AMD Super Resolution is coming to the Xbox Series X. Here’s why that matters in 2021

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Xbox Series X

Xbox Series X: After learning that Nvidia‘s competitor to AMD’s DLSS technology will appear on the company’s PC graphics cards later this month via a software update, it was revealed that the company’s graphics enhancement technology will also appear on Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles. Known as FidelityFX Super Resolution, the technology could provide higher GPU performance, improved frame rates and possibly even better resolution.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to IGN that FidelityFX Super Resolution will appear on the Xbox, noting the potential of AMD’s technology to improve frame rate and resolution. However, the company did not provide specific information on when the update would be available to console gamers.

Neither AMD nor Microsoft has published benchmarks detailing the effect or performance boost that FidelityFX will provide on the Xbox Series X and S platforms.

Like Nvidia DLSS, AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution is a super-sampling technology that promises to deliver better image quality in video games without significantly reducing frame rates. On Nvidia’s second-generation RTX platform, ray tracing performance was noticeably improved with DLSS enabled.

“AMD FidelityFX is our open-source collection of optimized visual technologies, making it easier for developers to implement high-quality effects and optimizations that help make games stunningly beautiful, providing the best balance of visual fidelity and performance,” AMD said of the technology in a blog post.

FidelityFX will come with four image scaling modes, including Ultra Quality, Quality, Balanced and Performance. AMD is making the FidelityFX Super Resolution technology open source so that it will be compatible with Radeon GPUs as well as rival Nvidia cards.

The news that FidelityFX Super Resolution will appear on Microsoft’s gaming console is interesting, given that AMD is expanding its RDNA 2 architecture to more platforms. In addition to the fact that this graphics microarchitecture is supported in the latest Radeon RX 6000 series cards for PCs and Microsoft consoles, it is also used in Sony’s PlayStation 5. It is still unclear if and when FidelityFX will appear on Sony consoles.

More recently, AMD confirmed that its graphics architecture will be used in the Tesla infotainment system, and later this year it will appear in cell phones through a partnership with Samsung. That means Samsung’s new Arm-based Exynos processor will come with integrated RDNA 2 graphics, which could allow the company’s computing, smartphones and tablets to better compete with Apple‘s Arm-based processors, such as the M1 processor in the Mac.

The main difference between Nvidia DLSS and AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution is that the former uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to scale up images in video game scenes, making lower-resolution graphics look more detailed. The fact that Nvidia relies on artificial intelligence means that little GPU power is needed to achieve this magic.

AMD’s solution, on the other hand, requires no machine learning and is open source to work with more graphics cards. FidelityFX will support variable rate shading, contrast adaptive sharpening, denoising and parallel sorting to improve image quality. FidelityFX will be supported in 35 games at launch, the company said.

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