With the Xbox Series X games event date of July 23, Microsoft has been talking up what to expect from the Xbox Series X in terms of performance. In doing so Xbox Series X Director of Program Management Jason Ronald has confirmed that the Xbox Series X 1TB expansion card has the same speed as internal SSD which is around 2.4GB/s of raw storage / 4.8GB/s of compressed data. He also explained that the reason for same speeds is to ensure developers can offer consistent experiences which bodes well for gamers too. This means you shouldn’t see any performance degradation when you play an Xbox Series X game via the 1TB expansion card versus internal storage.
“One of the core principles we have is consistent sustained performance because as a developer you want to have those guarantees so you don’t have to worry about variability in the performance of the console itself,” explained Ronald on a recent episode of Podcast Unlocked. “And if you think of a traditional SSD that exists in your PC or whatnot – if the SSD gets hot the performance drops or if the SSD needs to perform maintenance you can get hitches. So we really designed this around consistent sustained performance and that also applies to the expandable storage module that we have as well. Because we didn’t want developers to worry about a different performance characteristic if the game’s running on the internal drive or if it’s on expandable storage.”
He went on to stress about how consistency and greater control for developers was crucial.
“It’s really about that optimal consistent sustained performance and then with all the other advances that we have like new direct storage API or sampler feedback streaming that even allows developers a lot more fine-tuned control to get even more efficiency out of the drive beyond just the raw bandwidth,” he said. You can check out his comments for yourself in the video below at around the 21 minute mark.
On the same episode, Ronald stated that Microsoft won’t force developers to use its compression tools. This could make Xbox Series X game file sizes as big as they are this generation if not more.
“It’s not really a certification requirement but we work very closely with all the best developers all around the world,” he said. “We understand their technology stack, we understand how they design and build their games. So a lot of it is just partnering with them and really working through and making sure they’re aware of ‘here’s all the options available to us’ and finding the right solution that works with the kind of game that they’re building as well as what the players expectations were.
“Because at the end of the day it doesn’t benefit anybody if games are massively huge and it’s like a really long download time or like you were talking about with bandwidth caps and whatnot so it’s more of a partnership between us and the developer as opposed to a strict certification requirement.”