Xbox Series X games might look even better soon thanks to AI upscaling

Xbox Series X and logo in dark text and lit from behind
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Natanael Ginting)

Job postings can frequently give gaming fans a hint of what’s to come. They teased the return of the Fable franchise from developer Playground Games, and now might have just revealed Microsoft’s answer to AI-based graphical upscaling like Nvidia's DLSS but for Xbox Series X.

AI-based graphical upscaling is a lot of buzzwords to get your head around. What they all mean is that rather than relying solely on a graphics card to output what we see on screen, the power of AI is used to lighten the load. Basically, it means that games can reach higher resolutions, using clever upscaling, without sacrificing performance. 

To do this, Xbox plans to leverage “machine learning to make traditional rendering algorithms more efficient and to provide better alternatives". What form this could take is yet to be seen, but it’ll likely look similar to Nvidia’s DLSS and AMD’s FidelityFX technology, the latter of which the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S support. However, it could just as likely be something new and unique to Xbox hardware. 

If you happen to think that you’re the person to help Microsoft “delight millions of gamers” with next-level graphics (or if you’re just feeling nosey), you can find the job listings below:

What does this mean for your Xbox games?

Most often, people will think of DLSS when it comes to AI upscaling. DLSS stands for Deep Learning Super Sampling and is a feature found in Nvidia RTX graphics cards. When you need a framerate boost, the GPU starts producing a lower quality image that’s faster to render and then AI adds pixels to upscale the image to your desired quality.

This is all well and good, but what does it mean for your games? Well this method works really well when paired with another technology that’s also become more commonplace: ray tracing

Ray tracing is an incredibly beautiful, but equally taxing way of rendering light in a game world because you have to calculate so much at once. Even the best GPUs can struggle to hit just 4K at 30FPS (such as the RTX 3080 graphics card). Thanks to DLSS and similar technologies though, players can upscale a lower resolution image to great effect. Just look at this explanation video to see DLSS in action.

We’ll have to wait and see exactly what form Microsoft’s AI upscaling takes when the system launches on Xbox Series X. When we do find out more though, we’ll be sure to update you on everything you’ll need to do to unlock the best gaming experience possible.

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.