resolved the bottleneck of the current generation consoles.
Seen the recent leaks of the hardware featured in the other next generation consoles, the performance may be similar to the components used in the Xbox Series X. The decision to use more traditional computer hardware makes it even more convenient for game developers to bring their games to all available platforms.
The decision to add mouse and keyboard support to the existing Xbox One consoles emphasises the decision to offer gamers and developers the choice to use a mouse and keyboard instead of a traditional controller. The Xbox Series X seems to retain this commitment and further reduces the differences between consoles and computers.
An entire ecosystem of consoles
Microsoft goes a step further and turns the different Xbox consoles into an entire ecosystem. The Xbox Series X consoles are backwards compatible with the existing games and accessories of the current generation consoles.
It is easier than ever to switch to the new generation of consoles. The Xbox Series X will be backwards compatible with thousands of Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One games.
The name given to the console, Xbox Series X, even implies that there will be other series and consoles released in the future. The console is named Xbox and belongs to the Series X series. This confirms the rumours that Microsoft is working on multiple consoles and there may be a less powerful Series S console in development.
How much will the next generation cost?
Now that the next generation of consoles has been revealed, it is time to think about what the Xbox Series X price will be. The processor resembles the architecture of an AMD Ryzen processor. In combination with a decent graphics card and more expensive solid state drive, the price of the next generation consoles may increase.
At the moment, gamers and experts consider a retail price of 600 euros as a reasonable estimated price for a next generation console. Seen the kind of hardware featured in the Xbox Series X, it is hard to believe that the console will be sold for less at launch.
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Disclaimer. This post contains copyrighted images from the Xbox One Series X, a console developed and produced by Microsoft. The fair use of copyrighted works for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting or research is not considered as an infringement of copyright.