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Microsoft Shows Off Tech For “Most Powerful Xbox”

Microsoft has unveiled a closer look at the technology powering its new Xbox Series X, which it says makes the console the most powerful Xbox ever.

The Series X, set to release in the 2020 holiday season, will incorporate a custom designed processor, powered by an eight-core AMD Zen 2 CPU and an RDNA 2-class GPU. This will provide a boost in power beyond just graphics, said Jason Ronald, Director of Product Management on Xbox Series X.

“While the Xbox Series X will deliver a massive increase in GPU performance and continue to redefine and advance the state of art in graphics with new capabilities such as hardware accelerated raytracing, we don’t believe this generation will be defined by graphics or resolution alone,” he said.

A look at the innards of the new Xbox Series X.

According to Sebastien Nussbaum, Corporate Vice President & Senior Fellow, Semi-Custom Products and Technologies​ at AMD, the new console is “a playground of technical innovation” and the biggest generation of system on a chip (SOC) and API design that AMD has done with Microsoft.

“It’s really an honour for AMD to be a trusted Microsoft partner for this endeavor,” said Nussbaum. “The Xbox Series X is going to be a beacon of technical innovation leadership for this console generation and will propagate the innovation throughout the DirectX ecosystem this year and into next year.”

Speed will also be increased, with the Series X incorporating a 1TB solid-state drive and Xbox Technology Architecture. This new architecture will, according to Andrew Goossen, Technical Fellow on Xbox Series X at Microsoft, tightly integrate hardware and software and optimise streaming of in-game assets.

“The Xbox Velocity Architecture is about so much more than fast load times. It’s one of the most innovative parts of our new console. It’s about revolutionising how games can create vastly bigger, more compelling worlds,” he said.

The Xbox Series X will be compatible with new expansion cards.

To increase storage, Microsoft will also sell 1TB expansion cards. Similar to memory cards seen on sixth-generation consoles such as Sony’s Playstation 2 and the Nintendo GameCube, these cards manufactured in conjunction with Seagate will plug directly into the console and be incorporated into the Xbox Velocity Architecture.

The Xbox Series X will be backwards compatible with games from all three previous Xbox generations; according to Microsoft, the improved hardware will bring benefits such as improved boot and load times, more stable frame rates, higher resolutions, and improved image quality.

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