Microsoft has revealed a complete list of games certified under the Optimised for Xbox Series X program and it's not yet the most inspiring of line ups.
The Optimised for Xbox Series X program is essentially games that "take advantage of the full power of Xbox Series X". In layman's terms, that means brand new games built natively for the Xbox Series X like Halo Infinite but it also means previously released games that have been enhanced to take advantage of what the Xbox Series X can do. That's why the list is a little mixed, but Microsoft has already announced plans to increase that number in the coming weeks and months as part of the lead up to the console launch.
The full list includes:
No details have been released as to what improvements have been made to each title. Optimisation could include reduced load times thanks to the Xbox Velocity Architecture, heightened visuals, DirectX raytracing, higher frame rates up to 120FPS and so forth. We'd expect to know more about individual boosts later on in the year.
Alongside such news comes a rumour via The Verge which suggests that Microsoft may also be planning a budget console to go alongside the Xbox Series X.
Rumours suggest that it will offer the same 7nm AMD Zen 2 SoC as the Xbox Series X, albeit at a lower clock speed. Its focus is meant to be 1080p and 14460p 60FPS gaming performance with roughly 1/3 of its bigger sibling's GPU power. It could also potentially lack a disc drive and remain digital-only.
It's the kind of rumour that often emerges around recent console launches but given that the PlayStation 5 will offer a digital-only version, it makes sense that Microsoft would also provide something similar for those on a tighter budget. Also, The Verge uncovered some leaked documents which add to the validity of the claim.
With price being the all-important factor for many and the prospect of a deal tying into Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass, it could be a good way to enjoy next-gen (mostly) console gaming on a budget.
February 26 2021 | 22:15