Microsoft's next console will play four generations of Xbox games.

Microsoft's upcoming Xbox series will not only have more graphics power and a solid-state drive for faster loading, but will also be backwards compatible with all previous generations of Xbox games, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said Monday in a blog post. The console is scheduled for release later this year.


The Xbox X series is powered by a custom processor with AMD's RDNA 2 and Zen 2 architecture. This makes the system four times faster than the Xbox One and can reach 12 teraflops, which is twice as fast as the Xbox One. The GPU uses variable shading technology to focus effects on individual objects rather than the entire screen. The Xbox X series will also feature hardware-accelerated DirectX ray tracing, which greatly improves lighting effects in games and supports up to 120 FPS.

The SSD helps games load faster and allows gamers to quickly resume games when the console is in a locked state. Although the Xbox One has the ability to return to a game after the console goes into sleep mode, the Quick Resume feature works for many titles.

Xbox Series X will be backwards compatible with titles for the original Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. These older titles will also benefit from improvements such as faster loading times, better fidelity and improved refresh rates. Microsoft will apply Smart Delivery to the new system, which will allow gamers to purchase a copy of an Xbox Game Studios title that can be used on Xbox One or Xbox Series X, depending on the owner's preferred hardware. Publishers and developers will also have access to this technology if they wish.

CD Project Red, developer of the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077, tweeted on Monday that people who buy the Xbox One version of the game in September will be able to play it on Xbox Series X without having to buy it again.

Xbox Games Pass, Microsoft's on-demand game streaming service, will get several improvements for the new system, including more stable frame rates and improved audio and video. It will also have the upcoming Halo Infinite when it releases later in 2020.

Microsoft is also making changes to console speed in other areas. The Dynamic Latency input uses Xbox Series X's "patented high-bandwidth wireless communication protocol" to reduce latency between the Xbox controller and the system. The HDMI 2.1 input also uses new technology to synchronize the refresh rate between the console and display while reducing latency.

While Monday's blog post revealed some of the main specifications for the Xbox Series X, they are not yet known. Most important is the lack of pricing. Sony's PlayStation 5 has many of the same features as Microsoft's next console, and its components cost around $450. When the Xbox One launched in 2013, it was priced at $499, $100 more than Sony's PlayStation 4.

There's also speculation about a touchless Xbox X-series console, which could be more budget-friendly. This could also mean that there is a possible "pro" version that could have even more power.

The Xbox X Series is expected to be released during the holiday shopping season.

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