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Xbox Series X: Microsoft Reveals New Features And Discusses Teraflops, Ray-Tracing

Following the huge info dump about the Xbox Series X earlier this week, more details on the next-generation console have come to light, including previously unannounced features.

We already knew that the Xbox Series X will feature a “quick resume” feature that allows players to resume multiple games from a suspended state without loading back in from the start. But Xbox’s Larry Hryb said on his podcast–embedded below–that this also works when you’ve rebooted the console.

Hryb has had an Xbox Series X at home for months now. He said on his podcast that his console had a system update and he expected to have to re-load his game once it was finished. But no. Hryb said he was able to boot directly back into the game. “So it survives a reboot,” he said.

Xbox director Jason Ronald–a 15-year Xbox veteran–is also featured on the podcast, and he revealed that the Xbox Series X will feature audio ray-tracing, which is seemingly a brand-new technology. Ronald said this is a spatial audio feature that is enabled by the Xbox Series X’s new accelerated ray-tracing technology. Ronald didn’t reveal much about this, but more details may come during the Game Developers Conference where Microsoft will hold a panel for spatial audio.

The entire podcast is very in-depth and fascinating, as Ronald goes over the key points of Microsoft’s announcements earlier this week. The system, which is 8X more powerful than the original Xbox One, is powered by 12 teraflops of performance.

“Teraflops is an easy way to describe the overall power of the system and the GPU. But in reality, we actually view power much more expansively than just teraflops itself,” Ronald said. “We put a lot of innovation in the Xbox Series X. The real magic is going to be the integration between hardware and software. To not only use the raw capabilities of the box, but also to use it in the most efficient way possible to make your games even better.”

The Xbox Series X will also feature “variable rate shading,” which allows developers to add more “precision and detail” to a game’s important scenes whether that be character detail or action. “Allows the developer to be that much more efficient,” Ronald said.

And on the subject of ray-tracing, Ronald said, “We’re able to enable a whole new set of scenarios, whether that’s more realistic lighting, better reflections. We can even use it for things like spatial audio.”

Check out the full podcast in the embed where Ronald and Major Nelson also speak about the Xbox Series X’s other new features, like the cross-buy system Smart Delivery, and more.

The Xbox Series X releases this holiday with Halo Infinite as a launch title. It faces off against another next-generation console, the PlayStation 5, which is also slated for release this holiday.

The Xbox Series X may not be the only next-generation Xbox that Microsoft has in the works. The name of Microsoft’s next-generation console platform is “Xbox,” and “Series X” is just one of the models that may be on the way.

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