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Xbox Series X is a game changer, developer says

Published: 10:07, 20 July 2020
Microsoft
Xbox Series X console and controller
Xbox Series X

Whether the pun was intended or not is irrelevant in this case, as Team Blur Games' design lead Gavin Stevens heaped praise on Xbox Series X and the underlying tech.

As strange as it may seem to many, one of the main bottlenecks of the current generation were data transfer rates, specifically the capability to load up textures into memory. It's easy to see why some players don't find next-gen consoles impressive, prompting Stevens to explain in a series of tweets.

What players end up seeing as "just" a textured rock in their favourite game is actually a model of varying complexity with a minimum of three textures, often quite a few more, of which colour is just one. Textures at 8192 take up around 192MB, so the bare minimum of three textures means having to load 576MB for "just" a rock. 

Now, this is an oversimplification, as these textures are often compressed, which also takes processing power. Add to that different textures for different viewing distances and even grossly oversimplified - a simple rock requires loading and streaming more data than HDDs are capable of.

Xbox Series X's Sampler Feedback Streaming, on the other hand, is an intelligent way to streamline this process, as it loads only those textures that are needed. 

"In short this actually moves around the need for a higher bandwidth, and allows the same fidelity, at a lower cost. Which not only equals more memory to play with for assets), but also faster performance", Stevens said. 

PlayStation 5 handled the same issue by hardware-designing a quicker data-transfer pipeline and brute-forcing the rest via SSD, but as Stevens reminded - there are many ways to skin a cat.

We're actually quite delighted with how Xbox Series X and PS5 approached the same issues from different vectors, and we cannot be more excited for the next-gen. The above tweet brought about the usual Us vs. Them squadron out, but as Stevens put it, "Can we not just all try and celebrate awesome tech, regardless of who creates it?". 

Thanks, Gaming Bolt .

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