OPINION

Xbox has claimed that the Series X is the most powerful console, so why are games seeing performance issues?

The Xbox Series X has been marketed as the “world’s most powerful console” and the “most powerful Xbox”. On paper that is true. It has the best overall specs of any console ever built and Xbox has lead much of its marketing with claims that the Series X is a powerhouse.

Right now, Xbox hasn’t been able to prove that they have the most powerful console. In real world comparisons, Xbox is currently underperforming the on paper specs. In multiple Digital Foundry comparisons to the Playstation 5, Xbox is simply performing worse. Whether that be an abundance of screen tearing, dropped frames, less detail, or other issues. The Series X seems to be underachieving and it has confused fans and critics alike.

Now, these issues are very small and won’t be noticed by a majority of people. Multiplatform games for both the PS5 and Series X are nearly identical with minor differences. However, the Series X is simply having a few more technical issues.

Tools, tools, tools.

There are potential explanations for this. Xbox has a brand new development environment called Game Core. Xbox moved to Game Core which encompasses all Xbox and PC platforms. We also know that Xbox is utilizing full RDNA2 and they had to wait for that from AMD before finalising their silicon design, meaning their development tools are very immature right now.

One plausible explanation for why Xbox is underperforming is that the current development environment for Xbox is new and evolving, meaning developers are still learning how to utilize the new tools.

The Latest on Xbox Game Core

It will take time for developers to get comfortable with the new tools and that should be expected, but it seems to be affecting current games. Xbox is taking a risk, but one that should eventually pay off. Creating a brand new development kit means that things aren’t going to go smoothly at first.

Playstation has the distinct advantage of having a more mature development kit and they have long been known to have an easy development environment. Xbox is banking on the fact that in the end their tools will be as good or better than the competition.

Will that come to fruition? I expect it to, but right now, it feels like the Series X isn’t fulfilling what is possible with the specs. It has also been a week and a half since the console launched, and many games are coming in hot. It is also possible there are other underlying issues we are not accounting for, but we will have to wait and see if we get any answers.

When developers become more comfortable with the tools and games aren’t coming in as hot, they should be able to fulfill the promise of the Series X and the console should perform better than it currently is.

Austin "Proven" Nelson

Writer and Host of "You Had Me At Halo Podcast" for XboxEra. Halo 3 apologist.

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7 Comments

  1. Post this in 2-3 year’s when devs have had time to figure out the system. Maybe it’ll be relevant. WTH with these nonsense articles.

  2. Did you even read the article? That’s exactly what it says, the games will probably be better when they have time to work with the systems. WTH with these people that don’t read past headlines

  3. Dirt 5 devs said that the GDK is faster and more stable than the XDK and basically all of the features were brought over so “tools” don’t seem to be the big problem here

  4. Your statement about MS having to wait for RDNA 2 is rubbish. As an AMD partner Microsoft would have received Alpha and Beta versions of the chip and the necessary specifications and APIs at least a year ago and all the way till launch. They would have known what is going on up until the October 28th official RDNA 2 release. Otherwise there’s literally no advantage to being partners, you’re then just a consumer if you find out things at the last minute.

    So this ALL comes down to the Xbox and Direct X team not being ready in time for the launch. They had all the information they needed from AMD, so don’t blame this on AMD, when the blame is on the shoulders of Phil Spencer and his team for releasing a half baked product.

  5. Sony has more experience in the gaming industry than Microsoft, that’s a fact. By the time Xbox gets the problems sorted Sony will have moved on to the next in the PS5 consoles which is meant to be both a gaming console that can be plugged into a TV as well as being portable with a built in screen. Most likely the console will only be able to play Solo games in portable mode but this will keep Sony well ahead of Microsoft. To be honest, I still think that PlayStation would be better. Also, if Xbox is the most powerful console on the market, why are PC games not available on the Xbox Series X, this is what both Microsoft and Sony should have looked at when developing their new consoles.

  6. It’s also possible that Ps5 may be more efficient and that the Series X’s overhead makes for weaker results even with more power at its core. I’ve heard one developer compare the situation to that of the iPhone where iPhones have been able to outperform phones that have more powerful CPU/GPU’s more RAM and bigger battery’s.

  7. Here is the problem 100%

    First your SSD is pcie 3.0 which is slower your operating system is still windows 10 kernel which in tests cause screen tearing on any 4K setting due to bugs with UHD and HDR subsystems which hopefully they will patch

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