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.
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.
You can move seamlessly between your games after a few brief seconds.
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.
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.
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