“Our patented form of VRS empowers developers to more efficiently utilize the full power of the Xbox Series X,” said Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox. “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.”
All the new features, including details like 120fps support, can be found in the blog announcement.
But the most interesting feature in our eyes is what Microsoft calls Smart Delivery, a new feature that developers and publishers can start building into their games from now. It’ll allow players to buy a game on one generation of Xbox and receive the optimised game for that hardware.
So, for example, you could buy a new game on Xbox One and then if you upgrade to a Series X, you’ll be able to play the enhanced version of the game at no extra cost. Similarly, if you buy a game on the Series X, you’ll be able to play the downscaled version most suited to the Xbox One if you go and pick up the game again on your older console.
It might end up being a niche feature but to us this is forward thinking, with Microsoft realising people are frustrated at the possibility of buying games twice, and also that people may have more than one console in more than one location.
“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,” said Spencer.
Backwards compatibility in gaming is one thing, but this is almost the opposite, and it bodes well for Microsoft's new Xbox.