Microsoft has revealed what it means when a game is marked with the 'Optimized for Xbox Series X' label, and unveiled a tentative list of games that will be designated with this title.
Essentially, 'Optimized for Xbox Series X' will include two types of games: native Xbox Series X games like Halo Infinite, and 'fully rebuilt' existing games, including Xbox One titles, like Gears 5.
The idea of this label is to indicate to players which games will take advantage of the Xbox Series X hardware. How they make the most of the Xbox Series X can vary, but Microsoft did offer some examples. It can mean the almost total elimination of load times via 'Xbox Velocity Architecture', or better visuals, higher framerates or DirectX raytracing.
Dirt 5, for example, will support 120fps on Xbox Series X, and therefore gets the label. Last year's Gears 5 is also 'Optimized for Xbox Series X', and it means the console's custom SSD will minimize the game's load times, among other enhancements.
"With the Xbox Series X, out of gate we reduced our load-times by more than 4x without any code changes," said technical director Mike Rayner. "With the new DirectStorage APIs and new hardware decompression we can further improve I/O performance and reduce CPU overhead both of which are essential to achieve fast loading. As we look to the future, the Xbox Series X’s Sampler Feedback for Streaming (SFS) is a game changer for how we think about world streaming and visual level of detail."
The announcement post is rife with jargon, but the suggestion is clear: titles bearing this label are the games that will get the most out of the new console. Fast travel will actually mean fast travel, according to Microsoft. Check out the trailer for this initiative below:
Microsoft included a list of 22 confirmed games that will feature the 'Optimized for Xbox Series X' label, which Microsoft says will expand over time. How they're all optimized is more of a mystery, but some interesting titles make the list:
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
- Bright Memory Infinite
- Call of the Sea
- Chivalry 2
- Chorus (you may also know this as 'Chorvs')
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Destiny 2
- DiRT 5
- FIFA 21
- Gears 5
- Halo Infinite
- Hitman 3
- Madden NFL 21
- Marvel’s Avengers
- Scarlet Nexus
- Second Extinction
- The Ascent
- The Medium
- Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Fans of Destiny 2 will find the game's addition a relief. Hopefully it'll sort out the game's loading times, which are dreadful on PS4.
This list will almost certainly include any first-party Xbox Series X titles announced during the July livestream, which hasn't been given a date yet.
- Xbox Series X games: which ones we know about