More details provided by Phil Spencer.
Xbox Series X

A slow trickle of information has made its way to the public over the past several months ever since the Xbox Series X was first revealed during The Game Awards. In fact, it was during announcement window when various specs for the Xbox Series X were first revealed by the Head of Xbox Phil Spencer.

In an interview with GameStop from around mid-December, Spencer said that the GPU was capable of 12 teraflops of power. The CPU was of the AMD variety and was probably a Ryzen Zen 2 CPU. The storage was undoubtedly some type of NVMe, though the capacity was not confirmed. We also were told that games would have the ability to be played at 120fps if the developer wanted.

In a fresh write-up dated February 24, 2020, Phil Spencer again shared some details about the technical specs for the Xbox Series X.

He again mentions that the GPU is capable of pushing 12 teraflops of processing power. In comparison, this is roughly twice the GPU power of the Xbox One X and over eight times the power of the base Xbox One model.

Spencer notes that the Xbox Series X is Microsoft's most powerful console ever made, which really should not be a surprise. This new CPU from AMD is able to give the Xbox Series X an estimated four times the processing power of the Xbox One. To expand upon the rather generic "AMD Ryzen Zen 2 CPU" that was mentioned in December, we now know that it's using the latest Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures from AMD.

RDNA stands for Radeon DNA. It's the codename given to the microarchitecture and instruction set developed and used by AMD. RDNA 2 is the direct successor to the first RDNA. RDNA 2 is so new that the public won't actually have specific details on this new microarchitecture until at least March 5, 2020. It is not yet known if RDNA 2 will be a significant change from RDNA or a smaller, more iterative update.

Xbox Series X is also now confirmed to utilize Variable Rate Shading (VRS) and hardware accelerated raytracing. The interesting thing to note about these two features is the fact that AMD does not yet have a consumer card available that includes these two features, only Nvidia does. This means that not only is the Xbox Series X utilizing a CPU microarchitecture that isn't yet available to consumers, but also a GPU architecture that isn't yet available to the public.

Spencer says that Microsoft it utilizing a "next-generation SSD." It was not made clear what was meant by this statement, but the safe bet is that it will make use of the NVMe specification. This should allow for read/write speeds of up to 3,500MB/s. Compare that to a typical SATA 3 SSD, which has a typical upper limit speed of 600MB/s.

Xbox Series X will have a "Quick Resume" feature. This new feature will allow players to continue multiple games from the suspended state almost instantly. The next-gen Xbox will also incorporate an Auto Low Latency Mode, Variable Refresh Rate capabilities, and support for 120fps. I would not expect to see very many games with the visuals cranked and running at both 4K and 120fps, however.

Phil Spencer confirms full backwards compatibility with the previous four generations of Xbox consoles. Not only will you be able to play games from the Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, but these games should "look and play better than ever before." By this, Spencer means that these older titles should have more steady framerates, faster load times, and improved resolution.

"Smart Delivery" is another new technology talked up by Spencer in today's posting. In short, this technology ensures that players will only have to purchase cross-generation titles only once. If you have an Xbox One now and purchase a game for that platform, you would then get a free upgrade to the Xbox Series X version when you get the new console or when the next-gen version of the game is released. This service is confirmed for all of the exclusive Xbox Game Studios offerings from Microsoft. Third-party developers can also make use of Smart Delivery though participation does not seem to be mandatory.

One third-party title confirmed to make use of Smart Delivery is CD Projekt RED's Cyberpunk 2077.

Spencer also reiterates that Xbox Game Pass will still very much continue with the Xbox Series X. Xbox Game Pass will also continue to include first-party games like Halo Infinite added on the same day that those games launch.

Though a lot of this remains surface level details, Spencer promises that there will be more shared "in the coming months." Microsoft is also still going to have their annual conference during E3 2020, which may include some very impressive new game reveals.

