While we're all working on our social distancing, Microsoft decided to drop a ton of Xbox Series X information on us on this fine Monday morning. Because Sony has given us, well, practically nothing when it comes to PS5 details as of late, all eyes are on the Xbox Series X. Though much of the information that Microsoft revealed this morning just reiterates and confirms the remaining previously undisclosed specs, we did get a good look at a few new features coming to the Xbox Series X that we really hope Sony implements in the PlayStation 5.
The ability to suspend and resume multiple games
The Xbox One and PS4 can currently suspend and resume a single game at a time. Should your friends want you to quickly hop in a multiplayer match while you're in the middle of another game, right now you'll need to exit out of that other game entirely. But this changes with the Xbox Series X. Players will soon be able to suspend and resume multiple games at once on Microsoft's machine.
In the demo that Microsoft released, we see a person quickly being able to jump back and forth between State of Decay 2, Forza Motorsport 7, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice without needing to load back into any of those games. Everything transitioned seamlessly so you're back in the game exactly where you left off.
Since game states will be stored directly in the system's SSD, they'll even persist after you turn off the console, unplug it entirely, or even take a system update. One of the testers on the team unplugged his console for a week, then took an update, and was still able to continue right where he left off without so much as a loading screen.
Backward compatibility with all console generations
Microsoft already supports backward compatibility with Xbox 360 and original Xbox games, and it seems to be doubling down on that ideology for the Xbox Series X. We already knew this was planned for the Series X, but it can't be overstated how important this feature is. Not every single Xbox 360 or original Xbox game will be backward compatible, but a good number will be along with all Xbox One games. And these games support 4K and HDR.
PlayStation has a treasure trove of games on PS2 and PS3 that players want to revisit without buying them again. While there are rumors that the PS5 will include backward compatibility with all previous PlayStation hardware, nothing has been confirmed aside from PS4 backward compatibility.
Dedicated Storage Expansion Card
Remember that mysterious slot on the back of the Xbox Series X that people speculated was for additional storage? Well, they were right. It's a slot designed for the Xbox Series X Storage Expansion Card, which was built in partnership with Seagate. This custom storage unit is a 1TB SSD that promises identical performance to the internal drive. Microsoft also stresses that other external storage USB hard drives can be used for older Xbox One games. Xbox Series X utilizes PCIe 4.0 to connect both the internal and external SSD storage directly to the CPU.
I would love to see Sony have something similar. Even if game sizes decrease thanks to SSDs, there's still a good chance avid gamers will need extra storage than whatever the internal SSD offers.
The PS4 Pro can sometimes sound like a jet engine. You know it. I know it. Your neighbors surely know it. I'm over-exaggerating, but you get the idea. The fan can get loud. Microsoft detailed the Xbox Series X's cooling system that uses parallel cooling architecture that divides airflow across multiple streams.
Bloomberg previously reported that Sony was struggling to keep the cost of the PS5 down in part because of a cooling system that was more expensive than usual. We don't know how well this cooling system will run, but I sure hope it is as whisper quiet as the Xbox Series X advertises.
Day and date PS5 exclusives in Playstation Now subscriptions
This isn't new, but I'm including it anyway. All Xbox exclusive games release into Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft's game subscription service, the day they release worldwide at retail. That basically means you can play a brand new game for as little as $10, provided you only buy a month's membership. Sony desperately needs to make PlayStation Now an actual Xbox Game Pass competitor. What it offers right now just doesn't cut it. Imagine The Last of Us Part II releasing into PlayStation Now on May 29th. Microsoft makes that a reality for Xbox exclusives.
PS5 features we know of
We already know that the PlayStation 5 should support hardware-accelerated ray-tracing, cross-generation multiplayer, 3D audio, an SSD; all that good stuff among a lot more. What we don't know are exact details, and Sony appears to be fine withholding that information for know
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