Microsoft shared details on its Xbox Series X Velocity Architecture and it is impressive. In short, the tech should allow for smaller game files, fewer loading bottlenecks and allow for performance beyond the console’s specs. Microsoft claims the solution works alongside the console’s processor to offer improvements over current-gen technology, obviously.
The Xbox Series X Velocity Architecture is a combination of four software and hardware innovations.
- Custom NVME SSD: The Series X SSD allows for 40 times the I/O throughput (essentially the amount of data transfer the console allows every second) of Xbox One, but has been designed not to drop in performance below a certain level. Essentially, developers can design their games without having to work around data transfer constraints (by, for instance, introducing the “loading tunnels” we’ve seen in open-world games this generation).
- Hardware Accelerated Decompression: Series X uses both an industry-standard LZ decompressor, and a proprietary algorithm designed specifically for decompressing game texture data (typically the largest portion of overall game size). The result should be that storage size and download times per game are reduced.
- DirectStorage API: This new addition to the DirectX family of APIs gives developers control over how they want to assign and prioritize I/O tasks in their game. According to Ronald, this should virtually eliminate loading times, and make fast travel systems actually fast.
- Sampler Feedback Streaming: Games regularly use different qualities of texture depending on how far you are from them (you’ll often notice that and open-world game’s trees are low-quality from a distance, and high quality up close, for instance). No matter how much of those textures are shown, current-gen games will need to load the entire texture in the background. SFS allows textures to be loaded in portions, meaning the I/O load is reduced and can be used elsewhere to create more detail-packed worlds.
Microsoft claims the Xbox Series X Velocity Architecture will allow the console to deliver “entirely new scenarios never before considered possible in gaming.”
Microsoft is set to host an Xbox Game Studio first-party reveal on 23 July 2020 where the company is showcasing Halo: Infinite and rumoured titles such as Fable.
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