When the Xbox Series X launches, there’s going to be a number of games released and tagged as “Optimized for Xbox Series X.” Microsoft has decided to explain exactly what that means.
In an Xbox Wire post, editor-in-chief Will Tuttle breaks down what to expect from a Series X optimized game. It actually refers to two different types of game releases: natively designed or fully rebuilt. Developers who choose to develop a game specifically for the Xbox Series X hardware will have their game classified as Optimized for Xbox Series X. However, existing games can be rebuilt “to take full advantage of the unique capabilities of our most powerful console ever,” and these will also be classified as Optimized for Xbox Series X.
An example of a game natively built for Series X is Halo Infinite, where as a fully rebuilt game for Microsoft’s new console is Gears 5. So far, the games confirmed as being Optimized for Xbox Series X are as follows:
In terms of what this actually means for features, it’s a moving target. Because the games are taking full advantage of the performance offered by the new hardware, they can enjoy much faster or even non-existent loading times, offer framerates of up to 120fps, and use DirectX 12 Ultimate to deliver raytracing. With the framerate specifically, Microsoft’s target is games running at a 4K resolution and 60fps.
Ultimately, the “Optimized for Xbox Series X” tag means you’re getting a game experience not possible on previous generation hardware. For old games being rebuilt it should make for a noticeable and positive difference to the experience. For games natively built for Series X, we’re hoping it means experiences that surpass our expectations for what next-gen should be.