Next-gen is all about beefy specs and new graphical features like ray tracing. Still, there is a range of additional, smaller features that enhance the overall gaming quality of life when you unbox that Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X come November 10. We have auto-low latency mode tech, which ensures your TV is always set to the appropriate mode for gaming. We have a shiny new share button on the Xbox Series X/S controller too, with refined shoulder buttons and other improvements. We also have a crazy fast NVMe SSD, which boosts games' loading speeds to mere seconds, rather than minutes.
It's in that crazy fast NVMe SSD that we have unlocked another feature for Xbox Series X and S — Quick Resume — which freezes your game state directly into storage memory for later use. Here's how it works, and why it is, quite literally, a game-changer.
Xbox Series X
The full next-generation experience.
Xbox Series X is Microsoft's new flagship, as its most powerful console with over 12TF GPU performance and a custom SSD. It boasts up to 4K resolution and 120 FPS, full backward compatibility across four generations, and ray-tracing support.
Next-gen in HD
Xbox Series S
Experience next-gen gaming for less.
Microsoft serves the next-generation for less with its budget-friendly Xbox Series S. The console packs the same high-performance CPU and SSD technology as Xbox Series X, while scaling back the GPU and removing the disc drive.
Instant switching between games
Quick Resume is a new feature exclusive to Xbox Series X and S consoles, which suspends a game directly into storage, similarly to how a suspended app works on your smartphone. In this state, the game is effectively frozen and is available for use almost instantly once you revisit it.
The Xbox One has a similar feature, but it only works for one game at a time, and it also could cause instability in certain games. By comparison, Quick Resume feels far more robust, taking all of the work out of developers' hands. Although, at least as of writing (we are on pre-release software after all), it seems some older past-gen games aren't yet compatible. More up to date games work flawlessly, though.
Quick Resume can store around 4-6 games, depending on how large and complex they are. As of writing, there's no way to manage which games are stored in the "Quick Resume" feature. It would be nice if one day we could get some kind of task switcher, similar to what we get on smartphones. Or even lock certain games into Quick Resume, to ensure that they're always ready. And hey, maybe those features are coming, we're still using pre-release software on our Xbox Series X preview unit.
Even though we're on pre-release software, the functionality works exactly as intended. You can move seamlessly between your games after a few brief seconds of a splash screen.
Helping some games more than others
I've had to re-train myself to stop force-closing games on the Xbox Series X. When reviewing games for Windows Central or otherwise, I've run into the issue time and time again. The Xbox One's game resume feature would create some form of instability in the game when it loaded back in, so I just got into the habit of force closing games. Instead, the Xbox Series X is changing how I log out of games, to ensure I'm ready to game on as soon as I finish work.
Monster Hunter: World is one very noteworthy game that benefits from the Xbox Series X. It benefits from a performance standpoint, due to its unlocked frame rate going from around 30-35 FPS to 50-60 FPS without a patch. However, the way the game is designed also makes it a great candidate for Quick Resume.
Unlike Destiny and some other online multiplayer games that boot you out of the game when your presence times out on their servers, Monster Hunter: World simply reverts back into "Offline Mode," meaning I can leave my hunter essentially logged out and ready to boot up a mission and reconnect to a session after using Quick Resume. I've been using Minecraft Dungeons this way as well, just logging my guy out at the mission table ready to rock.
Quick Resume all the things
Quick Resume is just another nice feature that makes it hard to go back to the previous gen. I'd definitely like to see some features that let us manage which games are currently sitting in a Quick Resume state in the future. Though, the current implementation is a solid foundation for what is already one of my favorite features on the console.
Xbox Series X/S
Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!
Win Central Android app crashed when Jez quick resumed the game. What a coincidence!
Mine crashed while reading your comment.
Minecraft... logical conclusion.
It happens the most of times. Still getting the crash popup.
Maybe I'm different than others. I tend to play one game at a time for the most part. I've always felt that the One X has been great at powering on the system from it's standby state and resuming a game within just a few seconds has been plenty quick enough for me. I'm not trying to take away from the new technologies, just mentioning that I've never had a problem with the current resume function.
Ya powering on from standby is really quick. But powering on from a full off state takes forever!
That's fair, and it definitely isn't a feature everyone will use. For me it's awesome because I have a bad habit of starting new games before finishing old ones. Like I'm currently playing Warframe, Squadrons, Alice Madness Returns, Sekiro, Jedi Fallen Order, and Dark Souls Remastered.
I kind of used to be the same way, and still am for the main game I am playing for the most part, but Game Pass has gotten me switching games quite often now. Some of these indie causal games are really great to jump in and play for a bit and then move on. Think about it like this: Even if I only play that one game today and tomorrow (right now Super Lucky's Tale or a MP session of Darksiders Genesis), it is great that next week I can resume Wasteland right where I left off when I am ready to continue and am spared all those splash screens.
What about the games that drop off the end? I'm worrying about save points. I know I may be overlooking something,but if a game thinks it is paused, it won't autosave, and players could lose a lot of progress. I'm sure MS must have considered this, but nobody has mentioned how they solved it. Apologies if it is in the article, I did read it, honest.
The game should automatically save like it normally would while playing. It is exactly how the current way works only with more than one 'game' at a time. Right now, you can be playing a game and open an app while the game is suspended and go back to it days later if the system is in always on mode. Generally if you open another game, the first one closes. Currently, if you swapped from one game to another and forgot to save or didn't get to an auto save point you would lose that progress. It is the same thing only it might take 5 or 6 other games to get this condition.
I think it's also important that people realise if you play a lot of Games as a Service titles you won't be resuming exactly where you left off, most of the time you'll be booted back to the main menu to load the game again. Luckily the SSD will make that nice and quick. But don't expect to have Warframe, Sea of Thieves, or Destiny 2 (to name a few) all dropping you straight back into your mission or hub after playing a couple of hours in something else.
What they experience today if they play a game one the One, jumps into the menu, wait a few hours etc. and then resumes, is what they should expect with the Series S/X, only they can do it with more than one game.
Yeah. I just know that some people are going to whine though, because gamers.
They already are whining. I guess this is people that don't use this featue?
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