When the Xbox Series X arrives in the holiday season, it will be launched with several games optimised especially for the next-gen machine.
In fact, they will even proudly display the badge and slogan: Optimised for Series X.
But what exactly does that mean? And, how different will they be to the same games on Xbox One X? We explain all here.
What is "Optimised for Xbox Series X"?
Like with the Xbox One X, which had (and still has) games listed as "Enhanced for Xbox One X", the Xbox Series X will have titles badged as Optimised for Series X. They even come with their own, snazzy logo (above). But what does that signify?
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Well, it basically means that when a game runs on the all-singing and dancing Xbox Series X, it will offer enhanced graphical performance over the same game running on an Xbox One, maybe even some extra in-game extras.
That could mean developers raising the frame rate of the game, up to 120fps, or ensuring it plays in native 4K (rather than the cut back or dynamic UHD resolutions many Xbox One X titles offer).
They could even add further draw distances, ray-tracing, or any other graphical wizardry that only the Xbox Series X is capable of.
Any of these extra features could result in a game being tagged as Optimised for Xbox Series X.
One thing to note though, a game doesn't need to be native 4K HDR to be badged, it could have enhancements in other ways, such as Smart Delivery, as explained below, or simply faster loading times.
Nor does it need to hit 60fps minimum (the suggested "standard" frame rate of the new console). Ubisoft, for example, will only guarantee that Assassin's Creed Valhalla will run at 30fps on Series X.
"Assassin's Creed Valhalla will run at a minimum of 30fps," it said in a statement.
"On Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, we are committed to offer the best experience to our players by immersing them in the most beautiful worlds and environments we could create, and leveraging not only the graphics enhancements offered by the next generation of consoles, but also faster loading times and the new architectures."
These latter features explain why it will be an Optimised for Series X game, not the frame rate.
What does Xbox Smart Delivery mean?
Some Optimised for Smart X games will also be badged as supporting Smart Delivery, which means that if you purchase the Xbox One version first, your game will instantly be upgraded should you then get yourself a Series X.
For example, if you buy Cyberpunk 2077 for Xbox One when it comes out on 17 September, but then upgrade to an Xbox Series X a month or two later (when the console is available), you will automatically be able to play the Series X version of the game (after any enhancements have been downloaded).
What games are Optimised for Series X?
These are the games announced so far that have been approved by Xbox as Optimised for Series X:
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla (4K HDR and Smart Delivery confirmed)
- Bright Memory: Infinite (4K)
- Call of the Sea (4K HDR and Smart Delivery)
- Chorus (4K HDR and Smart Delivery)
- Dirt 5 (4K HDR, 120fps and Smart Delivery)
- Gears 5 (4K HDR and Smart Delivery)
- Scarlet Nexus (4K and Smart Delivery)
- Scorn (4K)
- Second Extinction (Smart Delivery)
- The Ascent (4K HDR and Smart Delivery)
- The Medium (4K)
- Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 (Smart Delivery)
- Yakua: Like a Dragon (Smart Delivery)
There will undoubtedly be plenty of other optimised games announced between now and the release of the Xbox Series X (and beyond). We fully expected Xbox Game Studios titles to be included, such as launch games Halo Infinite and Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2.
We'll update when more become known.