I have included a lot of the bullet point details that Spencer provided. If you would like to read the full news release, be sure to head on over to

A superior balance of power and speed
Compared to the previous generation, Xbox Series X represents a superior balance of power and speed in console design, advancing on all technological fronts to delivering amazing, dynamic, living worlds and minimize any aspects that can take you out of the experience. Our job at Team Xbox is to give teams the tools they need to achieve their ambitions and tap into the console’s power with efficiency, a few of which we’re detailing today. Raw power is just part of the story:
  • Next Generation Custom Processor: Xbox Series X is our most powerful console ever powered by our custom designed processor leveraging AMD’s latest Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures. Delivering four times the processing power of an Xbox One and enabling developers to leverage 12 TFLOPS of GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) performance – twice that of an Xbox One X and more than eight times the original Xbox One. Xbox Series X delivers a true generational leap in processing and graphics power with cutting edge techniques resulting in higher framerates, larger, more sophisticated game worlds, and an immersive experience unlike anything seen in console gaming.
  • Variable Rate Shading (VRS): Our patented form of VRS empowers developers to more efficiently utilize the full power of the Xbox Series X. Rather than spending GPU cycles uniformly to every single pixel on the screen, they can prioritize individual effects on specific game characters or important environmental objects. This technique results in more stable frame rates and higher resolution, with no impact on the final image quality.
  • Hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing: You can expect more dynamic and realistic environments powered by hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing – a first for console gaming. This means true-to-life lighting, accurate reflections and realistic acoustics in real time as you explore the game world.

Immersion in an instant
The next console generation will be defined by more playing and less waiting. And when play begins, we know many gamers demand ultra-low latency to be as immersed and precise as possible. To this end, the team analyzed every step between player and game, from controller to console to display, and asked how we could make it faster.
  • SSD Storage: With our next-generation SSD, nearly every aspect of playing games is improved. Game worlds are larger, more dynamic and load in a flash and fast travel is just that – fast.
  • Quick Resume: The new Quick Resume feature lets you continue multiple games from a suspended state almost instantly, returning you to where you were and what you were doing, without waiting through long loading screens.
  • Dynamic Latency Input (DLI): We’re optimizing latency in the player-to-console pipeline starting with our Xbox Wireless Controller, which leverages our high bandwidth, proprietary wireless communication protocol when connected to the console. With Dynamic Latency Input (DLI), a new feature which synchronizes input immediately with what is displayed, controls are even more precise and responsive.
  • HDMI 2.1 Innovation: We’ve partnered with the HDMI forum and TV manufacturers to enable the best gaming experience through features such as Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). ALLM allows Xbox One and Xbox Series X to automatically set the connected display to its lowest latency mode. VRR synchronizes the display’s refresh rate to the game’s frame rate, maintaining smooth visuals without tearing. Ensuring minimal lag and the most responsive gaming experience.
  • 120 fps Support: With support for up to 120 fps, Xbox Series X allows developers to exceed standard 60 fps output in favor of heightened realism or fast-paced action.

The next generation of game compatibility
The benefits of the next console generation extend in every direction, bringing greater visual fidelity and improved loading speeds to your existing gaming legacy, in addition to new games. We’re continuing our commitment to compatibility with Xbox Series X and investing in technology that makes game ownership easier across generations.
  • Four generations of gaming: Our commitment to compatibility means existing Xbox One games, including backward-compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games, look and play better than ever before. Your favorite games, including titles in Xbox Game Pass, benefit from steadier framerates, faster load times and improved resolution and visual fidelity – all with no developer work required. Your Xbox One gaming accessories also come forward with you.
  • Smart Delivery: This technology empowers you to buy a game once and know that – whether you are playing it on Xbox One or Xbox Series X – you are getting the right version of that game on whatever Xbox you’re playing on. We’re making the commitment to use Smart Delivery on all our exclusive Xbox Game Studios titles, including Halo Infinite, ensuring you only have to purchase a title once in order to play the best available version for whichever Xbox console they choose to play on. This technology is available for all developers and publishers, and they can choose to use it for titles that will be release on Xbox One first and come to the Xbox Series X later.
  • Xbox Game Pass: In addition to games from across four generations of consoles, our leading game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, will continue to have our first party games, like Halo Infinite, included at their launch. We look forward to millions of you experiencing the Xbox Game Pass portfolio and immersing yourselves in a deep library of high-quality games, playing those you love now and also discovering your next great adventure.